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What we get up to in Japan

Ever wondered what we get up to in Japan? We didn’t think anyone would be interested but one of our marketing friends said we should write a blog together with pictures to show people behind the scenes footage. So if you enjoy reading about chef Tetsuya visiting the 100% closed cycle sustainable tuna farms on the Goto islands, or Brett visiting Japanese sake breweries then read on.

Head chef Tetsuya Sakamoto

Head chef Tetsuya Sakamoto

Goto Islands

One of the most interesting places we visited was the Goto islands. We’re interested to import Kindai tuna into Australia as soon as Border Force relaxes its fish import rules. Currently each fish imported has to wait for inspection and this also costs $1,500 per fish. Needless to say we don’t trust anyone with raw fish and $1,500 per fish is silly (did we say it has to have its head removed too). But when the laws change we will be ready. The tuna sashimi has to be tasted to be believed. The karaoke takes getting used to and partying on drinking sake and shochu, well, someone’s got to do it.

Yamaguchi Beer

One of our favourite places to visit is Yamaguchi Shiritaki Kogen Beer in Yamaguchi prefecture. The owners are so generous and it is great to see the passion that they devote to their task of making what they aim to be the best Japanese craft beer in Japan. They get their water from the base of a waterfall outside their property. The team is small headed by their old salt of a toji (head brewer) and an enthusiastic young team. We love eating at the shacho’s table with hsi family especially his rather eccentric mother. But that’s another story. They like to take us out in the town after to one of the best whisky bars we’ve seen in Japan headed by a tiny Japanese girl who is very experienced and incredibly knowledgable in the art of whisky (she used to work at Suntory).

Imada Shuzo / Hiroshima

Miho Imada is one of sake’s leading figures today. Being one of a few female ‘toji’ (head sake brewer) she is enormously passionate about making sake that is in particular in tune with her home town. Where she comes from produces some of the best ‘kaki’ (oysters) in Japan and she has made her sakes particular suited to oysters and other seafood of the region.

When we caught up with Miho san it was a public holiday so we didn’t see anyone working at the brewery but she did give us a tour and she drove us around the bay and showed us the oyster fields. We are delighted to have her sakes at Tsunami. She was a very gracious host.

That’s part 1 finished. Stay tuned to hear more about our trips. (Unless you don’t want to in which case please write in and we’ll stop. :-) ).

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