Toji Sake — Bridging the Gap Between Two Cultures

In Japan, it is customary to have sake with your meal, especially when you’re among friends.

Sake carries this idea not only of bonding with those close to you, but memories of times long gone, and visions of future adventures. Toji Sake takes it a step further; you’re experiencing the culture first-hand, and with it, all the adventures the brewer traversed on, along with their own strongest influences.

Created by Yuta and Shar Kobayashi of Melbourne, Toji Sake is heavily inspired by Yuta’s own culture and brewed with fond memories of spending time with his Ojiichan, or grandfather. Watching him enjoy his daily ritual of drinking sake, Yuta took this memory and carried it with him into adulthood, using it as the fuel to travel with Shar all over Japan and become an expert of the sake palette. After settling in Melbourne, the two were inspired to create a sake like no other – one that would pair with the contemporary, thriving food scene that Melbourne has to offer, while still maintaining its traditional roots.

Drinking Toji Sake is an experience, and it can be felt immediately upon gazing at its bottle – the minimalist line design, inspired by the rice fields of Japan, are accented perfectly upon its contrasting label background (black-on-white, or white-on-black, depending on what sake you’re enjoying that evening). For those who have been to Tokyo, you may be reminded of another famous set of lines – the crosswalks of Shibuya. This was absolutely intentional.

Toji, while still maintaining the ideal sense of minimalism, is able to show some personality as well – there’s a cheerful “Kanpai” in both Japanese and Romanji, as if Yuta and Shar were there themselves, enjoying their creation with you. Label designer, Swear Words, knew exactly what they were doing when creating this elegant, simplistic design.

While the presentation is certainly something to be appreciated, the taste of Toji is what we’re after. If you are a fan of crisp flavors with a dry finish, look no further than the aromatic apple flavor of this Niigata-styled sake. The combination of Koshi-Tanrei rice (a signature ingredient of Niigata) and water from the melted snow of the Asashi Mountain Range is certainly a reflection of Yuta’s adventures around Japan, searching for that perfect balance of finesse and function.

Serve it at a chilled temperature with your favorite light Japanese dishes — and you’ll serve perfection.

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