Tag Archives: asahi

灯篭流し

16 Aug

Yesterday (2015 August 15th) was 終戦記念日 (VJ day) and there were ceremonies for that around Japan.
It was also the day that 灯篭流し (“tourou-nagashi“) is done at the Sumida River in Tokyo.

Tokyo landmarks, Tokyo SkyTree and Asahi Beer HQ are near the Sumida River.

Tokyo landmarks, Tokyo SkyTree and Asahi Beer HQ are near the Sumida River.

灯篭流し (“tourou-nagashi“) is a ceremony that is usually held at the end of O-bon (“O-bon” is mid-August usually (some places have it in July) and is a ceremony tradition to honor relatives and ancestors who’ve passed away.)

灯篭流し (“tourou-nagashi“) means “floating lanterns“. On this ceremony, people can purchase a lantern and write a message to relative(s) who have passed away and then the lanterns are lit and set afloat on the river.

It wasn’t easy to take photos that do it justice, but it looks beautiful.

This is the boat that some of the lanterns were set afloat from

A huge crowd to watch and set lanterns into the river.

The first of lanterns in the river.

Many people wore ゆかた (traditional Japanese summer kimono), such as this girl standing near the river’s edge.

More lanterns passing near the Tokyo Sky Tree.

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Here’s the line of people waiting to set their lanterns into the river.

The first group set their lanterns afloat from the boat, but after that a ramp from the dock was used.

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エクストラコールド BAR

3 Jul

I wrote an earlier post about Sapporo Beer‘s new Ice Lager Beer for this summer.

(Click here to read it.)

Well, Asahi Beer has a new bar in Tokyo called the 「エクストラ・コールド BAR」 (“Extra Cold Bar“).

This bar is in Tokyo’s 銀座 (Ginza) area and will only be there until 2010 August 31.

In this bar, the beer is served extremely cold…between 0°C and -2°C.

Even the beer taps are freezing cold and covered in ice. Customers are welcome to pour their own beer from the icy taps if they want to.

If you’re in Tokyo before August 31 and you want to go to the “Asahi Extra Cold Bar”, it’s near JR 有楽町駅 (JR Yurakucho Station) or the 銀座一丁目駅 (Ginza 1-Chome Subway Station).

It’s hours of operation are:
Weekdays 6:00PM – 11:00PM
Saturdays 11:30AM – 11:00PM
Sundays and (Japanese) holidays 11:30AM – 9:30PM
(Last order is a half-hour before closing).

Asahi Gold

11 Oct

Today we went to a neighborhood festival that we usually go to every year.

While we were there, I went to buy a beer…and I found a retro style can of beer by Asahi Beer, so I bought a can.

Asahi Gold 50 year anniversary re-issue

Asahi Gold 50 year anniversary re-issue

It’s a re-issue of their “Asahi Gold Beer” in a can that looks like it did when that beer was sold in Japan fifty years ago.

Asahi Beer is selling this beer for a limited time only in the special retro design cans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Asahi Gold beer and also the 120th anniversary of Asahi breweries itself.

asahi-gold01

The original Asahi Gold beer that went on sale in 1958 in Japan was sold in cans without any tab on the top of the cans! A can opener was needed to punch two holes in the top of the can to drink the beer!

1950's can of Asahi Gold Beer with no tab on top.

1950's can of Asahi Gold Beer with no tab on top.

This was also Asahi Beer‘s first beer sold in a can (rather than a glass bottle).

Of course, the cans of this beer being sold today have the easy-to-open tabs on top.

This is a good beer. I recommend buying some while they’re available.

I have a collection of unique beer bottles and cans…I’ve added this one to my collection!

麦搾り

18 Sep

Last Tuesday, Asahi Beer released a new beer (actually a 発泡酒 (Happoushu*)) called 「麦絞り」 (which translates to something like “Extract Of Wheat”).

* (発泡酒 (Happoushu) is similar to Malt Liquor. It looks like beer and tastes nearly identical to lager beer. Some people don’t like them…but, just as with regular beer, some taste better than others.
I think most of them taste exactly like beer.
The best thing about 発泡酒 (Happoushu) is that in Japan there is a high beer tax…but since 発泡酒 (Happoushu) isn’t technically a beer, there is no beer tax on them. So a 500ml can of 発泡酒 (Happoushu) is often cheaper than a 350ml can of beer!)

mugishibori

It says on the can 「アルコール分ちょっと高め」…which means “The alcohol is a little bit higher”.
And it’s listed as “between 5.5 – 6.5% alcohol”.

So, I bought this beer and drank it with dinner last night.
It was good. I recommend it.

Japanese beer

22 Feb

Do you like beer?
Have you ever tried Japanese beer?

I beer!

「麒麟ビール」 (Kirin Beer) is my favorite…but I’ll take any cold lager!

