Participated in the National Sake Tasting Championship Kyoto Qualifying Tournament. The result…


The other day, I participated in the Kyoto preliminary round of the National Tasting Sake Competition at the Fushimi Sake Brewers Association in Kyoto. I had not tasted sake since the SAKE DIPLOMA exam, so it was a fresh experience for me. There were about 40 contestants, 17 of whom were women.

Tasting sake is a matching of 5 different types of sake

The sake tasting is a matching of five different types of sake. There are five different types of sake on the top tier and five different types of sake on the bottom tier. They are arranged in a different order, so the top and bottom sakes are arranged so that they are the same type based on appearance, aroma, and taste.

Personally, I am better at judging tasting by aroma than by tongue, so I tried to identify the type of sake by appearance and aroma alone, and only when in doubt, I sipped the sake and tried to identify it by acidity and sharpness. I am not sure if my answers were correct in the end, but I was able to answer the questions surprisingly easily.

After the sake tasting, we will have a social event.

Each person may taste sake at any time they wish, and those who have finished may leave the room first. Then we moved to the parking lot of the building next door (Fushimi Sake Brewers Association). There, 16 kinds of Sake Breweries in Fushimi were lined up, and the brewers from each brewery were there. We enjoyed sipping sake and talking with the brewers. We drank almost as much as we could and drank quite a bit.

The results of the sake tasting were announced in the middle of the social event. The top three winners will receive prizes, and the top two winners will go to the national competition to be held in Tokyo at the end of October. This time, there were 17 first-place winners. This means that there were 17 people with perfect scores. In this case, preference is given to those who are younger in age. As a result, the first place went to a female student attending Kyoto University, and the second and third places also went to men in their early 20s.

The older you get, the worse it gets, but let’s face it, the social gathering is more important than sake tasting, so let’s call it good. The participants included some familiar faces, and even the mayor of Kyoto joined in the middle of the party, making for a very diverse and lively gathering.

I will participate again next year if the opportunity arises.

This event is open to non-Japanese as well. The conditions for participation are as follows

1. You must live in Kyoto Prefecture.
2. You must work in Kyoto Prefecture.
3. You must be a student at a university in Kyoto Prefecture.

International students over 20 years old are also eligible to participate.