Sake is becoming popular as an alcoholic drink all around the world now, but just like wine, sake is indispensable in Japanese cuisine, used to take the edge off foods, add a sheen and bring out the flavour. (And never mind in cooking, a glass of good sake is indispensable to me, too! haha!)
You can buy cooking sake which has been mixed with salt and vinegar to avoid alcohol duty, and which you can’t drink, but I find it too salty, and prefer to use normal drinking sake in my cooking.
The photo is of the shop at the local Urano Sake Brewery in Toyota, near where I live. I’ll be talking with the master brewer there soon, so look forward to more later!