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Smile Nihonshu

Smile Nihonshu on 4/19/2008Smile Nihonshu on 4/19/2008

I first found out about a sake event called Smile Nihonshu through the Yumegokoro website. The event was held at a reggae bar in Shinjuku and I remember thinking what an odd combination it sounded like. Nihonshu definitely belongs in many settings and occasions, but for some reason, I never associated these two: sake and reggae. After missing this event a couple of times, we finally got to Reggae OPEN in January, where the event takes place approximately once every three months. We were totally impressed by the selection of sake, wonderful staff, representation from the breweries, and the philosophy behind organizing such a great party.

Te-chan and I went back to Smile last week and popped in for just a quick “Hello!” since we had other commitments we could not miss on that day. The place was packed–absolutely wall-to-wall. They had so many people from all ages and nationalities, listening to the massive soundsystem and drinking sake. The attendance doubled since the last event in January. The organizers and breweries working to make Smile Nihonshu happen must be hitting the right spot to attract so many people–many of them are sake newbies.

On the event flyer, the organizers had some information about measurements used for sake. I remember it was so confusing to hear breweries’ production capacity in koku, or at first not really knowing how much one to was. So, I think it is really useful that they have that info on their flyers, together with little sakazukin characters they have created.

  • 1 = 180 ml or 6 oz
  • This is still widely used very often for measuring rice.

  • 1 shō = 10 = 1.8 L or 1.9 qt
  • 1 to = 10 shō = 18 L or 4.75 gallons
  • as in to-bin gakoi or to-bin dori
    (On our last trip to breweries, we heard that authentic to-bin or 18 L jugs are no longer produced.)

  • 1 koku = 10 to = 180 L or 47.5 gallons
  • I don’t know when the next Smile is going to be, maybe in July? I will definitely check back their web site for the next one. Next time, we hope to tag along and host the Tokyo Sake Meetup there. To paraphrase Bob Marley “Let’s get together with sake and feel all right”.

    Smile Nihonshu
    Smile Nihonshu Flyer



    5 Responses to “Smile Nihonshu”

    1. wow, looks like fun. I think being at that party would really make me SMILE nihonshu.

      Posted by Timothy | April 25, 2008, 3:23 pm
    2. Hi Tim,
      Your events and classes in NY make me smile nihonshu, too. Happy sake drinking!

      Posted by et-chan | April 28, 2008, 12:46 pm
    3. Hey! I’d like to join you guys next time for this. Does sound like a funny combination, but I used to be something of a sake fan – and everything is better with sake!

      So it looks like we’re already half-way through with May, and still both busy. Hope that we can get together soon!


      Posted by Melinda | May 12, 2008, 8:02 am
    4. Hi Melinda! They have not decided the date yet, but looks like the end of June. Hopefully, we can get together before that, though.

      Posted by et-chan | May 13, 2008, 11:02 am


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