Tag Archive for: Eddie Hughes

Visit Japan – Endless Discoveries | Webinar

You are invited to join ‘Visit Japan – Endless Discoveries’ webinar on Wednesday, 2nd March at 7 PM. This event is organised on behalf of Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO).
Learn about Japan and what this fascinating country has to offer, get useful travel tips if you are planning a trip to Japan, and be in with a chance to win FANTASTIC PRIZES!

Date: Wednesday, 2nd March 2022
Time: 7 PM
Online: Zoom – link will be sent to all registered participants


Darina Slattery
Owner and Managing Director Unique Japan Tours
Darina is an Alumni of the University of Ulster and the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin. She holds an MA in International Marketing and a BA in Business with Japanese. After studying in Japan, Darina developed expertise in Japanese culture, language and traditions. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Japan. Darina has forged strong cultural relationships and has been the Chairperson of the Ireland Japan Association 2009-2011 & 2016-2020

Paul Murphy
RTE Journalist
A fluent Japanese speaker, his journalism career started in Tokyo in 1998, where he worked as a writer, copy editor for Mainichi Daily News. He worked for the International Herald Tribune/Asahi Shimbun in their Tokyo office. And he was also an English teacher at the Asia University in Musashi Sakai.

Siobhan O’Carroll
Teacher and former JET participant
Siobhan holds a BA in History and English Literature and a Postgraduate Masters in Education from DCU. Previous to this she obtained a degree in Environmental Management from DIT. She lived in Japan for a decade and a half where she passed level two Japanese proficiency from The Japan foundation. Whilst there she was employed as a travel consultant and taught English. On return to Ireland, she instructed Transition year and Leaving Certificate Japanese in a variety of Irish schools. She became a Failte Ireland approved tour guide on return and since then she has enjoyed sharing the beauty of Ireland.

Ronan McCarthy
former JET participant
I grew up in Dublin and went to Trinity College, where I studied Business, Economics and Social Studies (BESS). After graduating I joined the JET program. I lived in Yamagata City. I was a JET in 5-chu for 2 years. I also worked for our local TV station, presenting an intercultural communications show for 3 years. I worked full time at the TV station for my third year. Our show, called Hello Yamagata interviewed foreigners who lived in rural Japan. The show started locally on Yamagata TV but was soon taken up by the Tohoku cable network and eventually went national on NHK. This meant I travelled to every prefecture in Japan learning about each regions food, festivals, dialect and history. It was an amazing three years in my life and I would be honored to tell other Irish people of the fun, adventure, tranquility and modernity that can be experienced in Japan.

Stephen Whelan
former JET participant
I studied History and Politics in college, but specialised in International Relations at MA level. I have worked in universities in Ireland supporting student organisations and community engagement programmes. I also worked as an Irish diplomat. I was lucky enough to spend two wonderful years at Sophia University. When I first went to Tokyo, I did not speak any Japanese and life was difficult. I studied at Gaidai and settled in quickly before moving to Sophia formally. Living in Tokyo was a very new and exciting experience. I very much consider it a second home. I am a person that loves nature, hiking and running. Taking one day trips was always good fun. I visited too many places to name (for example, Kamakura, running from Takao to Jinba etc.). I had always wanted to see a different part of Japan, and JET gave me the chance to return and experience life outside of a big city. Tokushima has a fascinating history and is famous Aizome (traditional indigo dying) and the Awa Odori.

Eddie Hughes
Eddie lived in Japan for 6 years and revisited for multiple business trips. He met the Emperor Akihito twice in the Imperial Palace and the High Priest twice in ISE Jingu. He also enjoyed Kyoto and Nara and so many other places from Hokkaido to a Okinawa. He is a passionate lover of Japanese food sushi and sashima and is a keen festival goer.

To register for this event, please click below!


IJA Bounenkai End of Year Party 2021 | Photo Gallery

On 2nd December the IJA members, friends, and supporters came together to celebrate and enjoy one of the most exciting cultural events and celebrations of the year – IJA Bounenkai End of Year Party with Sake reception and delicious Japanese dinner taking place at Yamamori Sushi, Dublin.

Eddie Hughes, IJA Council, welcomed everyone to the event and shared a message from Raymond Hegarty, IJA Chairperson:

Bounenkai – the Japanese traditional year end party is a way to close off the year with friends and colleagues and get ready to welcome a new year. The word Bounenkai literally means ‘a gathering to forget the year’ – to put the troubles of the year behind you and face the future.

This echoes traditional celebrations dating back to 16th century Japan, when the Samurai lords would gather in late December for a day of cultural activities such as writing and reciting poetry. In the evening they would celebrate with a large banquet.

We do not expect much poetry to be written tonight, but we do hope that you enjoy each other’s company at the sake reception and during the meal.

