Hakkaisan sake (Nihonshu)
Hakkaisan sake or Nihonshu, rice wine fermented in Japan, made in Niigata prefecture, famous for the production of high quality, tasty rice. Aspergillus oryzae is used for the rice fermentation. The place producing good rice is producing good sake as well. The alcohol content of sake is 15% to 20%. Sake is traditionally drunk from the small cup called choko and poured into the choko from ceramic flasks. Nihonshu is served hot or cold.
Also shown is another traditional cup, the masu, a box usually made of fragrant hinoki (cypress) or sugi (cedar) wood. Hinoki trees are only found in Japan and Taiwan. On the left is a large sake container made of wood, covered in straw and called a taru or sakadaru.