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2018 on Sugidama

Ding dong, 2018 is coming to the end. Just a few days, and it’s 2019. It’s been almost a year since I started Sugidama Blog, and it was a wonderful year. I have published 30 posts, grew the audience to 500 unique visits per month, redesigned the website and learnt a lot about website development in WordPress. Sometimes, I even feel that I’m turning into a WordPress nerd, not a sake blogger. But, no, sake is still the main thing on my mind!

So what are the 2018 highlights for me? This blog is definitely one. Not only because I enjoy writing about sake. The blog gave me the opportunity to meet many very interesting people, visit cool events and try plenty of wonderful sake. Another highlight is doing the Kikisake-shi course with Satomi and Ollie this autumn. I started the course as a sake novice and finished as Master of Sake! (Well, not exactly the master, still learning :-)). I also started learning Japanese this year to be able to read labels on sake bottles, order sake and food at restaurants in Japan but more importantly to have conversations with sake brewers when I finally go to Japan. The last but not in any way the least highlight is establishing a tradition with my friend (who is anonymously featured in many of my posts here) to meet occasionally for a meal and sake.

Looking back I am a bit amazed by how many great people I met during the year. I didn’t even imagine that the London sake scene is so cool. There are people working in sake promotion, education, import, marketing and sales. They all are so passionate about the drink and told me so much interesting facts and stories about sake. It is very difficult to name everyone but I’ve just gone through my Google account and pulled those photos, I really liked.

London Sake Personalities

This year was full of meeting with new amazing and inspiring people. Big thumb up to all of you and looking forward to seeing all of you in the next year! Please click on the photo to find out where to meet these wonderful people!

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Social Network #Friends

Snap, tag and post! We all tweet, Instagram, chat and so on hoping to get noticed in this huge world. We follow other people who do the same but sometimes better. But it’s always so cool to meet your social networks friends in flesh! Talk to them and see their smiles, have a few drinks and discuss the sake we drink. Keep up posting, guys!

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Sake Events of the Year

I’m so grateful to the sake community for organising so many cool events this year. Some of them were great, some were just fantastic. I’ve written about many of them in this blog. So just a few highlights for me.

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My sake picks of 2018

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And now a bit of an Oscar-winning speech! I really would like to thank those who were supporting me with my blog endeavour during the year: my wife, who was constantly generating creative ideas (some of which were fantastic but unfortunately a bit difficult to implement), making amazing photos and acting as a PR and events manager, my daughter, who helped me with my first posts to make them grammatically, stylistically and structurally cool, my son, who helped me out a few times when the website crashed due to my ineptness and supported me in my first sake and food pairing event, my anonymous friend who not only introduced me to sake but with whom we met regularly during the year to drink sake and who was my first non-family subscriber and finally my another friend, Moto, from Kamakura, who helped me with finding some very important information for my posts and who treated me with a glass of Dassai on our last day in Tokyo back in 2016.

Thanks a lot to those who read my posts and find them interesting or useful. Please continue visiting Sugidama Blog in 2019. Happy New Year and Kampai!


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.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Ichi Tokyo

    Hi, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this article.Keep on posting!

  2. Fuji Sushi

    Articles are very informative and hope again I’ll find more like that.

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