L.A. Regains a Sushi Master - Mori at Shiki Beverly Hills [Thoughts + Pics]


We still remember the sadness years ago, when it was reported on our old board that Morihiro Onodera, Chef-Owner of Mori Sushi decided to sell his business and leave for New York. I shared in the sadness as Mori-san provided some of the most fantastic experiences I had ever had with Sushi and the Omakase experience.

But thankfully his apprentice, Chef Masunori “Maru” Nagano, proved more than capable of taking over, and in many ways, Maru-san has arguably exceeded the master, with Mori Sushi still delivering the best Sushi in the City of Angels.

Mori-san went on to retire, and focused on his side hobby and love for pottery and ceramics (he actually still makes custom plates for Providence and Melisse currently).

So it was with great surprise and happiness (thanks to @MyAnnoyingOpinions) that we heard Chef Morihiro Onodera had come out of retirement and returned to L.A. to make Sushi again at Shiki (Beverly Hills)! :blush:

We called and confirmed with the receptionist that indeed Chef Mori was at Shiki now, and we quickly made reservations. :slight_smile:

As we were seated, it turns out Shiki has afforded Chef Morihiro Onodera his own private Sushi Bar area in the back (a nice, quiet section that’s like your own private dining room with Chef Mori). :slight_smile:

As we sat down, we were immediately greeted by Chef Morihiro Onodera.

It has been so many years since we last saw Chef Mori, but almost immediately, from his humble demeanor, to warm welcome, we felt like we were at home again. Throughout the evening, Mori-san was talkative, affable and reminded us of why he was our favorite itamae back in the day.

Mori-san originally worked with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa at Matsuhisa in his early years in L.A. Mori-san also worked under the legendary Chef Jiro Ono (of Michelin Three Starred Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo and “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” fame) before that.

Chef Mori then introduces us to his brother, Nao-san, who’s also working at the private Sushi Bar with Mori-san. It turns out it was his brother Nao-san (who also worked under Nobu Matsuhisa years ago) who convinced Mori-san to come out of retirement. :slight_smile:

Mori-san said that his brother Nao-san moved back to L.A., started working at Shiki Beverly Hills, and kept asking Mori-san to come out of retirement so that they could work together one last time, which is pretty neat. :slight_smile:

Kansansui - Junmai Daiginjo Sake (Fukuoka, Japan):

I’ll leave it to @beefnoguy and other Sake experts to suggest other Sake for our next visit (though that bottle of Daishichi Ginkan (Junmai Daiginjo) looks like it’s for Ballers Only (i.e., for @J_L @ipsedixit @Porthos @PorkyBelly @BradFord @bulavinaka and a few others)). :wink:

The Kansansui was recommended by Mori-san as a great pairing with his courses this evening so we went with that. It was lightly floral, elegant, and quite smooth. :slight_smile:

Jikasei Ankimo Tofu (Handmade Monkfish Liver Tofu):

The first course is a Handmade Tofu dish, except it’s made out of Ankimo (Monkfish Liver)(!) mixed with Handmade Tofu. It is denser than a Silken Tofu, but still quite light and creamy.

Zensai Course - 5 Bites:

We then start with their Zensai Course, a nice arrangement of seasonal bites. From this course, you can see some of the limitations Mori-san has compared to when he was running his own restaurant (Mori Sushi). There are no handmade, custom ceramic plates (that he sculpted himself). No seasonal accoutrements that were a staple of his presentations at his own restaurant. But the important thing is the taste…

Shiitake Shimeji Nibitashi - Braised Shiitake and Shimeji Mushrooms in a Housemade Dashi:

Delicate, full of deep flavor that only Shiitake can impart. Delicious! :slight_smile:

Shirako - Cod Milt (Hokkaido, Japan):

I still lack the confidence to eat this very often, but the Shirako from Hokkaido was perfectly light, creamy, balanced, and the Housemade Dashi Broth (completely different from the Nibitashi Broth we just had) was outstanding! :slight_smile:

Ika Saikyo Yaki - Grilled Squid in Saikyo Miso:

We usually see Saikyo Yaki being the choice for Gindara (Black Cod), but the deep, savory Saikyo Miso worked quite well with Squid as well.

