Behind the scene

The beginning…


I relocated from San Francisco to Japan to start a business.  I found an expert consultant, Yoshi and Kazama-san, for business license and trade license.  After several visits to Japan for meetings in person, I was advised on business locations. It would almost impossible to achieve my relocation goals without their sound advice.

From San Francisco, I followed their advice for a new business location.  It proved to be a wise decision.


Yoshi found this brand new cozy place right by the Yokohama station, as you can see the photos above I really started from scratch to open my sake bar. Well, the uniqueness about this place is the big window so that many people outside can easily see what’s going on inside the building.



Interior design

Next, I followed Yoshi’s referral for a quality craftsmanship to customize some interior furnishings for the business.  Modular bar counter and matching standing bar tables were created for a showroom/bar type interior.

Chalk board

Bottle holders

Custom made tables







Got the license to sell sake !

Alcohol beverages are highly regulated in Japan like most countries.  In Japan, the national alcoholic beverage is nihon shu (sake).  I became acquainted to Nihon shu through some key industry contacts.  The more I learned, the greater my passion for Japanese sake developed.  I decided to focus on Japanese sake exporting.  At this time, I pursue a license to export, import and sell on retail basis.  None of which are easy to obtain. The Japanese taxation office will review and carefully evaluate the approval for such license.

The process is cumbersome.  When I got approved, it was a proud day.  It is not an easy license to obtain!





Don’t be fooled.  My time in Japan until now has not been a charmed life.  Yes.  I did overcome some significant barriers of entry and acquiring business license(s).  Along the way was entirely smooth.

However, all seemed to be progressing.  With a business license and design interior in place I was ready to open my business.  But, I was surprised to learn that the large kitchen sink in my cozy new business location was not adequate for serving 60ml cups of sake.   I needed to have THREE sinks, not just one large sink.  This was one of those unexpected business costs and delays.







Two refrigerators arrived on a HOT day!!

Today was an exciting day. Bear in mind, the oversized coolers are not only for keeping bottles of sale cool, but they are also vital for display purpose.

As efforts are under way for the preparation of the opening of Meishu Center Yokohama, a sake tasting room and retail bottle shop, the two large refrigerated coolers were delivered today.  These commercial units are brand new and look attractive in their placement and fit by the 2nd floor storefront window.  However, these units operate with high quality of temperature consistency and precision.

The two large refrigerators are flanked on each side of  the second story storefront window.  The units have LED lighting inside which illuminate the colorful sake bottles.  The two refrigerators can easily accommodate and display the variety of 100+ bottles of sake.


Very likely the largest selection of sake available for tasting and buying in Yokohama!