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Classified in: Tourism and vacations, Environment
Subjects: PDT, ENI

Toast to Recovery: Japan House London hosts Sake Masterclass to Raise Awareness for Earthquake-affected Noto Peninsula


LONDON, May 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- On Wednesday 22 May, Japan House London hosts a sake masterclass with Master of Wine Kenichi Ohashi, focussing on the brewing traditions of the Noto Peninsula. The event raises awareness for the area, badly affected by a major earthquake earlier this year.

On 1 January 2024, when many Japanese families were celebrating New Year's Day, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula located in Ishikawa Prefecture in central Japan. The earthquake, followed by landslides, fires and a tsunami warning, took the lives of 245 people and left 1191 injured. It also caused widespread destruction to housing and infrastructure including in the towns of Wajima and Noto, famous for their lacquerware and sake-making traditions. This had a devastating effect on many local businesses, such as renowned lacquer studios and sake breweries. The road to recovery will likely be long.

This event, jointly organized by Japan House London, International Wine Challenge and Sake Samurai Association, brings together some of the best sake experts in the world and offers visitors the opportunity to taste six brands of sake from Ishikawa Prefecture, carefully selected by Kenichi Ohashi MW for this occasion. 

The event starts with a short introduction about the impact of the Noto Peninsula Earthquake on the local sake industry by the Chairman of Sake Samurai Association, followed by a masterclass on Noto sake by wine and sake expert Kenichi Ohashi MW. After the IWC judges and co-chairmen Simon Hofstra and Beau Timken have given the audience a closer look at the six brands of sake featured in the tasting, all four speakers sit together to take questions from the audience. The guided sake tasting will follow the talk event.

Bookings open on 8 May at 12:00.

Notes to Editors

Japan House London
Japan House London is a cultural destination offering guests the opportunity to experience the best and latest from Japan. Located on London's Kensington High Street, the experience is an authentic encounter with Japan, engaging and surprising even the most knowledgeable guests. Presenting the very best of Japanese art, design, gastronomy, innovation, and technology, it deepens the visitor's appreciation of all that Japan has to offer. This year, Japan House London marks five years of bringing the best of Japan to the UK and beyond. Part of a global initiative, there are two other Japan Houses, one in Los Angeles and the other in São Paulo.

Sake Samurai Association
The Sake Samurai Association was established in 2005 as a junior council for the Japan Sake Brewers Association to protect sake and brewing traditions in Japan and to promote them internationally. It has greatly contributed to the increased popularity of sake and Japanese cuisine overseas. Since 2006, the Association has been awarding the 'Sake Samurai' title to individuals for their outstanding contribution to the understanding, appreciation or promotion of sake. 

Kenichi Ohashi (Ken) MW   
Kenichi Ohashi (Ken) MW is the only person in the world to hold both prestigious titles of Master of Sake and Master of Wine. He is a leading Japanese wine and sake distributor in Tokyo with many industry accolades. Awarded Best Wine Merchant 1999 by Japan Sommelier Association he is recognized for his extensive knowledge of the subject both in Japan and internationally. He is the author of Natural Wine and an online columnist of Japan's top wine publication Wine Report. He holds a Diploma from Wine & Spirit Education Trust in London. Ohashi has also been awarded many prestigious awards, including Personality of the Year 2016 by the IWC. He has also been certified as a Master of Sake (SSI) and Sake Expert Assessor (NRIB).  

Beau Timken
Author (Sake ? A Modern Guide), certified kikisakeshi (sake sommelier), educator, and Co-Chairman of the IWC, Beau Timken is considered a pioneer in the field of international sake promotion. He opened the first dedicated sake store outside Japan in 2002 in San Francisco. He was selected as the first Sake Samurai by the Japanese Sake Brewer's Association. He also founded the largest and longest standing sake tasting event known as SAKE DAY (Nihonshu No Hi) which is celebrating its 19th anniversary this year. Timken issues a monthly newsletter (www.truesake.com) with 56,000 subscribers which he has been writing consecutively for the past 19 years. 

Simon Hofstra 
Simon Hofstra is the owner of Taste of Sake, a company specializing in the consulting, importing, distribution and education of sake. He was one of the first non-Japanese sake enthusiasts in Europe who started to popularize and distribute Japanese sake.  Hofstra was awarded the prestigious Sake Samurai title in 2009 and won the Sake Contribution Award in 2008. He is a Co-Chairman of the IWC and an educator for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Award in Sake.

International Wine Challenge
The International Wine Challenge (IWC) is the world's most rigorously judged wine competition, hosting its annual awards in London. IWC sake judging was introduced as a key component in 2007 and has since grown to become the biggest sake competition outside Japan.

Photo - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2403816/Toast_to_Recovery.jpg


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