Wakamomo - Mountain Peach Gelee (Shizuoka, Japan):

This innocuous little cube contained one of the most beautifully fragrant, floral bursts of Peach flavor that I can remember! One of my favorite bites of the evening! :blush:

Sa-mon Daikon Maki - Salmon Wrapped in Daikon Radish:

This was a little bite of Marinated Salmon wrapped in pickled Daikon Radish. This was just OK.

Mori-san was such a joy to talk to throughout the evening. At this point, Mori-san confides in us that he’s not totally happy with the supporting preparation on some of the dishes he wants to make and serve, but he says it’s getting better.

Ni Awabi - Abalone (Morro Bay, California):

Meaty but tender and very fresh, one of the favorite aspects of this was enjoying it with Mori-san’s Jikasei Yuzukosho (Handmade Yuzu Pepper Sauce)(!):

Which had a nice spicy kick to it, but also had an intriguing slight bitterness (from the Yuzu citrus rind).

Kegani - Japanese Hairy Crab (Hokkaido, Japan):

Mori-san was quite proud of the Kegani course, saying this was one of the dishes that represented Winter in Japan right now. It is beautifully presented, with most of the meat de-shelled already and collected inside a hollowed out Lemon.

Served with a lightly sweet blend of Japanese Vinegar and Dashi, the Kegani from Hokkaido is one of the best versions we’ve had in recent years (better than Shunji’s preparation recently). The Crab meat is inherently lightly sweet, with a kiss of the ocean, and it was very easy to eat as well. :blush:


The Hairy Crab Tomalley was wonderfully funky and delicious.

At this point, the Nigiri portion began.

Sayori - Japanese Halfbeak (Kanagawa, Japan):

Inbetween a totally light whitefish and the heavier, oily fishes, the Sayori had just the right balance of slight creaminess, meatiness, but keeping a supple mouthfeel. This was excellent, and my friend’s favorite bite of the evening (and one of my favorites). :blush:

Seeing Mori-san’s knife work, it’s as if he never left. It was fascinating watching him work and cut each piece for our courses, so effortless and with a real happiness. :slight_smile:

Tai no Kobujime - Snapper Wrapped in Konbu (New Zealand):

The Snapper is wrapped in a special type of Konbu that Mori-san sources from Hokkaido, Japan. It’s topped with fresh Yuzu zest, and the result is outstanding! It is very close to the level of joy we had at Mori Sushi from Mori-san’s Tai back in the day and Maru-san’s most recent Tai no Kobujime. :slight_smile:

One note regarding the Rice: We had to ask about the Rice. For those that don’t know, Chef Mori was so obsessed with creating the best Sushi Rice that back in the day at Mori Sushi, he sourced a special grain of Rice grown just for his restaurant(!). Maru-san continues the tradition to this day, which is one of the reasons why Mori Sushi is still the best in L.A.

The Rice here is “60/40”: 60% Shiki’s choice, and 40% Mori-san’s choice. He said when he first got here, the Rice at Shiki was not to his liking at all. He has managed to partially convince the ownership to partly change the Rice, with “40%” of the blend being Rice grains he has chosen to mix in.

The result is a good bite with the Rice having a distinct mouthfeel, not mushy, not too dry, not overly vinegared either. Even with the limitations, currently it is better than most local Sushi bars’ offerings, but it is not as good as his original, Mori Sushi.

Buri - Adult Yellowtail (or “Big Yellowtail” as Mori-san affectionately called it) (Toyama, Japan):

Meaty with enough fat to give it an almost creamy quality. Very good.

