Tag Archive for: online event

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.

‘Black Dragonfly’ by Jean Pasley | Online Book Launch

We are delighted to invite you to an online book launch for ‘Black Dragonfly’ by Jean Pasley on Thursday, 22nd April at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

Jean will discuss inspirations behind her debut novel ‘Black Dragonfly’ based on the remarkable experiences of the Irish writer Lafcadio Hearn, and will read an extract from her new book.

Moderator: Prof. Mary Gallagher, UCD School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics.

Date: Thursday, 22 April 2021
Time: 7-8 PM
Registration: This online event is free of charge and open to the IJA members and non members. Prior registration is required by Tuesday, 20th April via email: info@ija.ie. Zoom login details will be sent to all registered participants before the event.

Over a century after his death, nomadic Irish writer, Patrick Lafcadio Hearn remains one of the most famous Westerners ever to make Japan his home. In this richly imagined novel, Jean Pasley explores not only Hearn’s stark, lonely childhood in Ireland and his scandalous time in America but also how Japan changed him and how he went on to become one of Japan’s most celebrated and cherished writers.

Guest speakers:

  • Jean Pasley
    Dublin-born writer and filmmaker Jean Pasley spent ten years in Japan. Her screenplays have won numerous awards, the most recent being The Audience Award at Cork International Film Festival 2020 for The Bright Side on which she was co-writer. Her new short film, Ship of Souls, which she directed, was also inspired by Hearn and is due for release shortly. She now lives in Dublin, close to one of Hearn’s childhood homes. This is her first novel. Jean Pasley is also a member of the Ireland Japan Association.
  • Prof. Mary Gallagher
    Professor of French and Francophone Studies in University College Dublin. Most of her work centres on 20th century writing in French from beyond Metropolitan France, particularly from the Caribbean. In 2003-4, she published critical re-editions of the French translations of Lafcadio Hearn’s French Caribbean writings (collected in Two Years in the French West Indies). More recently, she published articles on Hearn’s (Creole) storytelling and on the Creole continuum in his American writings. She is currently completing two studies of some of Hearn’s New Orleans stories and sketches. Prof. Gallagher has lectured on Hearn’s migrancy not just in Ireland, but also in France and Greece, as well as in Japan and in the United States. She serves on the UCD Japan Committee, and she is the current convenor of UCD’s Asia-Pacific Research Network.

Magical Winter Hokkaido | Travel Talk

Our friends at Unique Japan Tours would like to invite you to an online travel talk ‘Magical Winter Hokkaido’. This webinar will give you a real insight into the incredible beauty and magical winter wonderland that awaits you in Hokkaido, Japan. Webinar is free of charge and open to everyone.

Date: Thursday, 22nd October 2020
Time: 11 AM (Dublin/London time)
Pre-registration is essential: https://www.uniquejapantours.com/magical-winter-hokkaido-japan-travel-talk/

Panel & Topics

  • Paul Haggart, Hokkaido Tourism Consultant, Niseko Town Council Industry & Tourism Division.

Paul will introduce and outline some of the things that make Niseko ski resort one of the most highly acclaimed in the world. Often nicknamed the “Aspen of the East” for its luxurious accommodation options and lively apres ski bar and restaurant scene. And yet unlike Apsen or any ski resort in Europe, Niseko boasts so much more such as an abundance of natural volcanic hot springs to soothe the muscles after dinner at the end of a day’s skiing. Niseko has seen skyrocketing growth in overseas visitor numbers over the last 2 decades with over 200k overseas visitors traveling to Niseko in the 2018/2019 season. One of the key highlights is the abundance of deep, light, fluffy, “powder snow” of which Niseko has become renowned since it receives an average snowfall of over 15m’s a year (compared with about 1.5-2m in many European ski resorts). Paul is a long term resident of Niseko who has a passion for promoting the food, culture, and amenities of the area to prospective visitors and will be able to answer any question you have on the area.

