The first monthly sake tasting event in the grounds of Hiroshima Museum of Art was took place on October 4. Starting at 5pm, when the gallery with its impressive collection of modern European paintings closes to the general public, visitors from near and far had the art almost to themselves before working their way through 5 or 6 kinds of local sake.
Although the main circular gallery in the museum courtyard wasn’t open on this occasion, a collection of pieces selected by popular vote to commemorate the museum’s 40th anniversary was on display. Visitors were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the Impressionist selection which included paintings by Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse, Manet, Monet and Modigliani.
After checking out the art, it was time for sake! Assisted by friendly interpreters, guests zeroed in on which of the 6 sake on offer to start with.
Each bottle had a handy label showing where it lies on a scale between sweet and dry. In the end, however, when it comes to sake, it often makes sense to just dive in.
Plus, with 5 tickets included in the price of admission, and the chance of another cup in return for agreeing to a photo being shared on social, the pressure was off and everyone (who wasn’t driving) was able to try all the sake on offer.
As the sun went down and the lights came on, the courtyard took on a lovely atmosphere, and, even after a light rain started to fall, warmed by the sake, conversation started to flow and soon turned to laughter.
There were also a couple of local wines to sample, but, understandably, it was all about the sake for most of the guests. People particularly enjoyed the chance to compare chilled, air temperature and hot sake, and everyone was excited to drink “Obama’s sake”; Kamoizumi Gold with its signature floating gold leaf sakura petals that the former U.S. President was served with his meal at ‘Jiro Dreams Of Sushi’ Sukibayashi Jiro.
Some guests took the opportunity to go for the full experience and enjoy the art and the sake in kimono. The culture corner, provided something for the younger guests, who enjoyed being taught how to write some Japanese calligraphy and fold origami peace cranes.
All in all, it was a very pleasant evening and everyone was delighted to receive their complementary souvenir wooden sake cup.