Chutoro - Medium Fatty Tuna Belly (Kyushu, Japan):

Tender, fatty, luscious, but not overly luscious (like Ohtoro). :slight_smile:

Later in the evening we asked how the Akami was (@J_L’s favorite), but Mori-san being his usual open and honest self, told us he wasn’t happy with the Akami on this evening, so he didn’t want to serve it to us.

Kohada - Gizzard Shad (Toyama, Japan):

We saw Mori-san visibly beaming as he was serving this to us. I asked him about this piece, and he said Kohada was one of his favorite Sushi, and he was particularly proud of how the Kohada was this evening. We couldn’t wait.

Taking a bite…

There’s a beautiful supple chew, with real body in each bite. The meatiness gives way to an amazing natural brininess in this oilier fish. The taste was INCREDIBLE! :heart: :open_mouth: :blush:

This was seriously the best Kohada that we’ve had in years.

Best Bite of the Evening!

Mori-san goes on to explain that the Kohada he’s serving is one of the great teachings he learned from Sushi Master Jiro Ono back at Sukiyabashi Jiro. He said this was one of the courses that was very much “Jiro-style” and he was indebted to his teacher.

Aji - Horse Mackerel (Chiba, Japan):

One of the great joys of eating at a great Sushi restaurant is the interactions with the Sushi Chef. Mori-san was talkative throughout the evening, and he related a story to us about this course:

He told us how Aji is normally more of a Summertime fish, but one of his trusted sources found a really fatty Aji in the middle of Winter (from Chiba, Japan). So he went with it, and after eating it, you can see how well Mori-san knows his fish.

The Aji was bright, lightly (naturally) oily, creamy, slightly fatty and delicious! :slight_smile:

Mirugai - Geoduck (Seattle, Washington):

Very fresh, great firmness yet soft, pliant mouthfeel. The bit of Handmade Yuzu Kosho really elevated this bite.

Kinmedai - Splendid Alfonsino (Chiba, Japan):

There was a gorgeous smokiness (the skin lightly grilled over open flame), giving way to a creamy awesome bite! :smile:

One note: Unlike at some Sushi bars, Mori-san actually applied open flames from a grill when he wanted to have something lightly “seared” (instead of the usual blowtorch (which sometimes imparts a propane / gas aftertaste)). We noticed the staff would use a blowtorch for courses going out to the tables, but Mori-san wasn’t using it.

Ikura - Salmon Roe (Alaska, U.S.A.):

Beautiful pops of salinity and brininess, with a nice crispy Nori wrapper. :slight_smile: I would say the Ikura we had at Shunji was slightly more crave-worthy (the Dashi it was marinated in), but this was very good.

Uni - Sea Urchin (Santa Barbara, California):

Creamy, lightly oceanic, very good.

We asked Mori-san about Bafun Uni from Hokkaido, and at this point, he talked about the challenges he has returning from retirement. He said he didn’t really have a reliable source for Bafun Uni from Hokkaido currently, but is working on it. So for now he’s focusing on Santa Barbara Uni (which is arguably better / just as good depending). But this hints at the limitations Mori-san is working with.

Anago - Sea Eel (Tsushima Island, Japan):

Very good. Delicate, lightly sweet.

Tekkamaki - Tuna Sushi Roll (Kyushu, Japan):

At this point, Mori-san shares with us a story of when he goes to other Sushi restaurants, the Tekkamaki is how he judges them by (not Tamago, not other cuts, just Tekkamaki to start with). He explains that with Tekkamaki (Tuna Sushi Roll), you can see how they make their Rice and how it holds up. You can see their knife work (how cleanly the Roll is cut), as well as the sourcing for their Nori (which is very important), as well as the quality of the Fish itself of course. It was fascinating to hear him talk about that. :slight_smile:

Mori-san’s Tekkamaki? Very good. Slightly crisped Nori, nice mouthfeel on the Rice grains and the Chutoro was as delicious as before.

