One of the most famous hot springs in Japan can be found in the town of Kusatsu, Gunma Prefecture. As it is impossible to describe adequately the exquisite pleasures of total immersion in the waters therein and the salubrious effects, both physical and psychological, the experience seems to impart, we will encourage our readers to go out there and try it for themselves. While they are there, they might want to stop by at Anzai Shoten (安齋商店) and buy a bottle of Initial A #02 (イニシャル【ア】#02), a nihon-shu made from rice that is largely unpolished (90% seimaibuai) with an abv of 14%. This is a genshu; in other words, it is undiluted. It is a collaboration between Tsuchida Sake Brewery (土田酒造) and Anzai Shoten, an upmarket liquor store in Kusatsu Town. This is their second joint venture. The rice used in this one is from Gunma, but the strain is unspecified. Aside from a slight bitterness at times, the experience is quite enjoyable. Initial is pale yellow. It is sweet when it hits the palate but possesses some acidity and offers up a dry finish. The tactile experience is silky, like the waters of Kusatsu!
Some Views of Downtown Kusatsu, Day and Night