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Umeshu, an ancient fruit wine from Japan, attracts foreigners under the name of “UMESHU” and is attracting attention from all over the world. The appeal of Umeshu is not only its taste and aroma, but it can also be easily made at home using seasonal japanese apricots. An increasing number of foreigners living in Japan not only love Umeshu, but also make and enjoy Umeshu themselves. The appeal of Umeshu has been communicated overseas by Umeshu makers and foreign fans, and it has captured the hearts of people around the world.

Umeshu is very popular with foreigners

Umeshu is a traditional Japanese fruit wine. Umeshu was established in the middle of the Edo period. Plum and plum wine will increase in Japan in four seasons. Although it is sometimes called “plum wine” by foreigners, plum is a different kind of plum or apricot. It doesn't ferment like wine. Therefore, it's often called “UMESHU” as it is even overseas. It may be surprising for the Japanese, but plum wine is very popular with foreigners. According to one survey result, Umeshu is the second most popular beverage souvenir selected by foreign tourists in Japan (1st is sake and 3rd is Shochu). Considering that the percentage of plum wine is said to be around 10%, you can see how Umeshu is highly appreciated by foreigners.

Why is Umeshu so popular? There are three reasons

There are three main reasons why Umeshu is popular with foreigners. The first is delicious and easy to drink, and is compatible with other meals. You can choose how to drink water, hot water or soda. The taste understates the appeal of other dishes. For this reason, many foreigners love umeshu as an aperitif. The second is the appeal as a healthy drink. It is received as a health food because it contains many nutrients such as minerals. It is also expected to have an appetite-increasing effect and an aromatherapy effect by the aroma of japanese apricots. And the last thing is that you can easily make it at home. During the "Oume" (※1) season for foreigners in Japan, many people make umeshu by purchasing ume, shochu, rock sugar, and bottles. Of course, it may be cheaper than buying ready-made products, but it is attractive because you can make original umeshu by making it at home. You can adjust the amount and time of soaking according to your preference. Umeshu was originally made in each household and was almost unknown to foreigners. In 1959, Choya Umeshu Co., Ltd. began producing and selling plum wine for the first time in the world. With this as a trigger, this hidden famous sake grabs the hearts of foreigners, and Choya is now sold in 40 countries around the world.
For this reason, Choya is also synonymous with plum wine overseas. The popularity of umeshu overseas is supported by the corporate efforts of brewers and word-of-mouth information from core foreign fans.

Export value more than doubled in 5 years

“Umenojuku Sake Brewery” in Katsuragi City, Nara Prefecture produces plum wine using only Ume from Nara Prefecture. In the preparation work in late June, a large amount of plums immersed in the tank gave a refreshing scent. Umeshu is a liqueur made by immersing fruits or herbs in distilled liquor and adding sugar or syrup. Regarding the reason for the increase in popularity overseas, President Yoshiyo Yoshida says, “It is easier to understand than sake and shochu.” The company has exported plum wine since 12 years ago and now has 14 countries and regions. Overseas shipments account for about 10% of the total plum wine. According to the National Tax Agency, the export value of liqueurs such as plum wine has more than doubled from 1,840 million yen in 2011 to 4,210 million yen in 28. There are many in Taiwan, Hong Kong and the United States. ”President Yoshida points out,“ As Japanese food is becoming more popular, there is a growing need to combine Japanese sake with Japanese food. ” Sake and wine are subject to tariffs in the EU, the US, etc., and have been negotiated by EPA in Japan and Europe, but liqueurs can be exported without tariffs.


Japanese plum wine acclaimed by foreigners

Umeshu is highly praised by foreigners as one of the most delicious sakes in the world. Umeshu has a higher reputation overseas than in Japan. Overseas, you can't get Oume and shochu like in Japan, but there are still many people who want to try making umeshu that they long for. We would like to reexamine the appeal of Umeshu created by the Japanese climate and culture. ※1…Oume is Blue and hard japanese apricot fruit that does not ripen yet. Also called Miume. Japanese apricots smell very good, but they are poisonous and should never be eaten raw. Eat Umeboshi, Umeshu, and Ume juice.

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