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Sake to Me

Taking a Sake Crawl Through Japan

753dfc5e455c0ede49e8712f54480ab99bce9cb214 PhotosSake Journeys
Sean Connery in You Only Live Twice. Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai. Uma Thurman in Kill Bill: Vol. 1.

What they have in common: not one of them is a sake samurai.

But these people are...

Practice your “arigato” for Sake Journeys, an eight-day odyssey across Japan to some of its best izakayas and sake breweries, now taking reservations for an October 31 arrival.

First off: sake samurais. Yes, that’s an actual title, handed out by the Japan Sake Brewer’s Association. And it sure sounds cool.

Below, their itinerary (and yours):

Day 1: Fly to Tokyo and kick things off at a secret izakaya for dinner and microbrewed sake.

Day 2-3: Take a bullet train to Niigata, where you’ll eat soba noodles and taste rare sake at the Hakkaisan Sake Brewery. In the morning, snowshoe in the countryside before taking the train to Ishikawa. Or just have some coffee.

Day 4: After a soak at the Yataya Shotoen hot springs, you’ll... yup, tour two more breweries.

Day 5-6: Get to Kyoto and tour the Tsukinokatsura brewery. Afterward, explore Japan’s ancient capital. Try to remember it.

Day 7: Head back to Tokyo for the Joy of Sake Festival with over 380 sakes.

Day 8: Go home. Swear off sake until next October.

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