One of the best ways to experience a new culture is through their food and drink, and at the top of this list is Japan!
Japanese cuisine is famous all over the world, from fresh sushi, a delicious bowl of ramen, or a warm cup of sake. No matter your preference, there is definitely a Japanese dish perfect for you!
Finding ourselves all at home right now and going through some wanderlust, I came across a wonderful company called Tippsy Sake. Tippsy Sake can help you travel to Japan from the comfort of your own home by sending you bottles of high quality sake from renowned Japanese breweries straight to your doorstep!
I had the privilege of sampling some of Tippsy’s selection of sakes for myself and created an at home sake and sushi tasting night, perfect for a fun couple’s date night!
In this guide I share more about the history of sake and how you too can create your own at home Japanese experience!
Kyoto Sake Virtual Tour
If you have been missing travel as much as I have, you likely have been binging on Netflix documentaries and National Geographic travel shows. To get you in the mood for a sake adventure, I highly recommend the below video video made by Team Tippsy to take you on a “Kyoto sake virtual tour” from home.
After visiting Kyoto with one of our Travel Girls Getaways a few years ago I’ve been itching to go back, and their video shows what makes Kyoto such a special place (along with a special interview with “Miss Sake 2019” – I bet you won’t find that on National Geographic!).
The History Of Sake
A brief overview of the history of sake will help to understand what makes sake different from other types of drinks.
The production of sake began approximately 2,000 years ago and has been refined over that time. The first sake breweries started popping up in 14th century Japan, and various changes have been seen in the industry ever since.
Back in the day, sake was very difficult to make and was only reserved for special occasions like weddings and festivals. Lucky for us with the help of companies like Tippsy Sake, sake is becoming much more accessible today, and the best sakes still come from the historic breweries in Japan!
Creating An At Home Sake Tasting Experience
If you can’t visit Kyoto to enjoy the famous sake, why not bring the experience into your own home with Tippsy Sake?
The sake industry is old and traditional, with some traditions such as fine ingredients used and the craftmanship having not changed for over 1,000 years. But due to historic laws on distribution during the prohibition sake doesn’t always make it to consumers in the US.
Tippsy Sake’s goal is to make fine sake from historic breweries available to people in the US and to create a community of sake enthusiasts who want to experience the taste of Japan in the comfort of their own homes and pair fine sake with their meals.
Since we cannot travel right now I decided to make my own Japanese dining and sake tasting experience at home! The sake from Tippsy Sake arrived carefully packaged to make sure it reached the recipient in perfect condition.
The bottles and design were so beautiful that I did not even want to open them… But of course we did!
What I love about this service is that you can pick and choose from a variety of individual mini-bottles to make up a box of taster size sakes. This way you can try out a few different ones before you buy the full size bottles of your favourites!
I spent an afternoon creating my own sake tasting in my living room, complete with a platter from one of my favorite local sushi restaurants. My husband and I took turns trying each of the sakes and then decided which one was our favorite.
This was a perfect date night idea for us since both of us love travel. We put on a Japan travel documentary in the background and sat on the floor around our table to really get those Kyoto vibes!
If you have a special someone who loves sushi and sake, I can highly recommend ordering a sampler from Tippy Sake and pairing it with your favorite sushi restaurant for a fun at home evening. Best of all is you don’t have to worry about driving home after!
Top Things To Do In Kyoto
When travel opens up again I highly recommend that you put Kyoto at the top of your travel list. I was lucky enough to spend a full week there and it is heaven for both food and photography!
Visit The Kyoto Sake Breweries
Kyoto is home to several sake breweries, each with a long history and tradition of making sake.
In the Kyoto Sake virtual tour with Tippsy Sake mentioned above, you will get to meet one of the owners Masuda Tokobee Shoten whose Tsukino Katsura ‘Yanagi’ has recently been added to Tippsy Sake’s collection of sake’s that you can order online.
On your visit to Kyoto you can also check out Matsumoto Brewing Company, Fujioka Brewing Company and Higashiyama Brewing Company.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
A trip to Kyoto would not be complete without a visit to the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. But an early wake is required if you want to beat the crowds and experience the forest peacefully!
I woke up before sunrise to reach the bamboo grove early and capture beautiful photos as the sunlight began to stream through the bamboo.
Wander Through The Kimono Forest
The Kimono forest is an installation located just off the main street of Arashiyama behind the Randen Arashiyama Station.
The ‘forest’ is actually a series of plastic tubes containing beautiful silks from kimonos, hence the name. This is a quick stop and you will only need a short time to visit.
Stroll Around Gion
Gion is the famous geisha district of Kyoto where you can stroll through streets lined with traditional machiya merchant houses, experience a traditional tea house and spot geishas quickly passing by.
Visit Fushimi-Inari Shrine
The Fushimi-Inari shrine is one of the most famous and iconic shrines in Japan, recognisable by the thousands of orange torii gates. Fushimi Inari Shrine is a very important Shinto (indigenous faith of the Japanese people) Shrine that spans around 4 kilometers.
Leave yourself plenty of time to walk through the entire shrine which can take around 2+ hours.
Visit Kinkaku-Ji Temple
This golden temple is absolutely breathtaking a must-see during your visit to Kyoto. Get there early as people line up to enter when the temple first opens so that they can get a good view of the building covered in gold leaf reflecting over the water.
This article was sponsored by Tippsy Sake, as always all opinions expressed are our own. We loved the sake from Tippsy Sake and know that you will too!
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