The world of sake is widely unknown outside of Japan. In fact, what many outside of Japan know as “sake” is actually called nihonshu or washu in Japan. And did you know that there are people with qualifications like wine sommeliers but for washu? There’s even a couple of levels to these qualifications:
- kikizakeshi 唎酒師 are essentially highly knowledgeable washu bartenders – there’s roughly 30,000 such people around Japan;
- sakashu 酒匠 go the extra mile and take steps to go through a difficult qualification process – there’s roughly 300 of these people, only one of which is in Ishikawa Prefecture.
And guess what? You can chat with and learn directly from Ishikawa’s own sakashu at his bar in Yamanaka Onsen: Washu Bar Engawa! Relax in the cozy bar, enjoy various delicious sake, and take in the artistry of the whole experience.
Homepage (only on Facebook)
- The bar is quite small, so it’s recommended you make a reservation via the Facebook page – the owner speaks English, too!
- You can order from the menu or ask for recommendations.
Some small bites are available, but this is a bar, not a restaurant.