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April 16, 2015

Rice Mill Machine at Aoki Brewery

by Kayoko

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During our visit to Aoki Brewery in Niigata, we were told that the three most important factors of brewing sake is the rice, the water and the people. 

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April 13, 2015

A Visit to Aoki Brewery in Niigata

by yoko

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Kayoko and I go to Niigata every February. Our friends in Tokyo gasp in horror, “Why would you go somewhere so cold?

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April 2, 2015

Akio Watanabe of Bar EST! (Tokyo)

by Kayoko

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Looking back on our trip to Japan in February, the most memorable cocktail was at Bar EST!.

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March 16, 2015

A Visit to Niigata Beer Co.

by Kayoko

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Our Japan trip last month was a jam-packed, 5-city tour with barware factory tours, sake brewery pit-stops and a visit to a craft brewery!

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March 9, 2015

Tsuchi-yu Onsen Town in Fukushima

by Kayoko

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Japan is a country full of people who work hard and play hard. Many put in 60+ hours into the work week, not including the after hours drinking they are forced to join with their colleagues. 

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March 5, 2015

Togarashi Ginger Highball at Jicca (Tokyo)

by Kayoko

As you know by now, Tori-chan is a dear friend of ours who opened Jicca, a restaurant and wine bar in the Hatagaya neighborhood in Tokyo nearly two years ago.

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March 2, 2015

An Afternoon in Fukushima City

by Kayoko

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If you try Googling “Fukushima” you’ll get pages and pages of links with words like, “tragedy” “disaster” and “fear” in the title.

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February 26, 2015

Craft Beer Market in Tokyo

by Kayoko

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People in Japan are cuckoo for beer. It remains the most popular alcoholic beverage in Japan, accounting for two thirds of all alcohol consumed overall (says Wikipedia).

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February 16, 2015

Umami Mart Bottle Shop!

by Kayoko

When people ask Yoko or myself if it was “always in the plan” to turn Umami Mart into a brick and mortar shop, the answer is always “no.” We do get this question quite often.

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February 9, 2015

Abura-ya: Izakaya for the People

by Kayoko

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Let me start off by saying that I think Abura-ya is the most exciting dining experience in the Bay Area in the last few years.

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