Bizen ware exhibition and sake tasting in Melbourne QV

Quality_Okayama-logo       Project_logo_Red

Quarity Okayama Project, whose web site in English and the facebook page have just opened, presents a traditional industry of Okayama prefecture for overseas development.
As the part of the project, people concerned of Bizen ware and 5 local sake breweries are coming to Australia to introduce their Bizen Pottery and Sake to local people.

Two events are opening to the public.
Bizen ware exhibition (daytime) and sake tasting (night time) will be held at No Vacancy Gallery in Melbourne QV (Level 3, in front of Daiso).
Another is Okayama fair has already started in Beer x Sake x Sumibi Bar Wasshoi (event information will be on the facebook page).

Why don’t you visit there with your family or friends to enjoy the great “Okayama Quality” at this opportunity?


Okayama Culture is entwined with Omachi rice, water, soil, and fire.


Rice used for brewing Japanese sake is different from ordinary rice: The kernels are larger, retain a white core(Shin-paku) even after polishing, and have a high viscosity that melds well with the sake mash. Omachi rice, grown in Okayama Prefecture, is the representative variety of this type of rice and is said to be the basis of delicious sake. Some other excellent varieties include “Yamada Nishiki” and “Gohyakumangoku”; these are other strains of the Omachi variety and account for 2/3 of the rice currently used in sake production. Okayama Prefecture is blessed with natural conditions such as three clean, large rivers that flow from northern forested areas, and a temperate inland coastal climate; it also has some of the oldest history of rice production, dating back to 3,500 years. Additionally, Okayama Prefecture has a history of iron production dating to ancient times. Iron mining in mountainous areas caused iron and soil to be washed into estuaries, forming fertile fields. On the mountain slopes that remained after mining, “Sendmaida”, or “1,000-stepped rice fields” were made. Due to the use of iron tools, both field efficiency and rice production increased. In these ways the production of rice in Okayama increased explosively; “Okayama, land of Rice” became “Okayama, land of Sake”, and the area became a disseminating point for sake-making techniques.


Bizen Ware


It is put in a wood burning kiln unglazed but acquires a natural ash glaze and subdued shadings from the 10-15 days long firing. The finished product is simple and quiet with the feeling of the clay being presented very directly. This does not happen by chance. The process is painstaking. Clay taken from the rice paddies or mountain must be put through many processes over a long period of time climaxing with it being touched by flames as temperatures of around 1250°C / 2282°F are reached. That’s why Bizen ware is known as the art of Earth& Fire, and the beauty of Bizen ware is thought to be born from the union of nature and man.


Okayama Sake

Gozenshu Junmai Mimasaka

Manufacturer: Tsuji Honten  ( japanese website)

tsuji_logo     tsuji_sake

The fragrance of this sake rises up gently. Junmai is made to carefully extract the characteristic fragrance and umami flavor from the Omachi rice, while retaining a neat crispness and umami flavor. The storage of this sake has been properly managed; therefore, when chilled, it is easy to drink and refreshing. If slightly warmed, the flavors become rich and mellow. This is a sake that can be paired with both rich and light flavors, suits many dishes and moods, and is a good mealtime sake.


Futamo: Omachi Rice Tsurushi Bizenyaki Junmai

Manufacturer: Itano shuzo honten  (  japanease facebook page)

itano_logo     itano_sake

From the old days, ‘miso’ paste and vinegar made by placing a piece of Bizenyaki ware in the fermentation tanks has been reputed to be delicious; this sake is made by placing a piece of Bizenyaki ware in the tank of fermentation mash. The result is a semi-dry Junmai sake with exquisitely balanced acidic and umami flavors. This sake can be enjoyed at room temperature, chilled, or on the rocks. It pairs well with Japanese dishes such as sushi and other seafood dishes, and unexpectedly with salads, chocolate, and more. We recommend it as a sake served with meals.


Taiten Shiragiku Junmai Daiginjo Omachi

Manufacturer: Shiragiku Shuzo   (

shiragiku_logo     shiragiku_sake

A traditional pressing method known as ‘fune-shibori’ is used; then, this special sake made by using especially high quality, undiluted sake that has been pressed again and is called ‘nakatori’, and ripening it with/under low temperature inside the brewery. The result is a sake with a busty, soft taste characterstic of Omachi rice that spreads through one’s mouth. Well chilled, it goes well with white fleshed fish and lightly seasoned dishes. Additionally, the elegant, fruity fragrance of a Daiginjo sake can be enjoyed when the sake, at a temperature of about 15 degrees, is poured into a wine glass and the aroma arises.


Sanzen Tokubetsu Junmai Omachi

Manufacturer: Kikuchi Sake Brewery   (

sazen_logo     sanzen_sake

Cultivation and sake brewing are both difficult, but Omachi (rice) is an important basis to good sake. By insisting on this rare rice, the master brewer is able to fully utilize the master skills of Bitchu-style sake production. The result is a broad, mild sake with umami flavors that is unique to Omachi rice sake. Especially nice as a sake served with meals, it pairs excellently with a variety of dishes. Light, white fleshed fish dishes are a given, but this sake also matches oily blue-backed fish and seasoned meat dishes; it is a fine product that can be enjoyed at a variety of temperatures, chilled or warmed.


Kiwami Hijiri Junmai Daiginjo Takashima Omachi

Manufacturer: Miyashita Sake Brewery   (

miyashita_logo     miyashita_sake

This sake is made from 100% Takashima Omachi rice. Omachi rice has originated in Okayama City’s Takashima district and started being cultivated at the end of the Edo period (1603-1868). Having a gorgeous and elegant fragrance specific to Ginjo sake and a mild, expansive taste are characteristics. Chilled or at room temperatures, a great harmony of flavors fills the mouth when paired with Sawara (mackerel) and other seafood from the Seto Inland Sea. Of course it also pairs superiorly well with richly flavored tuna and sushi, as well as delicious red meats such as beef and more.


Bizen Pottery & Sake Exhibition
Date: Wednesday 20th to Sunday 24th January
Time: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Venue: No Vacancy Gallery  Level 3 QV, 34-40 Jane Bell Lane, Melbourne

Sake Tasting
Date: Wednesday 20th to Saturday 23rd January
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Venue: No Vacancy Gallery Level 3 QV, 34-40 Jane Bell Lane, Melbourne

Okayama Sake Fair
Period: during January 2016
Place: Beer x Sake x Sumibi Bar Wasshoi Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra

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