Sake lovers eagerly await the coming of autumn, when spring's brash young brews begin to mellow and develop complexity. Unsurprisingly, this season is prime time for tastings, and October means sake events all over Japan.

The wave of festivities kicks off on Oct. 1, or Nihonshu no Hi (Sake Day). First celebrated in 1978, this holiday marks the beginning of the traditional sake-brewing season. On Oct. 1 and 2, 20 producers from Kyoto and Fushimi will team up with local businesses to organize the Kyoto Nihonshu Horoyoi Festa (, a two-day bar hop in Kyoto's Karasuma district. Your ticket will get you a glass of sake and a plate of snacks at any four of the 40 participating restaurants and bars. Tickets are ¥2,800 in advance (until Sept. 30) and ¥3,000 on the day of the event.

Those who missed September's Shizuoka Jizake Matsuri festival ( in Tokyo can catch the event on the evening of Oct. 1 at the Numazu Riverside Hotel in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture. The tasting will feature sake from around 30 producers and a standing buffet. Tickets are ¥2,000 and can be purchased in advance through ticket agency e+.