Saba - Mackerel (Kanazawa, Japan):

The oiliest and briniest of the Sushi we had this evening (inherently), the Saba was very good. Not as amazing as the Kohada, but also done in a Jiro-style preparation learned from his previous master Jiro Ono. :slight_smile:

Hotategai / Isobeyaki - Scallop (Iwate, Japan):

Mori-san lightly grills the Scallops for a couple of seconds on the open grill, just to give it a light smokiness. He explains that normally Isobeyaki is a treat with Mochi in the middle. But here, Mori-san uses a fresh raw Scallop cut and flattened, so that it’s also white and has the same general shape (like Mochi), so it’s playfully called Isobeyaki as well at a Sushi restaurant.

The Scallop was delicious, and the Nori (Seaweed) wrapper was still very crispy and delicious. :blush:

We ask Mori-san about his famous Nori he served at Mori Sushi back in the day, and he laments that he has not sourced that Nori for his courses at Shiki… yet. But he’s “working on it.” The Nori he wants to source is a special one from Ariake Bay in Japan, and all of the veteran FTC’ers probably remember how amazing his Nori was (so crisp and crispy and airy). :slight_smile:

Housemade Warabi Mochi + Vanilla Ice Cream with Saba Sauce:

Mori-san’s Housemade Warabi Mochi are wonderful. The Pounded Rice Cakes are so pillowy soft and airy, with a bit of nuttiness from the Kinako (Toasted Soybean Flour). It paired quite well with the Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Saba (Grape Must Reduction) Sauce.

Mikan - Oranges (Japan):

Chef Mori gave us some Oranges he sourced from a good friend in Japan as a parting gift. They were very sweet, seedless and very aromatic.

Service was very good at the back private Sushi Bar area, with Mori-san or his brother Nao-san, personally serving us most of the courses, with a waiter popping in for tea, drink refills and clearing plates.

The return of Chef Morihiro Onodera to L.A. (out of retirement) is a wonderful thing: We have regained one of the most talented, approachable, affable Sushi Chefs that I’ve ever met. Even operating under the constraints of another restaurant owner’s conditions (Shiki Beverly Hills), with the Sake list not under his control, nor the Rice (only partially), and some of the sourcing, what Mori-san has done coming out of retirement just a few months ago, under these limiting conditions, is just put out some of the best Sushi that we’ve had in 2017. :slight_smile:

Just as important as the Sushi is Mori-san himself: He is a treasure and such a joy to eat with. Unlike too many stone-faced, taciturn, unfriendly itamae that we have to suffer through (cough Q Sushi, Sushi Zo cough), Mori-san is so warm and willing to talk and share stories, that it makes the Sushi experience that much more of a great dining experience. :blush: You could see the happiness he had, joking with his brother, and other staff, throughout the evening.

And it doesn’t hurt he’s already served the best Kohada that we’ve probably ever had, with outstanding courses throughout the evening, all in a quiet, relaxed setting.

(Note: Ask to be seated in front of Mori-san when making reservations.)

Chef Mori @ Shiki Beverly Hills
410 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Tel: (310) 888-0036

Nice Ambiance, Pretty Plating, Pleasant and Underwhelming - n/naka [Thoughts + Pics]
The Truffle Guru (and The Other Sushi Master in L.A.) - Shunji [Review]
Sake Talk Anyone?

So, it only took one day!

Two questions:

  1. How much for the above?

  2. Is the head sushi chef listed on their website (https://shikibeverlyhills.com/intro.html), Shigenori Fujimoto, now history?

On the kohada, which we had a day before you: he said to us—though he wasn’t the one who made it—that kohada is most sushi chefs’ favourite fish.


If I’m a baller, anyone for ping pong? :wink:

Great write up as always!


Thanks for the report! I too was going to ask the damage per person.

Do you have pictures of the sake menu? How much do they charge for the Daishichi Ginkan? I can’t imagine it anywhere below $1800 (plus so few bottles were made considering its production and significance).