Kirin Tanrei Double

Kirin Tanrei Double

Japan has five major brewers:

  • Kirin Beer – This beer began in the late nineteenth-century in 横浜 (Yokohama, Japan). It’s named after a mythological creature called a 「麒麟」 (kirin) that looks like a dragon (it’s featured on the beer cans)…not named after a giraffe (which is 「キリン」 (kirin), also).
  • A mythological "kirin".

    A mythological "kirin".

    Many people don’t know that hidden in the creature on Kirin Beer cans is the word 「キリン」 (kirin):

    「キ・リ・ン」 (Ki-ri-n) written in the creature's mane.

    「キ・リ・ン」 (Ki-ri-n) written in the creature's mane.

    (I wrote another post that mentions Kirin Beer. Click here to see it.)

  • Asahi Beer -Started in 大阪 (Osaka, Japan).
  • asahibeer_logo1

    The Asahi Beer brewery is a Tokyo landmark.

    The Asahi Beer brewery is a Tokyo landmark.

    (I have pictures of old Asahi Beer posters on the end of another post. Click here to see it.)

  • Suntory Beer – Also started in 大阪 (Osaka, Japan).
    Suntory Beer got it’s name because the founder’s name was Mr. Torii…or Torii-san. So, he took the words Torii and san and reversed them into San-torii and changed the spelling to Suntory.
  • (Another famous Japanese company got their name in a similar manner. The Bridgestone company was founded by Mr. Ishibashi…which translates into Stone bridge, which he reversed to Bridgestone.)

    Suntory Beer

    Suntory Beer

  • Sapporo Beer – Started in 北海道札幌 (Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan).
  • Sapporo Beer

    Sapporo Beer

    Sapporo Beer bought the Yebisu Beer brewery (which was from Tokyo), so they make that beer as well.

    Yebisu Beer (pronounced "Ebisu")

    Yebisu Beer (pronounced "Ebisu")

  • Orion Beer – From 沖縄 (Okinawa, Japan)
  • Orion Beer

    Orion Beer

Have you ever tried Japanese beer? Which ones have you tried? Did you like them?
What’s your favorite beer in the world?

As I said above, I like 「麒麟ビール」 (Kirin Beer) best…and probably オリオンビール (Orion Beer) as my next favorite.

Fourth of July

3 Jul

I have been asked a number of times if Japan “celebrates the Fourth Of July (American Independence Day)”.

I’m surprised anyone would even wonder that.

Of course, Japan (or any country other than America) doesn’t celebrate America’s Independence Day.

Normally, one country’s national holidays aren’t celebrated in other countries.

Japan does have excellent 花火大会 (fireworks shows) in the summer…mostly late July – early August.
We go to the riverbank near our house to watch the fireworks every year. And sometimes we go to other shows during the summer, as well.

花火大会 (Fireworks shows) in Japan are alot of fun. People wear summer kimono and set up a picnic near the river and eat things like おにぎり (rice balls), いか (squid), sandwiches, スイカ (watermelon), and beer.

The fireworks are always really great! (“Fireworks” is written as 花火 in Japanese…and a literal translation would be “fire flower”).

But there are no fireworks on July 4th in Japan (except on the U.S. military bases).

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Did you know that this summer’s 主要国首脳会議 (Group of Eight (G-8)) Summit is being held in 洞爺湖 (Tōyako) in 北海道 (Hokkaidō) Japan next week?

The G-8 stands for the eight “industrialized” countries (America, Canada, the U.K., Japan, Russia, Italy, Germany, and France).

This year, Japan’s Prime Minister is the President of the G-8.

They’re meeting to discuss climate change, the environment, nuclear energy, etc.

Because of the potential of a terrorist attack of some sort anytime there’s a G-8 meeting, the Japanese police are on “high alert”. They’re being posted all over train stations in the Hokkaido area…as well as the Tokyo area.

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At the top of this post, I mentioned beer being popular at summer fireworks shows (actually it’s popular at all of Japan’s festivals 🙂 ).

I love beer. I drink it everyday…not too much, though—just a can or two with dinner.

I’ll drink any brand…but my favorite is the domestic (in Japan) brand 麒麟 (Kirin). Especially 淡麗生 (“Tanrei Nama”).

麒麟淡麗生

BTW, many 外国人 (foreigners) who know a little 日本語 (Japanese language) think that this beer’s name means “Giraffe”. This is because giraffe in Japanese is キリン (kirin), but “Kirin Beer” is 麒麟…this “kirin” is a mythological creature similar to a dragon (hence the picture on the can).

Besides Kirin, the other major Japanese brewers are Asahi, Sapporo, Suntory and Orion (from 沖縄 (Okinawa)).

After Kirin, I like Orion best.

My favorite imported beer is Corona from Mexico.

I guess I should clarify…I like Lager beer. I don’t particularly care for dark beers like Guinness.

I was quite shocked the first time I tried a Guinness Beer“. It’s dark and flat! And the can had a ball inside and it said to shake the can! Not at all what I consider a beer.

All Japanese beer cans have braille on the top that tells blind people that it’s an alcoholic drink. I noticed that other countries’ beer cans don’t have this.

I wonder why not.