  • Andrew Clarke, Unique Japan Tours Hokkaido Tour Leader & Former Hokkaido Resident for many years.

Andrew will introduce you to the sights and experiences that we have compiled into our most underrated and perhaps “off the beaten path” tour of Japan – Journey to the East. From the bright lights and overwhelming sights, sounds, and tastes of the Sapporo Snow Festival to the peaceful tranquility of observing the mystical and highly endangered Red-Crowned Crane bath in an icy cold flowing river at sunrise. He will outline some of the joys that are to be discovered along our adventurous route through the heartland of a frozen Hokkaido and showcase some of the photography he took along the way. A keen snowboarder and former Niseko resident, Andrew will also outline some of the options for those seeking to try some winter sports in Hokkaido.

  • Darina Slattery, Managing Director Unique Japan Tours

Darina has spent almost 25 years living, working, and breathing Japan! Born in Ireland but has spent half her life working with Japan. Her love for Japan started young at just 17 years old. Considered a unique choice back then, she decided to continue her love of languages and study Business Studies with Japanese!! During this time she spent one year at Meiji Gakuin University in Yokohama/Tokyo which really was the start of her career/love affair with Japan. In 2005, she began welcoming Japanese people into Ireland (Japan Ireland Travel). But soon realised that Japan was a far more interesting destination and the global audience was far greater than just the Japanese traveler so created Unique Japan Tours. Darina is the master mind behind all itineraries and routes developed with her loyal team in Unique Japan Tours. During her discussion, she will give you an insight into Japan today; what Covid changes are in place; and where the future lies for travel to Japan post-covid.

  • Mizuki Kamakura, Unique Japan Tours – Moderator

For more details and to register for this online talk: https://www.uniquejapantours.com/magical-winter-hokkaido-japan-travel-talk/

Traditional and Tropical Japan | Travel Talk

Our friends at Unique Japan Tours would like to invite you to an online travel talk ‘Traditional & Tropical Japan’. This webinar is free of charge and open to everyone.

Date: Thursday, 1st October 2020
Time: 11 AM / 7 PM (Dublin/London time)
Pre-registration is essential: https://www.uniquejapantours.com/traditional-tropical-japan-travel-talk/

With special guest speakers from Kyoto and Amami Ooshima in Kagoshima Prefecture (Ryukyu Islands), this webinar will give you a colourful insight into everyday life in Kyoto explained by a local tour guide – Mr Tetsuya Kawabata. Tetsuya-san will give you a summary of the history, best places to see depending on the season, and a taste of what you can expect while visiting this magnificent Unesco World Heritage city.

Mr Akio Sugioka, a local guide in Amami Ooshima, one of Ryukyu Islands located in the Pacific Ocean, not too far from Okinawa, will tell about Amami Ooshima – a tropical paradise famous for its unspoilt nature, tropical rain forests, magnificent clear blue seas/skies/beaches, and sumptuous fresh food. Being just a 2.5 hour flight from the mainland (Tokyo or Osaka), it is the perfect way to add peace and tranquility to your trip of a lifetime in Japan. Especially suitable for families and honeymooners alike.

Panel & Topics:
* Mr Tetsuya Kawabata, Official Tour Guide in the Ancient capital and center for all things cultural, Kyoto
* Mr Akio Sugioka, Official Nature Guide in the tropical island of Amami Ooshima
* Mr Hokuto Horikawa, Senior Travel Consultant at Unique Japan Tours explaining two relevant tours:

  • Traditional & Tropical Japan – 15-Day Small Group Tour featuring many of Japan’s higlights, finishing off on Amami Ooshima.
  • A Tropical Treat – 4-night tropical stay on Ishigaki and Taketomi Islands or Amami Ooshima – the perfect way to add a tropical extension to any of your travel plans to Japan.

* Ms Mizuki Kamakura, Unique Japan Tours

Questions & Answers

For more information and registration: https://www.uniquejapantours.com/traditional-tropical-japan-travel-talk/

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