A year in Japan ~Seasons, event and climate in Japan~ / Knowledge for Japanese Sake
Sake is an agricultural product.
Brewers are not concentrating on brewing process only. As quality of rice is depending on how they are grown: in other words, all the elements such as location, farmers, climate, decide the quality of rice. So, brewers need to understand about Japan year by year and plan how they will brew next year.
In addition, Sake is strongly connected to Japanese traditional culture even now. Depending on the location, you can see Sake in the local cultural scenes.
As Sake people, we need to know those information year by year, but if you do not understand about Japan much it is quite difficult catch up with the current information.
On this page, you will find general knowledge about culture and climate in Japan, according to the calendar as a fundamental knowledge.
Please grasp the overall image of how Japanese people are living.
Spring is the season of meeting and parting. Japanese new year start from April, so there is a graduation on March.
Snow still remains on March, but when it gets to April Sakura blossom blooms and temperature rise rapidly. When Japanese people see cherry blossom it reminds Spring.
On May, when mountain turns completely green, there is a long holiday called “Golden Week”. During this long holiday, there is “Boy’s day” to cherish growth of boys and display Japanese armor or sword which represents strength.
Please note this long holiday when you plan the export. Otherwise, products left at the port and it causes damaging in quality.
Summer starts with the long rainy season called “Tsuyu”.
This rainy season lasts for 1-2months except Hokkaido. Breweries release Natuszake夏酒 and organize the event in this timing.
In August, Japanese people take a long holiday called “Obon”お盆 at middle of August to see ancestors in their home town and visit graves. In some local area, they prepare horse with cucumber and cow with aubergine. It means they welcome ancestors to come with horse quickly and send them back with cow slow and safely.
Automn is a season of blessing same as most of the countries in Northern hemisphere. Rice is harvested in this season and prepare for the brewing.
Typhoons approaches to Japanese islands every year in this season. Recently, the power of typhoon is getting stronger and stronger, so breweries are worrying about the quality of rice.
There is another long holiday called “Silver week” from end of October to November for around 10 days.
Winter is a brewing season for breweries. As temperature lowered, they can control the temperature of fermentation well in this season. It will take whole winter and they prepare for Spring New Sake.
At end of the year we call “Oomisoka”大晦日 and the beginning of the year we call “Oshogatsu”お正月. Traditionally, families gather to welcome new year and people enjoy Sake especially “Hatsushibori”初しぼり in this season.
I hope you understand general image of how Japanese people live with seasons.
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