I recently returned from Britain, where I took part in some events sponsored by the Japan Central Brewers' Association and the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation. I was impressed by the quality and the sheer variety of sake offered by Japanese brewers and enthusiastic local distributors such as Tazaki Foods.

Sake has not had much shelf space in the U.K. until now, such pioneers as the Rais Wain Shoppu in London's Soho district notwithstanding. But things are rolling at last.

Tak Tokumine, the director of the Japan Centre on Regent Street is expanding his shop this month, and plans to dedicate a huge 80 square meters of floor space to sake. Tireless ambassador for Japanese culture though he is, he is also a shrewd businessman, and it is clear that he expects great returns for surfing the swelling U.K. sake wave.