Kanbai Week

Various restaurants

Let’s cerebrate the arrival of spring with Koshi no Kanbai! From ancient times people in Japan have enjoyed drinking sake beneath flowering trees. Sakura, or cherry blossoms, are justly famous but it is actually the plum trees in bloom that tell us that spring is here.

Koshi no Kanbai means “winter plum of Niigata,” evoking the freshness and delicacy of springtime. We encourage you to try a glass of this elegant, smooth sake known and admired all over Japan.

Koshi no Kanbai is not readily available in the U.K., and it’s a rare treat to be able sample three at this time of the year. Some of the restaurants participating in Kanbai Week are offering sake flights so you can try three different labels all at once.

Dates Monday, 17 February–Saturday, 29 February, 2020

Flat Three
120-122 Holland Park Avenue, London, W11 4UA [map]

Ginza Onodera
15 Bury St, St. James's, London SW1Y 6AL, UK [map]

64 Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 4QD, UK [map]

14 Hanway St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1UD, UK [map]

Min Jiang
Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High Street, London, W8 4PT [map]

So Restaurant
3-4 Warwick Street, London, W1B 5LS [map]

Yashin Ocean House*
117-119 Old Brompton Road, London, SW7 3RN [map]
*Monday, 2 March–Sunday, 15 March, 2020

Yashin Sushi*
1A Argyll Road, London, W8 7DB [map]
*Monday, 2 March–Sunday, 15 March, 2020

About Koshi no Kanbai

Koshi no Kanbai

Koshi no Kanbai is Japan’s most famous and sought-after sake. Its “winter plum” label is familiar to enthusiasts everywhere, conjuring up the image of a sake so perfect that every single molecule seems immaculately in place.

Even as a young man in 1930s, Shogo Ishimoto’s knack for making exceptional sakes was apparent. Totally focussed on his vision of sake excellence, he had produced a ginjo sake in 1946, an incredible feat at a time when both rice and sake were strictly rationed. In the years that followed he continually tested and refined his vision. Drier and cleaner than the sweet, heavy sakes of the day, Koshi no Kanbai eventually set the model for other breweries in the region, leading directly to the development of the Niigata style.

koshi no kanbai sai