“One of the most historical and popular ways to “dispense” sake in Japan was invented by a company called Ozeki, which made the very famous Ozeki One Cup. This sake, which was coin-machine dispensed, was made of regular or “Futsushu” sake – meaning it wasn’t exactly premium. But today many small breweries put some of their best sakes in One Cups to get people to taste their better products at a better price point.”
Established in Hokkaido in 1661, Otokoyama sake has been cherished by many historical figures in Japan since the Edo era (1603-1867). The brewery was so well known that famous ukiyo-e (woodblock prints) artist Kitagawa Utamaro, who loved women and alcohol, created artwork depicting their sake. His work is on display at the Otokoyama Sake Brewery Museum, which features the history of the brewery and the steps of sake production. Otokoyama has won gold medals in many competitions. The water used for their sake comes from the perpetual snows of Mt. Daisetsuzan – Hokkaido, at the northernmost tip of Japan, is known for its severe, cold climate.
The Kimoto method can be regarded as the most traditional and natural sake brewing method. Because it is physically demanding and labor intensive, only a very few of more than 1,000 sake breweries in Japan employ it.
Each cup (there are 4 designs) is decorated with a variety of flower that grows on the brewery’s site: rhododendron (tsutsusi), sunflower (himawari), lavender and trout lily (katakuri). A floral sake.