Food Sake Tokyo Update

Food Sake Tokyo
Yukari & Shinji Sakamoto – photo by Gary Stollar

It is the middle of the rainy season. We have been enjoying katsuo (skipjack tuna or bonito) as sashimi, much fatter than usual this time of year as the fish are swimming up north. In the fall when they return south is when they will be really rich in fat. As ume (Japanese apricots, Prunus mume) are in the market we are busy making pickled umeboshi, ume jam, and sweet umeshu for an aperitif later this year.

Izakaya Sakamoto
Katsuo Sashimi

We have had some changes at our company Food Sake Tokyo, named after the book published by The Little Bookroom. The focus of our business is our market visits to Tsukiji Market, depachika, Nihonbashi, Kappabashi, and supermarkets. We really enjoying meeting new people and helping them to explore and better understand Japanese cuisine. We are thankful for their recommendations as we are starting to see friends of former clients as well as clients returning.

We would like to open a cooking school next year. To prepare for that Shinji is taking the next year off from giving tours and is studying Japanese cuisine at Tsuji Culinary School. We are not offering the evening izakaya tours for the time being.

There will be some changes to this blog as we start to include more recipes and tips for cooking at home along with our usual posts on where to eat and shop in Tokyo. Shinji’s studies will finish next March. Once we have found a kitchen to offer classes, we will update it here on our blog.

Thanks for following Food Sake Tokyo and we look forward to someday welcoming you to our kitchen. The plan is to continue offering market visits and to supplement that with cooking classes.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Mora Chartrand says:

    Congratulations, Yukari and Shnji! 

    Such exciting news about the cooking school. I have been an avid fan of your site and book since only last year, but have found it immensely enriching in so many ways. As annual travelers to Japan, I am looking forward to one day taking classes conducted by Shinji.

    Wishin you both much continued success on this new path.

    Mora Chartrand Portland, Oregon

  2. Jeff Gordon says:

    Congratulations on your new exciting plans! Change is necessary and good. We look forward to the new recipes. A very sweet photo. Best, Jeff

  3. MFudenna says:

    Dear Yukari,

    Sounds like exciting times ahead for you and Shinji. But changes in your scheduling make a tour in November with you less likely for us. We had hoped for an izakaya experience with shochu tasting on November 17, but see that you are not going to do evening tours for a while. If that changes by November, please keep me in mind.

    Since you aren’t able to take three people into the inner Tsukiji Market, I found another tour company that will – However, they could only give me a tentative confirmation, citing possible changes in government regulations by November.

    I will keep an eye on your blog site and check back with you in October to see if anything changes.

    Best of luck to you and Shinji. I thoroughly enjoy your postings!

    Margene Fudenna


    1. Arigato Margene. Very interesting to hear about the regulations. Looking forward to when we can meet.

  4. Very exciting new plans, looking forward to reading the recipes and tips – and lovely photo of you both! X

    1. A new chapter for us Sophie. Hope your travels bring you back to Tokyo soon. xoxo

  5. Janice says:

    Wonderful news, Yukari & Shinji! (great shot of the two of you)
    Onwards and upwards! All the best, can’t wait to join you at your cooking school.
    Un abrazo

    1. Arigato Janice! Looking forward to cooking and sharing some wine or saké with you someday!

  6. Mandy says:

    What an exciting endeavor! Good luck to both of you!

  7. Arigato Mandy! Hope all is well in Kumamoto!

  8. Bruno says:

    Yukari-san! Such great news! I think it will be great for you guys. Looking forward to the cooking classes. Will be back in Tokyo next January with my mom and plan to repeat the tour with you so she gets to experience the market … and some cooking shopping as well 😉


    1. Arigato Bruno-san! Let me know when you know your dates in January. Looking forward to seeing you again. Hope you are cooking up a storm at home. Cheers, Yukari

  9. Monika Jain says:

    Short of going to Kyoto, can you recommend a store in Tokyo that sells everything ume (jam, salad dressing, etc)? Thank you!

    1. Monika, what exactly are you looking for? We make ume jam at home but we would never make salad dressing from the same ume. Can you be a bit more specific? Do you have a copy of my book, Food Sake Tokyo? It is sold at Kinokuniya at Shinjuku Takashimaya Times Square. It is also sold at Tsukiji Market’s bookstore at Tsukiji 5-2-1, Building #8.

    2. I wonder, are you thinking of umeboshi? But, I have not seen an umeboshi jam. If you can be more specific, perhaps I can help!

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