Blowfish Sake on Fire – Fuguhire Zake

Back in 2007 I tried a hot sake with blowfish tale. With hindsight, I see that this might be called Fuguhire Zake.

Blowfish Sake

From what I remember, I did not find it delicious. I’ve never had it since. The restaurant that I had it at was a blowfish speciality store, so all of our dishes included blowfish.

Blowfish Sake on Fire
Flaming blowfish tail entering the hot sake

They brought out the sake in a full cup set inside of the square masu that you see in the picture. Then the set the blowfish on fire and dunked it into the sake. Adding the blowfish caused some of the sake to overflow from the cup into the sake. Nice presentation!

In terms of taste, I much prefer straight sake…

If you get a chance, try Hot Sake with Blowfish Tail! It might be fun!

Blowfish Sake in a Masu
Blowfish sake was a good experience. Wasn’t actually dangerous.

Links around the web:
Fuguhire Zake (Hot Sake with Blowfish Tail)


It was like this!

Whisky Chocolate from Taketsuru

On Valentine’s Day in Japan the custom is that girls give chocolate to the guys that they like. They may also give chocolate to the guys that they feel they must based on their formal relationships… Like to a male coworker on their team at work or something. If you’re guy who is really liked you might get lucky and receive some amazing homemade chocolate.

I like whisky. I also like Japanese whisky. This year I got some whisky chocolate from Taketsuru! It’s super dark chocolate, which I like, and has a nice infused whisky flavor.

Taketsuru Chocolate
Taketsuru Whisky Chocolate
Taketsuru Chocolate
It came in a non-standard small size wooden “masu” traditionally used for sake.
Taketsuru Chocolate
Taketsuru Chocolate Insert

The last image here is of the insert in the chocolate box. It explains that it uses high quality refined alcohol not diluted in water, with techniques passed down from Nikka Whisky’s blenders to get Taketsuru Pure Malt. It has 3% alcohol content.

Tasty! Also, apparantly Silsmaria is the first company to sell raw chocolate (nama chocolate).

The Valentine’s Day chocolate industry in Japan is totally over the top. I guess it’s fine, as everyone loves a reason to celebrate. The companies do come out with some interesting chocolate products, like this one. It really takes willpower to resist the urge to spend though!


In 2004 I took a trip to Amanohashidate (天橋立) with some friends. Amanohashidate is in Kyoto. It is considered one of the three most beautiful places in Japan. The big three “scenic spots” in Japan or, “Nihon Sankei”(日本三景) are, Matsushima (松島)in Sendai, Itsukushima or Miyajima (厳島) in Hiroshima, and here, Amanohashidate.

Amanohashidate Welcome Sign

I asked a Japanese friend if he really thought it was one of the most beautiful places in Japan, and he could only shrug. I thought it was pretty nice… I have also been to Miyajima, which is also interesting with the Torii gate in the water.

Amanohashidate Sunrise
Amanohashidate Sunrise

We started our trip from Osaka extremely early, leaving in the middle of the night and driving all the way there. We arrived in time to see the sunrise.

This area is most famous for the view you can get of the land bridge while looking between your legs in a bent-over rear-in-the-air fashion… Check the picture.

People come from far and wide to bend over backwards from the specially designated view points to get a glimpse of this land bridge upside down. A friend of mine even turned her 2004 cell phone upside down and took a picture. (You could take the picture regularly and show your friends the phone upside down right??) Anyway… Not to be outdone… Behold.

Amanohashidate Upsidedown
Amanohashidate Through the Legs

This bending over backwards is called “matanozoki”. “Mata” 股 meaning “thigh” or… “crotch”, and “nozoki” meaning look. You can even buy some Matanozoki goods if you feel like it…

Amanohashidate Poster 2004

Go visit! It might be fun!