Henmi Shuzo on Sado Island

This Week on Sado Island – 27 July 2021

We’re back on Sado Island! This week we’ll be focusing on the fabulous food and delectable drink found on this wonderful island.

Featured image – Henmi Shuzo: Henmi Shuzo is the smallest of Sado’s five sake breweries. It was established around the time of the Meiji Restoration (1868). Their two main brands are Shinryo and Itaru. Akimasa Henmi is the fifth-generation head brewer and generously showed me around his brewery, explained his production philosophy – aiming to produce ‘natural’ sake with water from an on-site well and limited reliance on charcoal filtration. I learnt so much from the time I spend there… an incredible person doing incredible things.

Tobiuo Japanese Fuing Fish at Chosaburo on Sado Island

Chozaburo: Chozaburo are renowned for their Sado-style sushi. Their fish is sourced from Ryotsu Market and local fishermen. There are a lot of great fish restaurants on Sado, so many that I started to miss my Tokyo noodles. Chozaburo had me covered. They used to run a ramen shop, so came to my rescue with an incredible bowl of Hiyashi Chuka – chilled ramen – made with flying fish broth. Delicious!

Shekwasha x Apple juice at Shimafumi on Sado Island

Shimafumi: If you get a chance to sit on the terrace at Shimafumi, do so. If they are running their ‘島 x 島’ collaboration drink – order it. 島 means island, and in this case, the islands and the collaboration they are referring to is a mix of local Sado Island Apple Juice and Okinawan Shekwasha. Refreshing and perfect for a sweltering Sado summer’s day.

Tagayau Donuts on Sado Island

Tagayasudou: Thankfully, the fresh doughnuts from this stall were absolutely delicious. Why thankfully? Because it is in the middle of nowhere. “If you build it, they will come.” And come they do. The plain doughnuts are great (¥450 for 5), but I recommend the kibizato ones. Kibizato is a brown sugar variant. Well worth the extra ¥50!

Obata Shuzo Manotsuru shop on Sado Island

Obata Shuzo: I’ve been drinking Manotsuru – Obata Shuzo’s most famous brand – for years, so visiting the brewery is always a joy. Yososaku Obata established Obata Shuzo in 1885. 4th-generation head Shunichi Obata opened the brewery to the public in 1983. Their Toji (head brewer), Kenya Kudo, has held that position since 2000. He’s quite young for someone holding that position, but very experienced regardless. 5th-generation head Rumiko Obata has taken the business from strength to strength, and they now export their delicious sake to 15 countries.

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