Wednesday, January 5, 2011


日九番: Day 9

About half our group was very excited by the prospect of going to two sake brewing companies in the morning. However, the process of it had already been explained to us by the owner of the hostel during the nights the sake tastings had been held and it was mostly to see the actual process.

At the first brewery, we were taken through the buildings tucked away in Akaoka City, shown the fermentation rooms and the giant vats in which the sake was processed and kept.

Small garden outside the first brewery.

The guide explaining the process of fermentation.

Where they add the Koji mold to the rice to help it start fermenting.

It smelled so heavily of sake in that room….

Another sake tasting. Why can’t we have an ocha or matcha tasting? Then I could participate…

Inside the giant green vats

Group photo outside the first brewery

The other side of the Pacific Ocean!

Mascots of all the train stops…

I had meant to inquire about how exactly rice was polished down, assuming there was a machine that handled it, but was still curious to find out. However, I missed the opportunity. Google research instead!

After visits to both breweries (which I cannot recall the names of at this point, frustrating since the second one was award winning) we had lunch and headed to the Ekin Museum.

Bags of sake rice.

Different rice types.

Signatures of the Prime Ministers of Japan that had paid visits to the second brewery.

Apparantly, at one point, the brewery was hit by a tornado… Afterwards, that year the sake was especially good and was named after the tornado. It ended up being the first award-winning sake they had produced, and they have won awards ever since then… A very violent blessing.

The symbol identifying the brewery.


The sign outside of the museum.

The ink paintings displayed in the museum were completed by Kinzo the painter, also known as Ekin, who was born in 1812. Many of his screen paintings were commissioned as backdrops to famous Kabuki plays and many of the images are grotesque or violent, but extremely beautiful with vibrant colors and extremely detailed scenery.

No photos inside the museum, but I took these images from a couple websites about the museum:

I genuinely enjoyed the artwork, especially the Kabuki panels.

After a quick stop at Book Off, my usual group headed back to the hostel while the others went to the mall (again). We instead settled down to watch the Korean horror movie “A Tale of Two Sisters” which included us tucking our legs underneath the blanket a couple of times and huddling close together, because we’re all grown adults that can handle horror movies (^_^)>

I am quite looking forward to tomorrow, our first meeting with the representatives of Kochi University. Hopefully, at least a couple of us will be able to leave a good impression.

And finally, I thought this sign inside the next door Family Mart was cute.

That last word means ice cream.

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