Gourmandizing television personality Hidehiko Ishizuka has a famously large appetite. Apparently, the portly comedian also has a taste for Japanese sake. On a clear February afternoon in the sake-producing region of Fushimi, just south of Kyoto, a camera crew forms a tight circle around Ishizuka as he samples a glass of sake in the tasting room of Matsumoto Shuzo, a historical brewery and designated heritage site.
"This sake is dangerously good," he murmurs appreciatively. After a few more sips, he declares his signature catchphrase, "maiu" (a play on the Japanese word umai, meaning "delicious").
The footage will be used in an upcoming episode of "Ishi-chan no Sake Tabi" (Hidehiko Ishizuka's Sake Journey), a new original series from Amazon Prime Video, a subscription video-on-demand service from Amazon Japan. The weekly program, which began streaming on Feb. 3, follows Ishizuka and sake expert Masanori Takahashi as they visit 20 sake makers across the country, sampling regional delicacies along the way.