Tiny replicas from a famous brewery are this month’s hottest gacha collection.

There are so many great sake to choose from in Japan, but when you’re at the convenience store and looking for a reasonably priced sake that doesn’t make you screw up your face after the first sip, you can’t go past the hugely popular One Cup by Ozeki.

Instantly recognisable by people around the country, One Cup might be on the cheaper end of the sake price spectrum, but that doesn’t make it anything to sneer at. Its maker, Ozeki, has been brewing sake for over 300 years out of Hyogo Prefecture, and One Cup is just one of many varieties produced by the company.

In fact, Ozeki is such a household name that its products have now been honoured with a set of cute miniatures by gacha capsule toy manufacturer Kenelephant. The five-piece collection has been beautifully reproduced, and provides us with an interesting insight into what makes Japan’s drinking culture so special.

The star of the collection, of course, is the One Cup, which Ozeki actually pioneered to allow people to easily drink sake “anytime, anywhere”. The miniature includes the iconic blue-and-white label, the metallic pull-back lid underneath the plastic cap, and… a can of yakitori from Hotei Foods.

People in Japan generally like to eat while drinking, and this can of sweet soy-seasoned chicken is widely thought to be the perfect partner for a One Cup.


Next up in the collection is a cute three-piece set consisting of a tokkuri (sake serving bottle), choko (sake cup), and tsukudani (preserved food boiled in soy).

This set helps you “enjoy an evening drinking scene”, as it conjures up the feeling of being at a local izakaya tavern. Another friend of Ozeki sake is oyster tsukudani, seen here next to a bottle emblazoned with the Ozeki (大関) logo, and a matching cup decorated with a traditional Japanese pattern called yabane (“arrow feathers”).

The next cute set replicates a large 1.8-litre (60.9-ounce) bottle of Ozeki Sake Gold with a small drinking glass. This is said to be the brewery’s standard brew, with a great balance between sweet and dry that makes it easy to drink and a good partner for a variety of foods.

Although the total height of this miniature is about 5.5 centimetres (2.2 inches), with a cap that measures about four millimetres (0.16 inches) across, the Ozeki Gold label has been perfectly replicated on the bottle, and the logo even appears on the tiny cap, just like the original. 

A good sake collection isn’t complete without a wooden barrel and masu square cups for drinking, and this set faithfully reproduces the original ones produced by the brewery.

Sake barrels are used for celebrations and festivals, where people perform kagamibiraki, or the breaking of the barrel with a mallet. The barrels are usually made with cedar, which imparts a wonderful woody flavour to the sake, and this taste is further enhanced by drinking it out of a wooden masu.

Last but not least, we have a miniature cargo vessel, which pays tribute to the real ship that carried sake from Nada Gogo to Edo during the Edo Period (1603-1868).

Nada Gogo is the name used to refer to the five groups of sake breweries in Hyogo, to which Ozeki belongs. During the Edo Period, Ozeki’s sake was popularly known the name “Manryo,” and this name appears on the banners at the stern of the ship.

The Sake Miniature Collection Hyogo Nada Gogo Ozeki Edition will be on sale from late December at capsule toy vending machines, select hobby shops, and the Kenelephant gacha paradise at Akihabara Station.

▼ Each item is priced at 400 yen (US$3.85).

Some hobby stores and Loft retail stores will be selling them in blind boxes instead of gacha capsule toy vending machines, so keep an eye out for these when you visit.

These sake miniatures make great gifts, but personally we’ll be buying them for ourselves to add to our ever-growing tiny toy collection. Now if only we could shrink ourselves down to enjoy a One Cup (or two) while soaking in our miniature sento bathhouse!

Related: Loft store list
Source, images: Value Press

● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!