This Week in Tokyo – 28 March 2023
Welcome to ‘This Week in Tokyo’, a review of the Maction Planet week that was and a look ahead to what’s coming up in the city. Hosted by Mac, our Founder and Lead Guide, you can check out photos from our tours and read insights into our explorations as we get under the skin of the World’s Greatest Metropolis, and beyond!
Featured image: The Kanpai Planet x Japan Distilled Hanami was held on Sunday 26 March. The weather prevented us from holding it outdoors, but nothing prevented us from having the party of parties indoors at Tokyo Comedy Bar!
From humble beginnings in 2017 – and three years off due to COVID-19 – we were back with a vengeance for 2023. With 100 tickets sold, it was our biggest event yet! The basics were still present: world-renowned shochu expert Christopher Pellegrini dispensing spirits PLUS me and Sam Baranowski from Baird Beer pouring DRAFT craft beers. However, the shift of venue allowed us to bring in Maction Planet Resident DJ Royce Leong, host of Tokyo ON, to spin a blinding 6-hour set of perfect tunes to accompany this devastatingly good bash!
Thank you to our guests for their continuous support! You are the inspiration and you make all the perspiration worth it!
Of course, one photo cannot capture the event, but here’s a favourite: a candid shot of me, Christopher Pellegrini and Sam from Baird discussing… something. The topic is now lost to the ages, but whatever it was, it was large. We continue.
It really was a case of ‘together again at home with Nahoko for the first time!’ Dudley and Morgan, 3-time Maction Planet tour guests, were big supporters of our online cooking classes that ran from July 2020 – June 2021. It seemed only fitting that part of our 8 days together should be spent making sure that they met Nahoko, my partner-in-cooking for those online classes, in real life! Together, we made Nahoko’s new and improved Miso Ramen recipe. All agreed it was devastatingly good!
The Kanosuke Distillery held their first Tokyo invitation-only event on Friday at Tokyo Whisky Library, and I was honoured to be… err… invited! It was a great session in which I learnt a lot about what goes into their whisky-making thanks to the transparency and insight from Naoko Serikawa, Liquid and Quality Manager at Kanosuke. Other distilleries – take note!
We got to sample the five components which went into the Single Malt Kanosuke Core Release, which came out in January 2023, as well as the Artist Edition #2, aged in PX Sherry casks. There was also a fun ‘talk show’ from Yoshitsugu Komasa, Founder and Master Blender of the Kanosuke Distillery and Mamoru Tsuchiya, head of the Japan Whisky Research Centre.
Attendees also received an exclusive cask-strength version of the Single Malt Kanosuke Core Release, which amps up the deliciousness to a mouthwatering 61% ABV! Here’s that bottle, with Komasa-san and me. Thank you for your hospitality, and Kanpai!
Washu Fes (和酒フェス)in Nakameguro is perhaps my favourite outdoor sake event held in Tokyo, featuring 30 brewers from all over Japan serving up over 150 different bottles of nihonshu. The Spring 2023 event was held over the weekend of 25-26 March with two sessions each day from 12:00-14:10 and 15:00-17:10.
The event sold out very quickly, but thanks to some generous industry contacts I was able to get my tour guests in. Here’s my favourite photo from the day! We are wet and windswept but warm inside thanks to the hospitality and delicious craft brews served up at Washu Fes!
Immediately after WashuFes, we headed to watch Alvark Tokyo take on Hokkaido in the B League. Check out those phenomenal second-row seats… and this very well-timed photo of the ball in the net!