How to order Japanese sake in Japan

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Japanese sake is getting popular among Western tourists in Japan. However, it is difficult to order Japanese sake in a restaurant because there are many kinds of ways to enjoy Japanese sake.

Now I introduce you how to order and enjoy Japanese sake. I wish you enjoy tasting Japanese sake when you are traveling in Japan after you finish reading this column.

Japanese sake is cold and hot!

In a restaurant, you can order both cold and hot for Japanese sake, so there are two types to taste sake. In the winter, Japanese people usually order hot Japanese sake which is made of usual cheap Japanese sake.

It is made by warming Japanese sake and it gets more delicious than before warming. But also you can order hot Japanese sake called Atsukan every season, while cold Japanese sake is ordered more usually than Atsukan. That is classic style among Japanese sake and you can taste original flavor by cold Japanese sake.

How to drink Japanese sake? Ice rock, Watered and Hot, Hot sake, Straight

tateshina shinyu

When you order Japanese sake in a restaurant, you can choose how to drink Japanese sake. There are usually 5 hands to drink; Rock, Mizuwari, Oyuwari, Astukan, straight.

Rock means to drink Japanese sake with ice and it is cold and not strong.

Mizuwari means to put water into Japanese sake and it is not strong because water makes sake buried in.

Oyuwari is similar to Mizuwari, but Oyuwari means to put hot water into Japanese sake.

Atsukan is hot Japanese sake and is made by warming Japanese sake.

Finally straight is an original way to drink Japanese sake, and means to taste as original style.

What is Ochoko?

In the way to drink original Japanese sake as Atsukan and straight, you will use Ochoko. Ochoko is a tool to drink Japanese sake, a small glass, and Japanese sake are poured into Ochoko from Tokkuri which is like a pot for Japanese sake.

Japanese sake is stronger than beer and other alcohol, so in Japan, they take by a little in order not to get drunk by Japanese sake. If you are strong for alcohol, maybe you will pour sake into Ochoko more rapidly than usual Japanese people. But it is not a bad manner.

Advices when order Japanese sake

There are other two points to order Japanese sake in a restaurant.

The first one is the quantity of Japanese sake, and there is the original word to merger the quantity of Japanese sake, called GOU. Ichi gou, 1 gou means 180 min. In Japan, they usually order Japanese sake from the quantity as 1 gou, 180  min.

The second one is that Japanese sake is shared sake among their friends. 1 bottle of Japanese sake is too much for one person to drink, so we usually share together to drink, and it is the best way to drink Japanese sake and it is more interesting than drinking Japanese sake alone.

How to order Japanese sake in Japan


You can understand how to order Japanese sake and how to enjoy it, can’t you? Japanese sake is made in the place called Kura. If you want to know more about KURA and Drinks, please check this page.


→The Best Guide of Japanese Wine


The characteristic points of Nagano prefecture are a fusion between affluent nature and Japanese traditional lifestyle. Nagano is constructed in many town and village, where have originality. These regions have a different history, different culture, different nature, we can feel a side of Nagano as a treasure box.

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”NAGANO TRIP” is sightseeing contents site to offer tourist information about Nagano prefecture in Japan. People who are interested in Nagano can learn and know about sightseeing contents before visit Nagano. In addition, visitor can learn and enjoy while traveling and after the trip.

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Nice to meet you. I’m Karina, a university student. Now I’m living in Nagano, Ueda, so I’ll introduce very much about Nagano, Japan! I also have been to study abroad twice in Italy and Greece. This is why I could write traveling articles in English. My favorite things are to go to a cafe and book shop whose buildings are renovated! After you read my articles, I’d like you to know about Nagano and be interested in many popular spots there.