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Column 2023.06.22

Youth and Sake Niigata University <Yukimi Sake> Edition

Two university sake circles in the prefecture

How do young people in Niigata enjoy sake?

This time, we will cover the activities of Niigata University's sake circle <Yukimi Sake> and introduce how the young generation can enjoy and feel it.

There are mainly two sake clubs currently active at universities in the prefecture.

Founding Promise40Nagaoka University of Technology's <Shugaku> and Niigata University's sake circle <Yukimi Sake>.

The activity of <Shugaku> is “From NiigataR"2017Covered in the spring issue.

Professor Junichi Ito, an advisor, highly praised the club, saying, "The circle is very serious about how to drink sake. It has even received the president's commendation."

We asked Masago Hiroike (from Miyazaki Prefecture), the representative of the group, about their current activities.

"Members106given name. With the motto “learn and enjoy sake”, we held a regular meeting once a month before Corona, and enjoyed learning about the taste and manufacturing method of sake based on the concept of each time.Other major activities included inviting sake breweries to the campus for a spot sale called “Shujin,” and serving sake at university cultural festivals.During the corona crisis, we held online drinking parties and study sessions, but now regular meetings are back. We offer rice planting experiences in the rice fields owned by Yoshinogawa Co., Ltd. (Nagaoka City).”

In addition, they are planning to sell alcohol from this year's school festival, and next year, they plan to revive "Shujin" for the campus.

Mr. Hiroike, who was born in Miyazaki Prefecture, feels that the greatest attraction of Niigata sake is, "After all, you can find delicious sake wherever you go in the prefecture."

Let's touch on the activities of <Shugaku> at this autumn's school festival.

Sake Circle with International Students Participating

<Yukimi Sake> of Niigata University, which is active as another university sake circle.

Until then, there was an unofficial circle, but he said, ``It's not just a drinking circle, but a circle where you can review sake after tasting it and acquire knowledge about sake, so that young people can enjoy sake casually. I want to create an opportunity," the volunteer's thought took shape, and the activity started in 2011.

Since 2015, Professor Hideo Watanabe of the same university, who is also a master of Niigata refined sake gold, has become an advisor and has been conducting regular activities.


Currently, the number of members participating in the group line, including graduates, is about185Man.Active students are about40given name.International students from the Netherlands and South Korea are among the members4There is also a name.

There was a period of time when I couldn't do real activities due to the corona sickness,2023Years2In the middle of the month, I asked for an interview about doing real activities for the first time in a while.

At the venue of the Ponshukan Niigata store, a meeting was held with the theme of 〈marriage of dashi and sake〉.

Put each of the three types of dashi in a cup and check the compatibility with the three types of local sake.

The Niigata sake prepared for the day was “Junmai Daiginjo Imayotsukasa Zodiac Label 2023” (Imayo Tsukasa Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. / Niigata City), “Himenoi Honjozo” (Ishizuka Shuzo Co., Ltd. / Kashiwazaki City), “Yaichi Tokubetsu junmai” (Takahashi Brewery Co., Ltd./Nagaoka City).


Write down what you felt about each compatibility in a memo pad or the like.Even though he was serious, he seemed to enjoy making new discoveries.

The state of this meeting is "From NiigataR"2023I introduced it on the door of the spring "Introductory Sake".

Participate in regular monthly tastings

regular month1I heard that the tasting session was revived, so I decided to participate.

The venue is the assembly room of the Rokka Dormitory on the Ikarashi Campus of Niigata University.The theme this time is "Miyagi sake".A member from Miyagi planned this event with the desire to learn more about local sake in his hometown.

Of this time5The types are “Abe Kan Junmai Ginjo Summer Sake Goldfish Label” (Abe Kan Shuzo), “Shoun Kinryu Junmai Ginjo” (Ichinokura), “Junmai Ginjo Hakurakuboshi” (Nizawa Brewery), “Junmai Ginjo Sasara” Atago no Matsu” (Nizawa Brewery), and “Junmai Namashu Urakasumi” (Saura).

The sake evaluation sheet was shared with the members in advance,5Transparency, aroma, sweet and spicy, sour, umami, shade, aftertaste, and taste of each type of sake5Evaluate step by step.

