Aizu, Japan, in Fukushima Prefecture’s western side, is a wonderful region. Not only does it boast beautiful mountains, lakes and ponds, but it also has a unique samurai heritage, incredible temples and shrines and is known for its classical sake breweries.
The local beverages sake and shochu present themselves in a variety of expressions that many people — both foreigners and Japanese alike — find tricky to wrap their heads around. The best way to develop your palate for understanding these is nomi kuraberu (trying several in one sitting).
Continuing on my journey past Maizuru, a port city heavily influenced by its naval history, and Amanohashidate, known to be one of the three most scenic spots in Japan, I arrived at the north end of Tango Peninsula.