We’ve Got Your Ticket to ‘Bibe

Sake San Jose 2011 Tickets Now on Sale!

Sake San Jose is back to celebrate, Year of the Rabbit style. Join us for one of the most anticipated fundraisers of the year, as once again we take to the streets of San Jose to sample over 25 sakes and get a taste of the prolific food, flavor and culture of one of the three remaining Japantowns in the United States.

Sakes made in Japan and the US, such as daiginjo, ginjo and junmai grades will be available for tasting at over 25 Japantown businesses, providing a great opportunity for connoisseurs and novices alike to sample and learn about a variety of sakes. The sixth annual SSJ will also debut an Akiyama Premium Sake Tasting, where industry experts will guide more ardent tasters through a special collection of premium sakes and accompanying “small plates” in the James Akiyama Wellness Center’s Sakura Room. These limited-quantity tickets include participation to the regular SSJ event as well.

Thank you for your continued support of Yu-Ai Kai and its healthy aging programs. For more information, please visit www.yuaikai.org or www.sakesanjose.com.


Follow the White Rabbit

Since relocating to Japantown San Jose in 2009, the State of Grace tattoo studio and its internationally renowned artists have quickly become an integral part of our tight-knit community.

Last year, State of Grace founder, Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura, graciously accepted a request to help create an exclusive design for our Sake San Jose tshirts.This year, in keeping with the zodiac theme that he introduced in 2010, Horitaka has created an eye-catching, spunky design for the Year of the Rabbit. We are very excited to promote this design on our 2011 tshirt, which will be available to purchase soon.

Also for this year’s event, Horitaka has enlisted one of his artists, Kenji “Horiken” Hori, to contribute an original watercolor painting to Sake San Jose. Horiken is an artist skilled in hand tattooing with over 15 years experience, who immigrated to the United States to practice traditional hand tattooing here. A stunning watercolor painting was hand-delivered to Yu-Ai Kai and will be featured in this year’s event poster.

State of Grace was founded in 2002 by Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura as a shop specializing in traditional Japanese tattooing in the United States. In an effort to further share tattoo culture, State of Grace is involved in book publishing, as well as lecture presentations.

State of Grace │ 221 Jackson Street, SJ 95112 │ 408.441.0770   www.stateofgracetattoo.com

Akiyama Premium Sake Tasting

This year, Sake San Jose will be premiering a new event in the brand new James Akiyama Wellness Center, the Akiyama Premium Sake Tasting. A special collection of premium sakes will be assembled for tasting in the Center’s Sakura Room (5:30 – 7:30pm).

Along with sake, a variety of “small plates” will be offered to accompany the sakes. Sake experts will be available to offer information about the different sakes being tasted. And once you have tasted these offerings, the streets of Japantown will still be available for you to find your Sake San Jose favorite sakes.

2010 Sake San Jose Raffle Road Winners

At last year’s event, we introduced Raffle Road to Sake San Jose participants. As sake stations throughout Japantown were visited, tickets were marked and once completed, were entered into a drawing for a chance to win a case of mixed sake. Congratulations to Walter Taoka of San Jose and Alberto Russell, our Raffle Road winners of 2010!

Raffle Road Winners 2010

Walter Taoka & Alberto Russell - 2010 Raffle Road Winners

Even When it Rains, it Pours…

By James Bailon

Sake, that is. The weather these last few days have been less than ideal for a walk through Japantown, and it does look like there is a chance of showers for tomorrow night’s event. Regardless, and while we may have to make some minor adjustments, the sake will be definitely be pouring for our fundraising event’s 5th Annual showing in Japantown San Jose. We look forward to attendees checking out the new shops in Japantown, finding their new (or old) sake favorite, and warming up with a free cup of hot brewed coffee at Roy’s Station. Many of the sakes you taste will be available to purchase, and please also feel free to stop by our new Kanpai retail store. And during the evening, simply hit up the sake stations for a chance to win an entire case of sake all your own. We thank you for your continued support of Sake San Jose, Japantown, and Yu Ai-Kai senior services. Kanpai!

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Limited Edition Horitaka T-Shirts Available Now!