I live/eat thru you!!

Kohada is one of the most traditional pieces for sushi, a true taste of Edo


Hi @MyAnnoyingOpinions, @beefnoguy,

It was $200 / person, plus t&t. But we were beyond stuffed. In hindsight, I should’ve stopped about 4 pieces earlier. :sweat_smile: Which would put closer to $175.

Even our biggest eater friend was stuffed, but we were so eager to try more of Mori-san’s Sushi since it had been so long.


As it’s 12 pieces of nigiri + tekkamaki + handroll, i’m assuming the bulk of the cost was in the cooked items and sake.

By comparison, at our last sushi omakase at Mori in mid-2016 we got 24 pieces of nigiri + tamago + housemade tofu to start + dessert for $160/head before tax and tip. But I’d guess Mori’s prices have risen in the last year and a half as well so I’d assume it would be closer for just sushi, adjusting for sake. You have to pay more for that Canon Dr. rent, I guess.

Sorry for bringing money into this.


Abalone (when high-quality) and kegani are both very expensive. I remember when I used to eat at Sushi Yotsuya a couple of years ago, adding on a serving of abalone would be ~$20-25, if not more (don’t quote me on that). That’s at Tarzana strip mall rent :wink:


Right. A similar story at our omakase dinner at Shunji in late 2014. Only five pieces of nigiri but it came to $140/head before tax/tip. Hairy crab was featured there too in the cooked section. And our lunch at Shiki this week became more expensive just by adding on the nodoguro ($20 for two pieces).

I wonder if it would be possible to do a sushi only omakase with Chef Mori at Shiki.


If you’re fond of sushi-only omakase (or, at least, the QPR it suggests), I highly recommend checking out Shibucho for dinner if you have an open slot (or perhaps next time you’re in LA). It’s a bit out of the way if you’re mostly in the Westside, but very close to Koreatown.

For your first time Shige will ask you what you want to eat rather than automatically serving you omakase; I would actually go ahead and pick out whatever strikes your fancy. (Specify nigiri rather than sashimi, just to be safe.) There’s not much he keeps in his case that isn’t good, as I suspect that the majority of his business is from regulars. It helps not having to have a set menu or play to the lunch crowd.

His Yellowtail & Family selection is very good - hamachi, kanpachi, and shima aji are staples. He’ll sometimes have wild buri when it’s in season. I don’t think he keeps too much white fish around but his hirame kobujime is great when he has it - or maybe I just need to ask for more white fish :wink: Obviously he has tuna, and almost always toro (often chu- and o-), but I’m pretty sure they’ll be bluefin (feel free to ask, though). His aji and saba are great. He also marinates his own salmon, which makes it one of the more unique bites of salmon you’ll ever have as sushi. His sweet shrimp is top-tier, as is much of his shellfish (aoyagi, aoyagi abductor [kobashira], mirugai [sometimes], hotate). His ikura is decent but admittedly I liked Shunji’s more. The uni is nearly always very good, since I suspect he just won’t buy it if it’s not up to his standards, and it’s probably one of the things he gets locally. Anago is great, goes without saying. What am I missing? Oh, the squid is great. Albacore is surprisingly good, but it works better in his Italian-inflected salad - with arugula, tomatoes, high-quality olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and ponzu. I don’t love octopus sushi in general so I can’t comment on how it is here. The tamago is excellent.

If it turns out that the toro isn’t bluefin, make sure to round off the meal with a toro-takuan-shiso handroll. Otherwise the salmon skin handroll may be a pleasant surprise - but don’t burn yourself.

If it’s pear season ask if he has any poached pear for dessert. Tiramisu is a close second.

