Chikurin in Saveur

Photo by ©Marumoto Brewery

Photo by ©Marumoto Brewery

©Marumoto Brewery

©Marumoto Brewery

Please read this great article by Saveur visiting sake breweries. One of them is Chikurin in Okayama which we will visit on Jan. 28th as part of our Okayama Tour. How about visiting Niichiro Marumoto, the sixth-generation brewmaster at Chikurin Marumoto Sake Brewery with the sake expert, John Gauntner? You will learn everything about sake, about Chikurin, and you even get to plow the rice field! http://www.saveur.com/article/travels/sakes-second-act Sign up for our Okayama Tour (Jan. 27 -31)

Chikurin

IMG_4035 Take a look at this beautiful video of whole life cycle of sake from planting rice all the way to pressing. Chikurin is one of the most beautiful breweries I visited. Visit Chikurin in Okayama with us on January 28, 2014 with Sake Brewery Tours. The day is filled with activities even locals do not have access to. Try plowing the rice field at Chikurin, try sizzling oysters at a pop up oyster joint, then enjoy a private Shiki-Hocho knife ceremony at dinner. Visit our Okayama Tour Itinerary Page.

Shiki Hocho knife ceremony

Join our Okayama tour (Jan. 27 – 31, 2014). In addition to immersing yourself in sake tradition by meeting the brewers, rice growers, and even plowing the rice fields yourself, Okayama tour adds cultural experiences very rarely seen even by locals, let alone in a private setting. On the second night, you’ll witness Shiki Hocho knife ceremony at Ginza, a restaurant near Marumoto Brewery. The following is a description of Shiki-Hocho knife ceremony from Ginza Restaurant web site. http://www.ginza3235.jp/
The Shiki hocho is manners of using a kitchen knife at the Imperial Court that started in 859 by the Emperor Seiwa’s instruction. Later, the banquet was held at Court on auspicious occasions. Fish such as carps and sea breams were prepared only with the kitchen knife and chopsticks without touching them to make an auspicious shape which had been called Zuisho-kei. The Ikama family was given the surname by Minamoto-no-Yoritomo and served as the cooks of the Kamakura Shogunate. Thereafter, it had served the successive shogunates, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and military commanders. When Toyotomi Hideyoshi adopted Prince Hachijo who had been a younger brother of the Emperor Goyouzei in those days, the Ikama family was told to become servants of Imperial prince the Hideyoshi’s instruction. The family worked at Court since then. Furthermore, Prince Hachijo constructed the Katsura Detached Palace, which is existing in Kyoto now. In the Edo period (1604~1868), the Ikama family had worked as cooks at the KDP. At present, the29th family has run “Mankamero” in Kyoto that serves the Imperial Court-style cooking.
This video is a bit too long, but you’ll see how you will be a part of this ancient court ceremony.