Thank you for supporting the IJA this year. I wish you all the best for this evening and for the end of the year. I look forward to seeing you all again in 2022. – Raymond Hegarty, IJA Chairperson

Colly Murray, RetroVino

Event guests had a wonderful opportunity to taste traditional Japanese Sake drinks, including premium Junmai Sake, accompanied by a short presentation on Sake history and culture by Colly Murray, RetroVino followed by a delicious dinner at Yamamori Sushi restaurant.
We would like to thank everyone  – our individual and corporate members as well as friends and supporters who attended this event. We appreciate your continued support to the IJA throughout this year.
A very big thanks goes to Colly Murray, RetroVino, for sharing his passion and knowledge about Japanese Sake, to Graham Ryan and his team, Yamamori Restaurants, for hosting our event and making sure everyone had the best time, and last but not least – to Eddie Hughes, IJA Council, for his time, support and help to make this event such a great success.

Note: Please note that during this event the IJA followed and complied with the health and safety recommendations and restaurant policy.

Photos: Eddie Hughes

A night of Japanese sake tasting

Our first ever online ‘Sake Tasting Night’ took place on 29th April. The event was a huge success and we were pleased to welcome many IJA individual and corporate members to enjoy and learn the basics of sake from the comfort of their homes.

The evening included not only sake tasting but our guest speakers Colin Murray, Retro Sake, and Graham Ryan, Yamamori, took everyone on a virtual tour and introduced to the origins and history of sake, the wide variety of sake types and its production in Japan.

During the event participants had a chance to taste 6 different types of Japanese sake:

* Hatsumago “Kimoto Tradition”, Honjozo
* Kikumasamune Junmai “Koujo”, Junmai
* Kikusui Junmai Ginjo, Junmai Ginjo
* Rihaku “Dreamy Clouds”, Junmai Nigori
* Dassai 45, Junmai Daiginjo
* Fukuju “Plum Sake”, Plum Sake

We had a wonderful experience hosting this event and we would like to thank everyone who joined us and made it a tremendous success!


Event was organised in cooperation with RetroVino Wine & Sake and Yamamori Restaurant Group.

The IJA would like to thank Eddie Hughes, IJA Council, for his help and support throughout this project and event.

*Photos: taken by event participants

Sake Tasting Night | Online Event

We are excited to have teamed up with our friends – RetroVino Wine & Sake and Yamamori Restaurant Group, and would like to invite you to an exclusive Japanese sake tasting experience ‘Sake Tasting Night’ on Thursday, 29th April.

Explore the origins of sake and join us for a guided sake tasting and discussions from the comfort of your home!

This event is open exclusively to the IJA members only.

Date: Thursday, 29th April 2021
Time: 7.30 PM
Tickets: €50/pp
Bookings: https://retrovino.com/shop/p/ija
Free shipping: Include the discount code: IJA for free shipping in the Greater Dublin area.

* Ticket sales will close on Tuesday, 27th April. Please purchase your ticket before this date in order to receive your sake samples before the online event.
* Ticket includes free delivery of 6 Japanese sake samples (70ml – 100ml each) before the event within the Greater Dublin area only. At this time deliveries outside the Greater Dublin area are not available.
* This event is open exclusively to the IJA members only.
* Limited number of tickets available.

Sake, more commonly in Japan known as nihonshu, is one of the most popular Japanese drinks worldwide. Sake comes in a range of flavours and can be enjoyed in various temperatures and ways. Join this event and allow our guest speakers Colin and Graham to introduce you to the origins and history of sake, explore the wide variety of sake types and learn about its production. You also will have a unique opportunity to participate in guided sake tasting from the comfort of your home. Followed by Q&A session. Moderator: Eddie Hughes, IJA.

Your ticket includes a free delivery of 6 sake samples (70ml-100ml each) that you will receive before the event:
*Please note that free delivery is available in Greater Dublin area only.

* Hatsumago “Kimoto Tradition”, Honjozo – 100ml
* Kikumasamune Junmai “Koujo”, Junmai – 100ml
* Kikusui Junmai Ginjo, Junmai Ginjo – 100ml
* Rihaku “Dreamy Clouds”, Junmai Nigori – 100ml
* Dassai 45, Junmai Daiginjo – 100ml
* Fukuju “Plum Sake”, Plum Sake – 70ml

Guest speakers:

* Colin Murray, RetroVino Wine &  Sake – Sake evangelist, importer and lover of all things Japan.
* Graham Ryan, Yamamori – Managing Director, Yamamori Restaurant Group
* Eddie Hughes, IJA – A former Director of Japan for the Irish Government’s Trade Development Agency Enterprise Ireland based in Tokyo. He is a long time sake enthusiast and continues to develop his awareness and love of the deep fascinating world of Japanese sake.

RetroVino Wine & Sake
Retrosake is the little brother of RetroVino.  Established in 2014, RetroSake is Ireland’s first and only dedicated premium sake importer, supplying artisanal sake which is brought across the high seas in temperature controlled vessels to ensure optimal freshness and quality.

Yamamori Restaurant Group
Opened in 1995, the award-winning, family-run restaurant group has three restaurants and three bars in Dublin city centre each offering their own unique style of Japanese dining. Yamamori sources the best quality food ingredients in Ireland and directly from Japan, including variety of Japanese craft sake, craft beer and whiskey.

*Drink responsibly and enjoy alcohol in moderation at all times. 18+ only.

Tag Archive for: Eddie Hughes

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