Getting an exact price tag is impossible, given that it’s based entirely on what you eat, but a good rule of thumb is ~$10 per order of fish (2 pieces per order - a little less for the standard stuff, a little more for the higher-end). I think you should also have no problem negotiating a price ahead of time and letting him stop you when you near it, but I’ve never tried. If you come with another person you may try ordering different items to try a broader swath of items and mitigate the 2-pieces per order style, but I’m not sure how he’d take to such trickery.

Reservations highly recommended.

tl;dr: You should be able to eat 8 orders of fish (16 pieces) + a handroll + dessert for ~$100pp (pre-tax/tip) without too much trouble. To me this is the best value in this city, for this quality. The only place I have tried with a similar QPR was indeed Sushi Yotsuya, though I haven’t been in a while so I can’t swear on whether it’s as good. Call ahead - even same-day reservations are better than nothing. Order whatever you want. Leave happy.

The beverly blvd sushi joint. (somewhat long) (and that ain't no joke)

I’ve had abalone but I find abalone liver to be absolutely tasty! God I could eat that over some rice.

Thanks for the Shibucho info!

A lot of the bad reviews are from people who had no rez and never tasted the food


It’s currently my favorite spot. There were times where I was going twice a month, though I’ve dialed back a bit lately (on all eating out, admittedly).

When I’m eating alone I tend to lean more heavily on the sashimi than the sushi. This will bump up the price tag but you will actually be eating twice the fish, it’s not unreasonable.

The sashimi side of things is maybe even more interesting - halibut usuzukuri w/scallions, ponzo, and outstanding homemade momiji oroshi is great, and the hotate, thinly sliced and rolled with shiso, consistently surprises me with how amazing it is (and I already love scallop).

He also has some “cooked” dishes, though I couldn’t swear to the specifics. I know he does make chawanmushi, but I haven’t tried it yet. He told me to a few days in advance to reserve it - he makes the dashi from scratch and doesn’t often keep it on hand, due to limited demand.

If you’re feeling adventurous you might ask for his riceless saba/vegetable maki, with cucumber/ginger/shiso/etc. It’s a very unusual flavor and texture profile, owing largely to the gari, and might be a bit of an acquired taste… (@J_L, @CiaoBob, @BradFord - you wouldn’t happen to know the name of this roll? He told me it was traditional back in Japan, but I can’t find anything…)


Hi @MyAnnoyingOpinions,

Yes you can do Nigiri Only if you want. He asked us in the beginning and we wanted to try a full variety of items from Mori-san, to see what he’s offering these days. :slight_smile:


Does he actually have a hand in (all) the cooked items as well? Shiki seems to have an extensive kitchen.


What trickery is this? I’ve never had to eat both pieces of sushi when with a friend. Many times, when dining alone at places I’m a regular, the chef will even kindly serves me one-piece sushi orders.


Great tip @MyAnnoyingOpinions and great report as usual @Chowseeker1999! Happy 2018 :tada:


Hi @beefnoguy,

I had never heard of Daishichi Ginkan. Why is it so expensive? Was it really rare? :slight_smile:

They also had a Fukukomachi Junmai Daiginjo that the menu says is “400 years” selling for… $85 a glass! :open_mouth:

Here are some pics of the sake menu. We’ve tried some of the bottles on there before at other places, but some I don’t recognize. Thanks!


Great report as usual @Chowseeker1999. How’s the neta selection at shiki compared to mori, i.e. was there more fish to try in case one was still hungry? Asking for a friend. thanks.


Thanks @PorkyBelly. :slight_smile:

The selection was not as interesting or extensive as Mori Sushi (when Mori-san was there, or even now with Maru-san). However, we were stuffed even with this current selection (and it was very good). :slight_smile:

I think I saw another ~3 - 4 types of fish being offered that evening (skimming their menu insert, and overhearing some conversation), but Mori-san said the fish he served us that evening were the ones he felt like he wanted to serve us / was most confident in.

