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The Japanese word sake means simply "alcohol" and sake is the original Japanese alcoholic drink.
Brewed from rice, sake is made throughout the country, each brewery producing a unique taste.
No matter how much time you devote to the task, it would be impossible to trace all the minute differences between all the various brands and recognize the taste of each.
Furthermore, even the sake from a single brewery will change according to the brewing technique used and the time of the year in which it is produced.
In order to enjoy the minute differences and textures of the sake it is necessary for the drinker to have an extremely delicate palate.
So the establishment of sake culture can be said to reflect the delicacy of the five senses in the Japanese.
The labels on sake bottles are beautiful.
Each label embodies aspects of the local history or the ideas of the brewer and there are a lot of ardent fans who collect them.
In olden times, sake was considered to be a holy drink.
Even today, when many old customs are dropping out of use, people still place sake on the family shrine and share a cup of it on New Year's or on other special occasions.
From this it can be seen that sake retains its sublime position as the drink of the gods.