Ninjas are notoriously hard to pin down, but we were very lucky to recruit the nicest ninja in NYC to join the Sake Revolution and to sit down for an interview and kanpai. That Ninja, of course, would be Chris Johnson, the Sake Ninja. Chris tells us how the sake ninja title came to be. I won’t give it away, but you may be shocked, shocked I say, to learn it does involve a late night drinking party at NY’s rough and ready Sake Bar Decibel. And how about falling in love with premium sake on your last night in Japan after living there for three years. That’s like having your first Zabar’s bagel the day you move out of New York. And that’s just the beginning for our fun talk with C.J.

Today’s pod is also a deep dive into the sakes of Gunma Prefecture. Gunma is one of Japan’s land-locked Prefectures with abundant mountains, but no direct access to the sea. I turns out that none of us have ever actually been to Gunma, but based on our tasting, we now all want to go. “Gentle notes of wafting melon” was a common refrain for this tasting session.

Skip to: 00:22 Hosts Welcome and Introduction
Welcome to the show from John and Timothy

Skip to: 02:11 Interview: Chris Johnson, The Sake Ninja

Chris is a certified Saké Sommelier, certified WSET Level 3 Saké Educator and in 2013 earned the distinguished title of Saké Samurai. Chris Johnson fell in love with Saké – and the culture and history that surround it – during the three years he spent living and working in the Japanese countryside.

Skip to: 15:59 Gunma Sake Tasting: Sake Tasting Introduction

Introducing this week’s sake picks, all three from Gunma Prefecture.


Skip to: 19:19 Sake Tasting: Mizubasho Ginjo

Mizubasho Ginjo

Brewery: Nagai Shuzo
Classification: Ginjo
Alcohol: 15.5%
Prefecture: Gunma
Rice Type: Yamadanishiki
Seimaibuai: 50%
SMV: +4.0
Brand: Mizubasho/Mizbasho (水芭蕉)

Where to Buy?
Purchase on TippsySake.com: Mizubasho Ginjo
NOTE: Use Discount Code “REVOLUTION” for 10% off your first order with Tippsy Sake.


Skip to: 21:14 Sake Tasting: Seitoku Junmai Ginjo

Sake Tasting: Seitoku Junmai Ginjo

Brewery: Seitoku Meijo
Classification: Junmai Ginjo
Acidity: 1.2
Alcohol: 15.5%
Prefecture: Gunma
Seimaibuai: 50%
SMV: +3.0
Rice Type: Gohyakumangoku
Brand: Seitoku (聖徳)
View On UrbanSake.com


Skip to: 24:29 Sake Tasting: Akagisan Daiginjo

Sake Tasting: Akagisan Daiginjo

Brewery: Kondo Shuzo
Alcohol: 16.0%
Acidity: 1.3
Classification: Daiginjo
Prefecture: Gunma
Rice Type: Yamadanishiki
Seimaibuai: 38%
SMV: +3.0
Brand: Akagisan (赤城山)
Importer: Mutual Trading (USA)
View On UrbanSake.com

Where to Buy?
Purchase on TippsySake.com: Akagisan Daiginjo
NOTE: Use Discount Code “REVOLUTION” for 10% off your first order with Tippsy Sake.


Skip to: 27:24 Food Pairing Ideas

Skip to: 32:08 Show Closing

This is it! Join us next time for another episode of Sake Revolution!