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January 16, 2017

Hasegawa Saketen: For Goodness Sake

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Tokyo -- Sake is a very deeply ingrained part of Japanese culture and its function is everything from ceremonial to social. It might be surprising then to know that there are remarkably few establishments in Tokyo dedicated to simple sake tasting. Read more
Tokyo -- Sake is a very deeply ingrained part of Japanese culture and its function is everything from ceremonial to social. It might be surprising then to know that there are remarkably few establishments in Tokyo dedicated to simple sake tasting. This is perhaps because the roots of public sake drinking stretch back to the 1800s, when sake was bought directly from a seller and often consumed on the premises with bits of food.

Back then, people stood next to sake kegs and enjoyed the brew, eventually turning crates and barrels on their sides and sitting to enjoy their drinks. Food was soon added and the izakaya was born (a sakaya is a place to purchase sake, and the “i-“ prefix means “to stay.”). Read more