SAKE×KAWAII: ”KAWAII” Expands Sake’s World

Written by Michu
Translated by Saki Kimura

As I want to introduce the idea of stylish and kawaii (lovely) into the world of sake, I’ve been working on the concept of “SAKE×KAWAII” through online and at events.

How did I come to the idea of “SAKE×KAWAII”? There are two main reasons as followings:

The Reason Why I Started “SAKE×KAWAII”

(1) Want to Change People’s Understanding of Sake

What kind of impression do you have about sake?

Some people in Japan still have the impression that sake is a drink for old men.
When I tell my friends that I likd sake, they often say “You’re like an old man,” “You’re a strong,” or “What a heavy drinker!,” which always makes me feel sad.

Speaking of lovely drinks, many people remember cassis oranges or Kahlua milk. When it comes to stylish drinks, wine is the best.
Especially when I was in my early 20s, I had that atmosphere around me, and it sounds silly, but I was sometimes seriously worried that “Why do I like sake?”

I like sake, but I don’t drink it every day like a fish.
I just love the aroma of sake. I love the time I spend in the restaurants relaxing and thinking and pairing good food with sake. Sake always makes me very happy.
Why does it give people such a bad understanding even though it’s so delicious…?

In conversations with people who don’t drink sake, I’ve also found that it’s not even an option because they think it looks too hard to drink, too intimidating or too alcoholic.

What a shame not to drink such a tasty drink!

If sake had a more stylish and lovely impression, like cocktails and wine, it would be easier for young women like myself to profess that “I like sake!”
If the number of people who enjoy sake in a stylish and lovely way increases, I believe that the understanding that I mentioned earlier will disappear.

(2) Want to Convey Its Appeal Visually through Stylish Post on Social Media

I love traveling alone and going to cafes. The photos I take of my travels are always stylish and lovely.
I’ve been posting some of my favorite photos on Instagram, unifying the photos with my taste. One day, however, I realized a significant thing.

I can never get the photos of sake to look good!
No matter how I process it, it can never fit my ideal taste.

Of course, now I know there are lovely-designed sake and stylish restaurants, but at the time, I had no idea and felt that sake wasn’t fashionable at all.

Just as I felt that way, not many people generally think of sake as stylish and lovely.
I believe that it’s very important to get excited just by looking at it, both for my own enjoyment and for the people who see it.

For example, if you see a picture of a stylish café on social media, you should get interested in going there and trying some fancy sweets. On the other hand, most of the sake labels are written in kanji (Chinese characters) with unfamiliar words.
Rather than “Looks yummy!” “Fancy!” “I want some!,” words like “Too classic” “Difficult” “Mysterious” come to mind.

If I enjoy sake in a stylish and lovely way and keep posting about it, hopefully, some people will get interested in it and say “I didn’t know that sake is so kawaii!”

How to Enjoy Sake in a Kawaii Way

So what is the method for “SAKE×KAWAII”?
Here are five key words.

1. Sweet Sake is Kawaii!
I have an impression of “sweet = lovely” in my mind.
You might have an understanding that sake is dry. Nowadays, however, there are many sweet products like sweets and fruits.

Ever since I discovered sweet sake, I’ve fallen even more in love with it.
I think sweet drinks can change the impression of sake in a good way for people who don’t drink sake or like cocktails.

2. A Wine Glass is Kawaii!
The most common tools for drinking sake are tokkuri and choko. These days, however, wine glasses are increasingly being used for it.
Just change to wine glasses to create a stylish and lovely party atmosphere.
Not only does it look great, but it also opens up its aroma!

3. Make the Space Kawaii!
Enjoy sake in a stylish place with a natural taste and a café-like atmosphere.
Enjoy sake on the beach with a view of the ocean or a picnic in a green park.
You can enjoy sake in a space that makes you feel excited just by being there and makes you want to take pictures.
Such a stylish atmosphere and fun feeling make sake taste even better than usual.

4. Make the Food Kawaii!
You might believe that sake should be paired with traditional Japanese food, delicacies or dry snacks.
Recently, however, sake has a wide range of flavors including fruity and sour, so it goes surprisingly well with Western food and sweets.
All you have to do is fill a table with party food and sweets, then pour a sake into a wine glass. The slightly austere impressionof sake will be completely changed.

My “SAKE×Kawaii Party” is an event where you can enjoy sake in a stylish space with party food in a lovely way. Next, I’m hoping to have a sake lunch party that incorporates the glazing table that got popular in Australia a while back.

5. Make Your Style Kawaii!
I like to drink sake, but I don’t like to get drunk.
Now that I’m 29 years old, I’d rather enjoy tasting the flavor than getting drunk. I will never cause trouble for others by getting drunk.
Also, I want to put aside all the difficult knowledge. I like to share only “deliciousness, love, and happiness” with the people I’m with, and enjoy sake in a casual atmosphere.
It’s not only lovely but also cool to protect the atmosphere of the party. I try not to forget KAWAII should include the essence of maturity.

With a little effort, sake can be enjoyed in a stylish and lovely way. I believe sake can become an even more loved drink than it is today.
In order to create a new view of the world of “SAKE×KAWAII”, I plan to hold fun events on a regular basis. Additionally,I like to try pairing sake with sweets on social medias like Twitter and Instagram as well. Please follow me if you’re interested!