World’s largest sake festival comes to London

The Joy of Sake

The Joy of Sake, the world’s largest sake celebration outside Japan, will make its first ever London appearance in September.

Featuring hundreds of premium sakes in peak condition, and sake-themed small plates from the city’s top restaurants, the event will be held at the Barbican Centre, London on 28 September from 6pm to 9pm.

The Joy of Sake, first held in Honolulu in 2001 and now in its 18th year, celebrates the ancient art of sake-brewing, bringing together premium daiginjo, ginjo and junmai labels from every region in Japan.

This year’s annual tour kicked off in New York City on 15 June, continues on to Honolulu and London, and concludes with a finale festival in Tokyo at the onset of the sake-brewing season.

Sales of sake in the UK have increased over the last decade as it moves beyond Japanese restaurants and into a broader dining milieu.

Chris Pearce, founder of The Joy of Sake, said: “Over the past five years London has achieved global acclaim for the quality and creativity of its cuisine. Not coincidentally, it also has the most dynamic sake scene in Europe. We feel that now is the time and London is the place. We look forward to bringing the world’s best sake celebration to the UK.”

September’s event features sake from 192 breweries across Japan delivered to London in an unbroken chill chain to ensure quality. Half are ultra-premium daiginjo sakes, made from the innermost core of the rice grain.

Guests help themselves to self-serve tastings, while enjoying sake-themed dishes from a selection of top London restaurants, including SushiSamba, Sake no Hana by Hakkasan, Dinings and Chisou.

Tickets for The Joy of Sake London are priced at £75 and include unlimited samplings of sake and small plates from 14 participating restaurants.

A list of 478 sakes available for tasting can be found here. For tickets and information visit

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