How to serve Japanese Sake? Magically Change its Taste through “Temperature” and “Cup”

Japanese sake (Rice wine) can surprisingly taste different based on not only sake types but also how to serve it. Before visiting good unique Japanese Sake bar in Japan, learn how to enjoy a variety of Japanese sake by this article based on the interview with Sake Meister of “KURAND SAKE MARKET”, popular sake bar in Tokyo. Let’s try various way to enjoy Japanese sake at Sake bar in Japan.

How to serve: Let’s Change the “Temperature” of the Japanese Sake

One of the important factor in how to serve Japanese Sake is “Temperature”. Sake is a unique type of alcohol that changes its taste depending on the temperature as well as the season. There are surprisingly 10 steps based on the temperature which are as follows:

TemperatureHow to call in locals
5℃Yukihie (Cold like in snow season)
10℃Hanabie (Chilly like in cherry blossom season)
15℃Suzuhie (Feel coolness)
20℃Jyouon (Normal Temperture)
30℃Hinatakan (a little warm in sunny place)
35℃Hitohadakan (Warm like body temperature)
40℃Nurukan (Feel warmness)
45℃Jyoukan (Heated)
50℃Atsukan (Hot)
55℃Tobikirikan (Very hot)
Japanese basically called less than 20℃ Sake as cold Sake (Hiya) and more than 20℃ as hot Sake (Kan).

Generally, strong scented and sweet sake is better to drink at lower temperatures, and bitter and acidic sake is better to drink at higher temperatures. Aged sake (Old Sake) is said to be better to drink at higher temperatures.

Of course, this varies on the season. When drinking sake in summer, you will want to drink a cold sake and in autumn, when you start to feel cold a lot of people drink sake at Nurukan.

But the most important thing is to challenge. Try drinking the same sake in various temperatures from super cold to boiling hot and test out your preferred temperature flavor balance.

How to serve: Remember Japanese Sake Bowls are “Glass” and “Pottery”

Another important factor in how to serve Japanese Sake is “cup”. The flavor of sake also changes depending on the material and shape of the cup when drinking.

There are various kinds of liquor cups from glass to metal but as a basic standard, as long as you remember for sake, “glass” and “pottery” you should okay.

Glass cups are an almighty tool for drinking sake since it allows you to taste the sake clearly. You might think that for sake, you should use an traditional Sake cup “Ochoko” but, when you want to enjoy the fruity aroma of sake a “glass” cup is much better.

On the other hand, “pottery ochoko” allows you to taste the sake softer. You would want to use a “pottery” cup when drinking warm and hot sake.

Lucky If You Ever Find One? Traditional Japanese Snake Eyes and Masu

When entering a shop and asking for sake tastings, you could be handed an Ochoko with a blue ring on the bottom. This is called a “snake eye”, and it is a traditional sake bowl allowing you to see the degree of clarity and color.

Also, drinking out of a “masu” will let you experience sake with followed by the scent of a brand-new tree. Mainly used in celebrations, and is not used often. However, if you ever have a chance to drink out of a “masu”, please enjoy the refreshing scent of wood alongside the sake.

Where can you try & enjoy various cups and temperature with Sake in Japan?

At good sake bar in Japan, the staffs will serve Japanese sake for you on various way.

If you go to Tokyo, our recommend is definitely “KURAND SAKE MARKET” because you can freely enjoy 100 kinds of rare Japanese sake only by aprox 5,000 yen with no extra charge, no time limit. This sake bar is preparing various type of Sake cups and you can change your Sake temperature by yourself.

We think KURAND SAKE MARKET is must visit place in Tokyo if you want to enjoy Japanese Sake in Japan.

We will be looking forward you to come to Japan and enjoy Japanese sake & culture! Have a good trip!

[Find more about Kurand Sake Marcket](https://magical-trip.com/spot/tokyo-yokohama/all-you-can-drink-kurand-sake-market/43e9c79c-05a7-99b0-b973-b1287ca69a0c)
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About Shoto Hachiya

Hello, my name is Shoto! I’ve lived in and traveled many countries. Through the experiences, I saw a lot of different cultures and customs, and that made me realize how unique Japanese culture is.