By Kelli Martines

Our limited edition Horitaka-designed t-shirts have arrived and are now available for pre-sale! World-renowned tattoo artist, Horitaka, generously created a design exclusively for Sake San Jose 2010. What an opportunity to own a piece of art and get a new shirt, all while supporting Yu-Ai Kai Senior Services!

In celebration of the Year of the Tiger, Horitaka’s powerful yet gracious representations are set in brushed gold on solid black. Shirts are available in modern cuts for men and women, as well as the classic Beefy T. Whether a unique gift for someone special or a treat for you, these limited-editions design are bold and fun.

Toradoshi Shirts for Sake San Jose 2010

Designed by Horitaka

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More Sakes for 2010

By James Bailon

For the 5th Annual Sake San Jose, the number of sake stations has increased this year to 29…which means more Japantown sites to hit (see the New Businesses post) and new sakes to try, including the earthy Kasumitsuru Kimoto Extra Dry, rich Kenbishi, and creamy Mizubasho. What’s going to be your favorite sake this year?

New Sakes for 2010

Mizubasho Taiheikai Kasumitsuru Kimoto Extra Dry
Mizuho Kuromatsu Kenbishi Banryu Kuro-Ninki Ippin Junmai Ginjo

For the 5th Annual Sake San Jose, the number of sake stations has increased this year to 29…which means more Japantown sites to hit (see New Businesses post) and new sakes to try, including the earthy Kasumitsuru Kimoto Extra Dry, rich Kenbishi and Creamy Mizubasho.

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It’s just…a little Crush…

By Linda Ueda

Meet Lonnie Ferguson of ORANGE CRUSH STUDIOS

Browse Yelp’s comments about Lonnie at Orange Crush Studios and it will not take long to appreciate the 5-star reviews written enthusiastically by his growing and loyal clientele. Not only has Lonnie worked behind the chair as a successful stylist, he is also an educator for Paul Mitchell and Redken, and currently works as a hair and makeup artist for The San Francisco Opera/Ballet and Opera San Jose. His resume also includes time spent as an editorial stylist, runway stylist and theater stylist! Lonnie has trained with industry greats and continues to share his passion for hairdressing with hundreds of students throughout Northern California. We are thrilled that Lonnie will be opening the door of his studio to Sake San Jose 2010!

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Meet Lonnie Ferguson of ORANGE CRUSH STUDIOS

Rice and Beans: Free coffee after Sake San Jose event

By James Bailon

Fun times and sake won’t be the only things brewing in Japantown for this year’s event. Roy’s Station on 5th and Jackson has announced that they are offering a free cup of drip coffee to all participants of Sake San Jose. Simply stop by after the event until 9PM and show them your wristband, and enjoy a hot cup of coffee before hitting the road or continuing your night in Japantown. Many thanks to Roy’s Station for adding a perfect finish to a night of sake tasting.

Roy’s Station Coffee and Teas is built on the historic site of a gas station run by Roy Murotsune and his brothers, from post WWII to 1990. The closing of the gas station left the spot mostly vacant, after years of being a Japantown landmark. The coffee shop has emerged to breathe new life into the location and is run by Carole Rast, daughter of Murotsune, and some of her family. They continue the spot’s tradition of fueling customers, this time with with a different source of energy, which includes coffee from Barefoot Coffee Roasters, tea from Teance, assorted pastries, and Japanese snacks from Tengu Sushi. Roy’s Station is open daily, and on May 27th will be serving customers until 9PM.

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New Businesses on the Sake San Jose Walk

By Linda Ueda

If you’re a return “sake sipper” to Sake San Jose, you will be introduced to new businesses during this year’s 2010 event.  Among those that we welcome this year are Aristocrats and Shaburi Shabu Shabu Restaurant

Aristocrats is a modern retail store for those that seek to carve out a unique identity.  Kaizen, continuous improvement, moves this fine retailer in the constant pursuit of refined perfection.  Visit www.artisocratsboutique.com to learn more. Better yet, visit their shop during Sake San Jose 2010!

Shaburi — Shabu Shabu Restaurant serves the finest ingredients, along with Kobe Style Beef, for a most delicious Shabu Shabu experience.  On this year’s route, Shaburi is a tasty new business to visit.  See www.shaburirestaurant.com for more information.

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