It is interesting that free comments are mandatory items, such as "The content of the scent looks like XX", "Would you like to drink it even if you buy it again?"

On the day of the event, each person brings their own snacks, and the secretary decides5There is an explanation of the type of sake,1Tasting each kind.

When the secretary's explanation is over, we pour each other and taste.

After confirming the scent, taste, and aftertaste with a serious expression and filling in the evaluation sheet, we freely express what we felt.


After that, Mr. Watanabe1Explained book by book.

"Who thought it was sweet?" "Who thought it was sour?"

The serious expressions of the students convey their desire to gain knowledge about sake and to confirm their own feelings.


Circle leader Nina Miyamoto is from Tokyo.Her parents were sake lovers, so she said she had a good image of sake.

Just when I felt that it would be hard to meet people who like sake if I wasn't aware of it, I joined Yukimishu at the invitation of a senior member of the club.

"It's fun to be able to share values, encounter expressions that you wouldn't have thought of, and gain new knowledge unique to sake," he says cheerfully. "The more you drink, the more you like it"


The charm of sake in Niigata Prefecture is, "Since the prefecture is long, you can enjoy sake with different flavors depending on the region. Recently, even rare sake that is popular nationwide can be obtained at nearby sake stores. Right," said Miyamoto.

Furthermore, ``Kryakuchi tends to be avoided by young people, so many people start with sweet sake as an introductory drink, but there seems to be a pattern in which they realize the goodness of dryness as they drink it.'' deep comment.

“The charm of Niigata is that it has both sweet and dry flavors.”I see.

"Sweet sake is good to drink on its own, but if you pair it with food, it's dry with a beautiful aftertaste," commented some people in the sake industry.

After the 5 types of explanations are over, you can freely talk about sake while eating the snacks you brought.

International students from Korea and Holland enjoyed drinking sake and chatting.

“In Korea, the price of sake is6It's about twice as much, so it's hard to drink casually." "In the Netherlands, beer and wine are the mainstream, but compared to them, sake has a wider range of flavors and can be enjoyed at various temperatures, so it has depth," he said about sake. gave me

Sake is no longer <world sake>!


At the end, warm each sake and compare the taste.

I changed the sake cups, such as copper, tin, glass, and wood, and tested the difference in taste due to the difference in materials.

Surprised by the change in taste, express it in your own words and talk with each other.

It is very fresh to see Japanese sake, which is a luxury item, being tasted with a spirit of inquiry.


When I participated in the meeting, I thought that it was unique to young people that various hot topics popped up in the conversation.

Suddenly, "Taxi drivers..."2005It was a brand released in the year.

Sites specializing in Japanese sakeSocial MediaWith information sources such as this, he is keeping an eye on sake, which is a hot topic both inside and outside the prefecture. One student said, "We also get a lot of information from local sake stores."One of the charms of sake in Niigata is that the distance between young people and sake stores is close.


We asked Mr. Miyamoto what he would like to do in the future as the circle leader.

"I'd like to go to a sake brewery tour, which is not possible due to the corona crisis, and experience Shikomi at a nearby sake brewery," he said with a twinkle in his eye.


Professor Watanabe, who supports the club as an adviser, said, "I think the most attractive point of this circle is that the members, regardless of gender, who want to enjoy sake and drink it deliciously gather together. There are many students who are interested in food culture as a whole, and I feel that it is a valuable experience for the younger generation."

“By drinking sake from my school days and being exposed to its deliciousness and stories, I want him to become a person who can convey the appeal of sake to many people after graduation.I myself believe that sake has the power to connect people. I feel that way, so I hope that through sake, I can meet a lot of people from my university days and expand the circle of activities that go beyond the campus.”


only1Although I had only attended one of the tasting sessions, I was overwhelmed and excited by their thirst for knowledge and their ability to turn that into fun.At the root of this is the desire to learn about and enjoy sake, since they came all the way to Niigata.

From now on, the idea of ​​being a university sake circle that disseminates the world's only academic study "Sakeology" should also be added.

We learn a lot from young people.

I want to try "Taxi Driver" first. 


Shooting (Ponshukan) / Studio Activist


"CushuNotebook''From NiigataR"Editor-in-chief

"Honma Bunko Niigata Food Library"operation

                        Neil Co., Ltd. Mariko Takahashi