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No, Mountain Men do not make sake. (At least none that I know of.) In this case “Mountain Man” refers to Otokoyama Sake, which literally translates to “Man’s Mountain”.

For many people in Hawaii, Otokoyama was their first taste of premium sake. Otokoyama Tokubetsu Junmai is a staple at many Japanese restaurants and is known for it’s clean dry flavor. Otokoyama hails from the snowy Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido located at the Northern most part of Japan.

So while many of us have tried Otokoyama’s Tokubetsu Junmai, and a few of us have even been lucky enough to sample their super premium Junmai Daiginjo, not everyone is aware that Otokoyama also makes a ton of other different sake. There is a Spring seasonal sake, an old school Kimoto style sake, a tasty Nama chozo in a can, and the list goes on and on. Knowing this, we felt it was our duty to help spread the word.

So please join us this Saturday (07/11) as we sample SEVEN different sake from Otokoyama Sake Brewery. It is also our pleasure to welcome to the shop, Mr. Goro Yamazaki. Mr. Yamazaki’s family owns Otokoyama Sake Brewery, and he’ll be here this Saturday to pour his sake and answer all of your questions.

Saturday, July 11, 2015
5:00pm to 8:00pm 


Otokoyama Daiginjo

Junmai Daiginjo

This sake alone should be all the reason you need to attend this Saturday’s Sake Tasting. One of our all time favorites and rarely available for sample, this high end super premium sake is one of the best out there! Flavorful type. Purely elegant and harmonious aroma with a long finish. Perfectly balanced velvety smooth texture. Very refreshing, subtle with delicate flavors.


Otokoyama Utamaro

Tokubetsu Junmai

Named after the famous Ukiyoe artist, Kitagawa Utamaro, who enjoyed Otokoyama so much he incorporated it into his artwork. Light, smooth and rich type. Medium dry sake with fruity aromas of banana, apple and grain. Round and deep taste with clean acidity.

Otokoyama Momenya
Tokubetsu Junmai 

Light, smooth and rich type. Fruity aroma of green apple and lime. Complex savory flavor with dry crisp acidity. I read somewhere but need to confirm that Momenya was the original name of Otokoyama brewery when it was founded.

Otokoyama Kimoto


Brewed using the “old school” Kimoto method, this richly flavored sake has a round aroma of rice with a hint of fruit. Full bodied dry sake with a deep taste. The cool shaped extra large 900 ml bottle doesn’t hurt as well. Serve chilled or warm.

Otokoyama Yukishibare

“Seasonal Unpasteurized”

Unpasteurized (Nama) seasonal sake that is only released in Spring. Milder than other Namazake but still fresh and green in flavor. Brewed with new rice harvested from the previous Autumn. Dry sake that is misty (lightly cloudy) with the fresh and fruity aroma of pear, apple and grapes. Expansive savory flavor with plenty of fruits. Call us crazy but this sake actually pairs very well with PIZZA!

Otokoyama Tokubetsu Junmai

Tokubetsu Junmai

A local favorite that many of us “cut our teeth” on in Hawaii. Light and smooth yet rich with quiet grain like aromas and a hint of a fruity nose. Refreshing lightness with a vivid acidity that finishes dry.

Otokoyama Namacho

Tokubetsu Namacho

Light and smooth, this tasty 180ml can of single pasteurized sake begins with fruity aromas of apples, banana and a hint of caramel. Very refreshing, it finishes strong with a savory and nutty ending.

So please join us this Saturday for our “Mountain Man” Otokoyama Sake Tasting. Meet Mr. Yamazaki and try some of his really good sake. See you then!


Malcolm & Nadine Leong
The Sake Shop

Saturday, July 11, 2015
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Otokoyama Sake Brewery
Otokoyama Sake Brewery

Otokoyama sake has been around (in some shape or form) for over 340 years. Located in Asahikawa city in Hokkaido prefecture, this internationally known sake is a favorite both here in Hawaii and abroad.

Said to have been the favorite of the Tokugawa family during their rule, Otokoyama uses natural spring water from Mount Taisetsu. This water is known as “The Water of Long Life” and drinking it is supposed to bring good health and longevity to you.
Otokoyama Workers

Otokoyama Brewery Workers
Not many breweries have their own museums, and even fewer still have facilities as large or as extensive as the one at Otokoyama. Their spacious complex offers plenty to occupy the senses, including a front seat view of the sake making process, a sake museum, a beautiful flower filled garden and a sake tasting room and gift shop.
The sake museum is very comprehensive, covering all facets of Otokoyama’s rich brewing heritage. Here you will find ancient sake related literature and art.

The museum also features the tools utilized in making sake over the years including old style bottles, ceramics, discontinued standard containers, medals and trophies.
Utamaro Ukiyoe
Wood Block Print by Kitagawa Utamaro
The beautiful and elegant art of Japanese woodblock printing is called “Ukiyoe”, and one of the most famous wood block print artists of Japan was Kitagawa Utamaro.

Born in 1753, Utamaro was known for his prints of a variety of different subject matter but is especially known for his printings of beautiful women called “bijinga”.


Utamaro Ukiyoe
Wood Block Print by Kitagawa Utamaro
In several of his pieces (including the ones above) he included sake barrels bearing the Otokoyama name. It is said that he did this because he enjoyed Otokoyama sake so much.

During his lifetime Utamaro created over 2,000 prints along with a number of paintings and books. He died in 1806 at the age of 53 and was succeeded by his pupil, Koikawa Shuncho.


Melissa and Laurie
Melissa and Laurie
Two friends of ours visited Hokkaido in 2012 and made a planned stop at Otokoyama Sake Brewery. Melissa Chang, writer and social media goddess along with Laurie Oue, friend, foodie and sake lover.

We were able to set them up with a personal tour of Otokoyama Sake Brewery which was conducted by the President himself, Mr. Yokichi Yamazaki.

Our two friends learned quite a bit about sake and had a wonderful time. Melissa currently writes a food blog for Frolic Hawaii (formerly Nonstop Honolulu) and ended up posting a terrific story about their experience including a short video and a bunch of pictures.

Click here to see a video of Melissa and Laurie at Otokoyama Sake Brewery.


Joy of Sake 2015
Tickets for the 2015 Joy of Sake event are already on sale at the Sake Shop. As we do every year, we are selling our tickets at a discounted price as a courtesy to all of our customers! Be sure to pick some up at the our sake tasting this Saturday, or whenever you have time. Special “Early Access” tickets are also available for purchase at the shop.


The Sake Shop
1461 S. King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
Ph (808) 947-7253
Fax (808) 947-7254
Twitter @sakeshop
Facebook The Sake Shop
Map: maps.google.com/maps

Metered parking available on King Street, Kaheka Street & Liona Street.  Pay lot located behind our building. $2 for 1/2 hour Monday – Friday until 6pm and Saturdays until 2pm.  All other hours $2 for 5 hours (paybox).  Enter from Liona Street.  Unfortunately we are unable to  validate parking.

Hours of Operation  
10am to 8pm Mon – Sat
10am to 5pm Sun