In April, I enjoyed my first experience of Japan as I presented Avondale at the Wine & Gourmet JAPAN exhibition held at Tokyo Big Sight.  It was a great show for us and our wines had a fantastic reception.  As a wine producer, Japan has a sophisticated, growing wine market.  There were more 138 exhibitors from 16 countries at the event, and it was visited over the three days by more than    70 000 people.  Tokyo itself is an extraordinary experience!  This capital city of Japan, and one of the world’s three world economy “command centres” is amazingly first-world.  Spotlessly clean and perfectly well-ordered, it is the most populous metropolis in the world with more than 13 million people who are unfailingly polite and respectful of each other’s space, until it comes to getting on and off the underground trains, which is a bustle!  One of the highlights of my stay was a dinner out with clients at a superb sashimi restaurant in the Ginza, Tokyo’s famous upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment district.  Virtually every leading, fashionable brand has a presence in the Ginza, where just one square metre of land is worth over 10 million yen. I thoroughly enjoyed a traditional seven course Japanese meal in the small, basement restaurant which was accompanied by a tasting of four different kinds of saki.  The food was phenomenal – interesting flavours, such high quality and really healthy.  My favourite was a Green Tea ice-cream which was amazingly fresh, and not sweet.

Tokyo 1 Tokyo 2