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We were invited to a friend's birthday party yesterday and got to try different "日本酒" (nihonshu), Japanese sake, from different regions of Japan. One of them was a big bottle of sake with tiny gold flakes inside. Sounds expensive, doesn't it? The taste was quite mild but I couldn't really tell if there is any gold flavor. I guess it is more like for visual appeal than adding flavor to the sake itself. The other bottles were from "島根" (shimane) and "徳島" (tokushima) regions which had much stronger taste than the gold-flakes one. I like them all though.

Of course, the classic Japanese plum wine was also available - "梅酒" (umeshu). It is quite sweet if taken straight but adding a lot of ice or water makes it a very refreshing drink and is no doubt one of my favorite Japanese drinks. Incidentally, Kristen made a step-by-step video of preparing home-made umeshu. Great! I am sure I will try it at home myself one day too!

There is a tradition of pouring alcohol for the other person called "お酌" (oshaku). This little ritual shows respect and affection for the receiver of the drink and happens everywhere in Japan especially in business situations. So we were doing "お酌" (oshaku) with each other during the party and I felt pampered for being served and at the same time it was an honor for me to serve my friends too!


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