After sailing 113 nautical miles (209kms) from Osaka, we arrived Kōchi, Japan, for a day of sightseeing and Sake tasting.
Today I was taking one of the Azamara arranged tours. My Tour was the Takagi Sake Brewery and Hirome-ichiba Market.
Enjoy an authentic taste of life in Kochi as you partake in two time-honoured local traditions – enjoy great food and sipping superb sake. Your day begins with a visit to the Takagi Brewery, an acclaimed Japanse sake maker, where you’ll enjoy a first-hand look at this ancient craft. Follow a local guide on a tour of the facility followed by a tasting session where you’ll have the opportunity to sample a variety of Takagi sakes.
Next, it is off to the Hirome-ichiba Market, a favourite Kochi gathering spot where traditional recipes are on delicious display. Mingle with the locals wandering about this lively collection of 40 food stalls, each one offering up another tasty treat. Those interested in experiencing real local flavours, will find it does not get anymore homegrown than the Hirome Market. Following your culinary adventure, a short drive leads back to the ship.
Our guide for the day was Miyuki. As per usual the tour guide gave us a the rundown on the history of the area. Definitely a lot quieter area than Osaka and Kyoto.
Takagi Sake Brewery
After about a 40 min bus trip from the wharf in Kōchi we arrived at the Takagi Sake Brewery in Konan, Kōchi.
Takagi Sake Brewery was established in 1884. They focus on brewing their sake’s in the cold, utilising the clear, cold air and water of winter.
They follow the delicate and complex brewing process of Daiginjo-shu. No idea what that means.
The owner of the the Takagi Brewery showed us around the place. He mentioned that Tornado know as the Dragon God, which they have named their premium sake after a tornado hit Kōchi, the sake improved.
After the tour it was time to get down to business and taste some of the Takagi sake.
- Number 1: Apple aroma, bit of heat on the finish. This was their premium sake, the one that has won an number of awards. Decided to grab a bottle of it
- Number 2: Lighter than the first one, also enjoyable. Purchased one of these as well.
- Number 3: Some structure. Another good drop
- Number 4: Standard sake taste, a very nice quaffer sake
- Number 5: Yuzu liquor not bad for the last drop. Enjoyed this as well, so purchased a bottle as well.
I expect that this will be one of the highlights of my Asian Odyssey. If you are in this part of the world I would recommend a visit to the Takagi Sake Brewery. We may have been given the red carpet treatment because we were the first cruise ship to visit Kōchi and the Takagi Brewery since Covid.
Return to Kōchi
After our sake tasting it was time to return to Kōchi to visit the Hirome-ichiba Market for lunch.
On the way back we passed this castle on the hill, it was built to be a tourist attraction though I don’t think it was finished.
After another 30 to 40 minutes in the bus we arrived at the Hirome-ichiba Market in Kōchi, our lunch destination.
Before heading in for lunch I went for a short walk to Kōchi Castle, did not have time to go inside.
Hirome-ichiba Market Kōchi
The Hirome-ichiba Market was filled with different food outlets, after wandering around I found a couple places that sold what I was looking for. Bonito, a local fish, snails and some tuna sashimi. All good, though, with the exception of the Bonito, the not as good a quality as I had in Tsukiji Market in Tokyo.
After lunch and another walk around Kōchi it was time to head back to the ship. Where I noticed some street art on what I think is a sea wall.
Kōchi Sail Away
After a very enjoyable day in Kōchi Japan it was time to set sail for our last port in Japan, Kagoshima.
The locals definitely put on a big show of saying goodbye.
Before dinner decided to change things up a little and try a Pisco Sour in the Living Room, nice and refreshing.
Dinner – Prime C
Tonight’s dinner was my first in one of the specialty restaurants onboard, Prime C. Prime C is Azamara’s steakhouse.
Grilled limoncello shrimp bruchetta
Interesting, not what I was expecting, in a good way. Nice combination of flavours. A great way to start dinner
Very good, a nice combination of flavours, though the brioche was a bit dry. Good quality beef.
New York Strip Loin with Hasselbeck Baked Potato and Steamed Broccoli
Good steak, missing something though, needs more seasoning and was not as succulent as a steak with the quality of meat used should be.