Takanome Sake is a high class Japanese sake (rice wine) maker that combines traditional with innovation to create a unique sake that is produced in small batches to ensure quality. Whether you are a connoisseur of Japanese sake already or a beginner, their sake is definitely worth trying. We had the opportunity to interview them and would like to introduce them today.
Would you be kind enough to briefly introduce yourself to our readers and why you decided to start out in the Sake business?
Takanome Sake – a high class Japanese sake brand based on the ideal of ‘pursuing only taste’ – was founded in 2019. Using artisan-made Japanese sake, we aim to be a luxury brand that can communicate the beauty of Japan’s culture and traditions across the world.
Our founder, Seiya Hirano, came to realise how much of a treasure Japan’s culture is to Japan whilst studying abroad in the USA (before starting business) and that communicating Japan’s unique charm to the rest of the world should be an important goal for Japan for the future.
Moreover, after returning to Japan from the USA, Hirano came to see an example of that unique beauty in Japanese sake and was thus inspired to start Takanome Sake.
Can you explain what sets ‘Takanome Sake’ apart from other sake?
‘Thinking outside of the box in order to get good taste’ is at the core of our philosophy.
Rather than focusing on the efficient production of Sake that is consumed on a large scale, we want the drinkers of our Sake to enjoy a high quality product that has been carefully crafted by experts.
In addition, with the mission of “contributing to the development of culture through sake,” the company actively collaborates with traditional craftspeople and artists.
What traditions do you build on with ‘Takanome Sake’?
By cooperating with the 200 year old Sake brewery ”Hatsumomiji”(Yamaguchi), we work on tradition. Moreover, we do not simply follow the latest trend in our design but use a traditional Japanese style.
Our designs are not excessive or elaborate but are simple and based on the idea of ‘Zen’. With our designs, we hope to convey a way of looking at the world that is rooted in Japan and its culture.
What innovations have you made with ‘Takanome Sake’?
Innovations can be seen in the taste of our Sake: upon taking a sip of our Sake, a soft, pineapple-like taste will fill your mouth and surprise you with an invigorating sourness. Combined with this, there are also tones of a pleasant, yet bitter, orange peel.
Its pineapple-like aroma and taste have earned it high praise from 5 star hotels.
I expect that producing such high quality sake consistently is a difficult task – how do you make sure that each batch is of sufficient quality?
Of course, we start by carefully selecting ingredients based on their quality, but we also treat our Sake as a piece of art made by craftsmen, therefore we treat the production process as such.
Because we do not specialize in the large-scale production of identical products, sometimes there are slight variations in each bottle of Sake that leads to new and surprising discoveries that we use to continue producing high quality, unique Sake. Only such quality sake is sold.
What food would you recommend to eat with Takanome sake?
We recommend a pairing of steak or roast beef with our Sake – served in a glass. Moreover, snack-sized bites of Octopus made with fruit vinegar and olive oil would make a great side for our Sake. Also, as our Sake is extremely well-balanced, we would recommend drinking it by itself first.
Lastly, do you have anything else you want to share with our readers?
First of all, we would like you to drink TAKANOME and experience its deliciousness with your “five senses.
Takanome Sake aims to elevate the power that Japanese Sake has, and adds high quality taste to it. Using that inspiration that comes from ideals, food and space as well as the culture, arts and community that we support; in doing so, give opportunities to those that live life to the fullest so that we can give them more opportunities to enjoy a fulfilling time in their own way.
We hope that we can make a future in which we can enjoy these cultural delights together.
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