When talking about what is quintessential Japanese culture, it’s hard to imagine sake not entering the conversation from the very start. While Yokohama may not be a brewing hotspot, we are fortunate to have one of the premier sake distributor/retailers in the country right at our doorstep— Yokohama Kimijimaya.
Yokohama native and 4th generation CEO of the company, Kimijima Satoshi, is a well-known figure in the sake world and around town. His business distributes to some of the most prestigious hotels, restaurants and bars in the country. As Executive Vice President of the Japan Sommelier Association, he also takes an active role in educating others about the drink he loves.
Kimijimaya started back in 1892. After WW2 it was simply a ‘stand bar’ serving alcohol from the big makers. About 30 years ago, the company slowly began to move toward quality sake as their main business. Focusing on smaller brands while forging close relationships with the breweries, the company has become a highly trusted name in the industry.
Due to this level of trust, Kimijimaya has many special sake that breweries only give to the select few distributors that will take proper care of it. If you are looking for a bottle for a special occasion or simply to try something new, stop by their store in Minami-yoshidamachi to peruse their shelves. They also have an impressive wine collection, as well as shochu.
If Kimijima’s schedule isn’t busy enough, in his free time he moonlights as the lead singer and guitarist for the band Mystic Waters. They will be one of the bands performing at the Yokohama Sake Rock Fest at Baysis near Kannai Station on October 23rd (17:30 start). Enticed? We sure are!