Archive for December, 2007

Happy New Year! January Sake Tastings

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Kick off the New Year with some new sake explorations at SAKAYA. Our lineup of tastings for January features visits and expertise from the creators of Shichiken, Nanbu Bijin, and Dassai as well as a diverse array of premium sake from Vine Connections and World Sake Imports, two premier American importers…All except Nanbu Bijin (4PM) begin at 6PM and continue until 8PM.

Shichiken: 6pm~8pm, Friday, January 4

Tsushima Kitahara, the 13th generation of the Shichiken brewing family returns to
make his farewell appearance before heading back to his role at their Yamanashi-ken kura. If you missed his last visit, you’ll want to be here for this eye-opening introduction to the pleasures of drinking his Junmai Ginjo sake at several different temperatures.

Nanbu Bijin: 4pm~6pm, Saturday, January 12

Kosuke Kuji, the 5th generation of the family which owns and operates this Iwate-ken brewery, will offer samples of his “Southern Beauty” Junmai Ginjo and Tokubetsu Junmai sake accompanied by a healthy helping of his cheerfully delivered insights into how their unique attributes are achieved.

Vine Connections: 6pm~8pm, Friday, January 18

Sake Sommelier Paul Tanguay of Vine Connections will familiarize visitors with selections from their carefully chosen portfolio of ginjo sake.

World Sake Imports: 6pm~8pm, Thursday, January 24

Enjoy an assortment of high quality sake from the portfolio of the pioneering importer responsible for creating the Joy of Sake events in Honolulu, San Francisco, and New York.

Dassai: 6pm~8pm, Thursday, January 31 & 6pm~8pm, Friday, February 1

Kazuhiro Sakurai, 4th generation of the family that owns the Dassai brewery in Yamaguchi-ken will offer samples and discuss the fine points of their Dassai 50 Junmai Ginjo and Dassai 23 Junmai Daiginjo.

We look forward to seeing you soon at SAKAYA.

Kanpai to a Happy (Sake) New Year!

Rick & Hiroko

324 E.9th Street (just east of 2nd Avenue)
New York NY 10003
212.505.7253 (SAKE)


Friday, December 28th, 2007

with daimon san 12/11/07

During our first week, we were honored to have Daimon-san from Daimon Brewery, producer of Mukune Junmai Ginjo and Tozai Honjozo and Nigori, come to visit us… along with an NHK Osaka camera crew! Within four days of having opened, we were welcoming one of western Japan’s most esteemed brewers. His visit was the focus of an NHK-TV (Japanese Government owned television network) documentary on the growing interest in sake in the U.S. It was particularly ironic for Daimon-san to be our first visitor from a sake brewery as it was his brewery that we first visited on our initial trip to Japan two years ago! It seemed perfectly natural that things had come full circle.

Daimon san with a camera crew

rick being intervewed

December Tastings

Friday, December 14th, 2007

To kick off our schedule of tastings, we have arranged two very different sake experiences for the Holiday Season…

Sake Shichiken (Friday, 12/21, 6PM)…Learn all about and experience the pleasures of drinking this brewery’s Junmai Ginjo at different temperatures (chilled, room temperature, and warmed) from Tsushima Kitahara, the 13th generation of the founding family of this small Yamanashi-ken kura.

Joto Sake (Thursday, 12/27, 6PM)…Sample a variety of contrasting brews from the portfolio of this importer which specializes in small production, artisanal sake (“jizake“) from throughout Japan.

And, please remember that we offer samples of a number of our sake for you to taste every day. So don’t be shy, please ask us about what’s available!



324 E.9th Street

NYC 10003


Finding SAKAYA…don’t give up the search!

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Our address is 324 E. 9th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues) in NYC’s East Village. However, in the finest, slightly confusing East Village tradition, we share that address with two neighboring shops (a boutique and a vintage clothing store) as well as the apartment building under which we are all located on the street level. As we don’t have our sign hanging over the sidewalk yet, just look for the sugidama, a green sphere suspended under a small roof, hanging in the window. When you see it, you’ll know that you’ve found SAKAYA!

Of course, you can always call us too at 212.505.SAKE (7253) for directions.


SAKAYA’s Birthday

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

sakaya interior sugidama 12/8/07

We finally opened the shop on Saturday. It was both an exhiliarating and suspenseful day.  Tremendously excited, we awoke early and practically flew to the East Village to complete our final preparations before flipping the “Open” sign on the door at noon.  Who would come visit us?  What kind of reception would SAKAYA receive on its first day?  As retail greenhorns, we were entering uncharted waters….

Fortunately, with the amazing enthusiasm, support, patience, and generosity of an eager-to-learn-about-sake crowd of friends, neighbors, passersby, and well wishers, we enjoyed a memorable opening day.  However, it was not without its excitement.  Yes, we had a mini-crisis.  When attempting to complete our first charge transaction, we found that the DSL line, to which our credit card processing terminal was connected had gone down and was therefore inoperable. How could this be?  The waiting customers were gracious and patient with us as we struggled with the situation. Thanks to the quick thinking and technological wizardry of Hiroko and our friend and shop team memeberTimothy, an alternate phone link was improvised and our credit acceptance ability was restored.   Whew!

The opening day jitters and technology issues did little to dampen the excitement and fun of our first day.  We couldn’t be more grateful for the turnout of friends both old and new and the warm welcome that SAKAYA received on its birthday.   It was a day that we’ll never forget.

Please visit us.  We look forward to welcoming you!


SAKAYA is open!

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

Sakaya Store 1 12/6/07

Sakaya Store 2 12/6/07

It has been nearly two years since our dream for SAKAYA was born. Today that dream becomes reality! We thank everyone who has helped us to find our path and to stay on it.

Please come visit us to say hello and to explore and sample some of our 85+ sake.  You’ll find everything from a smooth Honjozo masquerading as a humble Futsu-shu to an earthy, “mushroomy” Yamahai to an elegant, delicately floral Daiginjo.

Coming soon…


Grub Street Gratitude

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

We thank the ever vigilant Grub Street for their latest post and for their patient, persistent coverage of the extended birth of our shop. And, by offering a bit more information about our sake, along with some tasting, we promise to make it easier to remember your favorites, both new and old!


Read about Sakaya on Grub Street