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Sake Day 2016 – Recap of a Truly Amazing 11th Anniversary

What can I say? In a word Sake Day 2016 – the eleventh anniversary was a HUGE success! And wow does that feel good to type that.

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Before I list all of the records that we broke this year, I just wanted to say that the event was really professional and really fun. And we have heard nothing but positive feedback, including from Japan where Tokyo Television filmed Sake Day real time. We had the most sake brewery owners ever. We had the largest domestic craft sake selection ever. We sold the most tickets ever. We had the most attendees ever. It truly was an amazing event that did a great job introducing and re-introducing sake to the Bay Area. And as one participating sake brewer from Yamagata prefecture said to me, “This is the best sake tasting outside of Japan.”

One of my most favorite “features” at Sake Day is the “Try It – Like It – Buy It” service that allows you to taste a sake real time and then order that brew that you love with free delivery! There is nothing like it in the industry. We started it. We were the first, and it’s all for you!

The cheese and chocolate pairing stations were a hit! The Sake Challenge table was full all evening with guests learning to think while they drink sake. And folks would not stop talking about the Welcome Sake, which was off the hook!

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But! I want to do one thing that I did not do well enough on October 1st! I want to thank Team True Sake who did an amazing amazing job. Mei, KJ, Hiromi, Shin, Lynette and Stephen – you guys did the impossible and made it look easy. I am in awe of your professionalism, and positivity. And your passion for sake and for making our customers feel welcome and wanted is second to none. You guys rock! And SF, the Bay Area, California and the US is lucky to have you there doing what you do so well! Thank you.

I asked the team to chime in with their thoughts:

“What impressed me most was how much people enjoyed themselves and in such a positive way. Everyone from guests to staff and volunteers were all smiles. I think it reflects the True Sake way...learn about the wonderful world of sake while thoroughly enjoying yourself at the same time."

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“Few people know that my first Sake Day was 10 (wow 10!) years ago, and I haven't missed one since (who's with me?). I can't believe how much it has grown since then. And by that I mean not only in size, but also the love and appreciate of sake that surrounds us each year. From the small Firehouse dinner at Ft. Mason, to the JCC, the JCCCNC, and finally to the Armory in the Mission, no matter the venue it's always been incredibly fun and secretly(?) educational! My favorite thing about sake day is seeing familiar faces, (brewers, importers, volunteers, loyal True Sake customers, and SD attendees alike) as well as finally connecting new names to new faces. I'll always look forward to Sake Day. A big thanks to Everyone who came out last Saturday - those who made it all possible.”

“This being my 1st experience at Sake Day, I found it to be well organized and professional. It had many attributes that made it unique and fun in comparison to wine/spirit related events that I have attended in the past. All my wine industry friends were thoroughly impressed and had an amazing time while enjoying & learning about sake.”

“I've noticed this year at SAKEDAY was filled with both enjoyment and questions of what was in their cups. The realization of our attendees noticing the different profiles and characteristics enlightens me that sake is being appreciated. I hope to serve more people for the years to come at SAKEDAY!”

Being my 4th Sake Day I've attended, this year's was the most busiest I've seen it! Seeing how we went from JCCCNC to the Armory is such a huge difference! The late nights, emails(oh god, the emails..), meetings, and hard work our staff spent preparing for the event and then to see it all come together was amazing! The best part for me was to see new and old faces enjoying themselves, mingling with random people at the event and having conversations about sake! That's so cool! Dispite working at the event, I had so much fun seeing everyone having a good time. Thank you very very much to everyone who attended the event! There seriously wouldn't be an event if it weren't for you guys. I hope to see you all again next year!

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Of course the best record of all for this special Sake Day is our commitment to the JCCCNC, which will receive the largest gift from any Sake Day to date. And this is the stuff that makes it all worthwhile. Drinking for a cause!

I am both stunned and humbled to think that Sake Day started in a classroom at Ft. Mason. Sake Day has grown into an international success. Onward and upward!

And lastly!

If you could not attend Sake Day 2016 and want to be a part of the action the JCCCNC is still selling the very stylish and bright Sake Day T-Shirts that read “I See Sake People” on the back!

If they would like to purchase a shirt for $10 they can contact me at mokada@jcccnc or just stop by the front office and pick up a shirt - Matt Okada from the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California – 1840 Sutter Street SF, CA 94115 (415) 567-5505

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