Right now, I think Shunji’s has the most extensive array / unique fish of the top places, with Mori Sushi and then Shiki (w/ Mori) after that. Worst case, your “friend” can just order an extra order of that legendary Jiro-style Kohada, Sayori, Tai and Kinmedai. :wink:


Thanks for the entire sake menu pics!

Ahh ONLY $1250 for Daishichi Kinkan. I keep forgetting this is not New York…

Before talking about Kinkan, it’s good to talk about two other similar (but different) products of Daishichi

From Left to Right: Myoka Rangokyu, Myoka Rangokyu Grand Cuvee, Ginkan

The baseline Myoka Rangokyu represents the pinnacle of their flagship Junmai Daiginjo (before the more limited lineups and special editions) sake by Dashichi brewery. This company is extremely famous in Japan for not just producing quality sake, but is also very well known for adhering to very traditional methods. Thus the more prized offerings are lower in production. On top of that, their packaging is some of the best in the business.

For the MR bottle alone: the glass used in the bottle is Murano (Italy), and the engraved plate is German. I believe this applies to the Grand Cuvee as well.

All three bottles I believe are brewed via the Kimoto method, are Shizuku (free run drip), and Genshu (undiluted). Internet websites can easily describe the technical details of these three terms. On top of that, the rice polish technology (referred to as flat rice polishing) by Daishichi is done in such a way that they lay claim to fame for it (although I was told by someone that they did not invent this technology). The rice polish ratio is always 50% for their Junmai Daiginjo, no matter the grade/quality/price.

For most higher end Daishichi bottles, you will notice that the back label says BY (bottling year) which predates the current year by about 3, which means there was a 3 year minimum aging prior to release.
This will especially be the case for MR, MR Grand Cuvee, and Ginkan.

The Grand Cuvee is a fascinating one…and is like a blended whiskey. The amount of bottles released per year is even more limited. What Daishichi does is blend upwards of 20 years worth of past releases of MR (the ratios unknown).

And kudos if you read it this far. This bit is from Daishichi regarding the Ginkan

“Daishichi junmai daiginjo sake Ginkan was used again last month at the important annual ceremony of Koyasan, the historic Shingon Buddhist temple mountain in western Japan. Crafted specially for the celebration of Koyasan’s 1200th anniversary in May last year, this complex, deep-flavored and superbly elegant sake has wowed sake connoisseurs in and outside Japan since its debut. Daishichi made this product by using a small portion of holy water from Koyasan in addition to Daishichi’s local water. We brewed each year since 2010 this sacred version of our very best, undiluted, natural-drip sake and picked the most ideal brew from the barrels produced during the four years. In Ginkan, we have combined the finest ingredients and all the most ideal tools, techniques and procedures developed by generations of Japan’s top artisans. We have carefully selected the finest grains of top-grade Yamada Nishiki sake rice produced in Hyogo Prefecture; prepared the rice thoroughly with our state-of-the-art super flat rice polishing technique; and brewed by leveraging the functions of microorganisms according to the three-century-old kimoto method. This one-of-a-kind sake was completed without dilution and by the collection of free-run drops which is a way to obtain the purest part of each brew. Ginkan was matured for years and poured into 1,200 bottles for limited sale.”

““Ginkan” means “Milky Way.” This name was chosen by the Head Priest of Sanboin, Hidaka Zenryu, based on a poem by Kobo Daishi. The calligraphy in which the Japanese name of the sake has been written, was copied from the own handwriting of Kobo Daishi, who was also a famous calligrapher.
The design of the label was inspired by esoteric Buddhist art and has been splendidly realized using the makie (raised lacquer) technique from Kaga. The pewter emblem on the bottle has the form of a lotus-shaped kei, an ancient percussion instrument used in temples.
This truly is a superb sake that brings several Japanese crafts together.”

My take that this is a variant of MR, but blended with holy water (blessed by temple priests), and blended batches from last 7 years (like Grand Cuvee).

Shiki’s sake menu seems a little too all over the place and random for me.