More weekend tourist stuff.
On our weekend trip, Tetsu and I made a stop at a sake cellar set back inside a mountain. We're not big sake drinkers but since we were in the area and since there didn't seem to be many tourists around, we followed the signs and flags until we came to a mountain entrance. The local sake brewery is making use of the tunnels carved into the mountain during World War II and the temperature is just right for keeping crates of sake for years and years on end.
Sort of interesting. Dark tunnels going in every which direction with sake crates and bottle shelves lining the rough walls. We were told that many people will order a few bottles of sake when a child is born and then after keeping the bottles in this underground cellar, the brewery will send it to the family on the child's 20th birthday (the legal age for drinking in Japan). THAT'S a custom our family never thought of... I asked if the earthquake affected the sake cellar but the guide said that not a thing fell or broke though many houses in the surrounding countryside lost tiles from their roofs.
There was a sake sampling table in the cellar but we didn't take advantage of that. Tetsu, feeling that we had enjoyed the interesting cellar and taken the guide's time, thought that we should buy a bottle of sake. Umm... We, who never drink? What are we going to do with a bottle of sake? We chose a pretty pink bottle of plum wine... Yes, we were more interested in the wine bottle than in the sake! We even enjoyed an aperitif that night and Tetsu declared it delicious. Sweet. (He likes sweet anything.)
Still, I have a feeling this bottle is going to last us a few years...