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How a Travel Company Opened a Sake Store in London: Interview HIS Japan Premium

The first interview of Season 3: a conversation about a new Japanese sake and grocery store, HIS Japan Premium, with John Opondo, who is Managing Director of HIS Europe and Masahiro Tsuji, HIS Business Development Manager.

John and Masahiro are telling a story of how a travel company decided to open a sake and grocery store in Central London during the COVID-19 pandemic. HIS Japan Premium has an excellent sake selection curated by Natsuki Kikuya, who was a guest of Sugidama Podcast in Episode 11.

Don’t forget, Sugidama Podcast now has a sponsor, London Sake, an excellent online sake store. London Sake has one of the widest selections of premium and craft sake available online today. They deliver across the UK and Europe, and with over 100 sake from 25 breweries, there really is something for everyone.

Using simple online tasting notes and sensible, affordable food pairings they help you find the perfect sake without any of the fuss. Listeners of the podcast can get a 10% discount Listen to the episode to get the magical code! London Sake: making sake simple.

Episode’s Content:

  • Creation of HIS Japan Premium Store
  • What are the store’s major revenue sources
  • HIS Japan Premium’s grocery and sake range
  • The store’s philosophy
  • Interconnection & World Peace
  • Tsuji’s and John’s backgrounds
  • HIS Japan Premium customers
  • Opportunities and challenges
  • Sake of the episode: Shiramayumi Junmai Ginjo Hidahomare

Sake mentioned:

Shiramayumi Junmai Ginjo Hidahomare
Kaba Shuzo
HIS Japan Premium Food & Travel (in-store only)

NOMIKAI: The Sake Experience at HIS Japan Premium
212 Shaftesbury Ave London WC2H 8EB
TEL : 020-7484-3311

Sugidama Podcast on Podchaser – please review if you don’t use Apple Podcasts

Music used:
Wirklich Wichtig (CB 27) by Checkie Brown

Just Arround the World (Kielokaz ID 362) by KieLoKaz


Vocal: Svetlana


Alex is a London-based sake blogger, podcaster, IWC Sake judge and sake advocate. He is a publisher of the Sugidama Blog website and a host of the Sugidama Podcast. Alex has an International Kikisake-shi (Sake Specialist) qualification from SSI (Sake Service Institute). He sees his mission as expanding the awareness of Japanese sake among as many people as possible and helping the growing community of sake lovers to bring together beautiful Japanese sake and non-Japanese food as a way to build a better understanding between our cultures.

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