Differences between Ochoko, Guinomi, and Sakazuki|#04_A story about " Japanese ware" that makes you want to tell someone.


The Ochoko, Guinomi, and Sakazuki are wares used to enjoy traditional Japanese drinks, and they are deeply connected to various aspects of Japanese life, customs, and hospitality culture.

Firstly, the Ochoko is a type of small sake ware that has been used in Japan for a long time. It is mainly used to pour Japanese alcoholic beverages, and its shape is typically small enough to fit in one's hand. It is usually made of pottery or porcelain. The size is generally small and has a comfortable size that fits well in the hand, with the purpose of "enjoying sake sip by sip." Among the Ochoko, the ones with a pattern called "Snake's Eye" are commonly used. By having a cobalt blue double circle pattern of the snake's eye, the transparency of the sake can be seen (it is drawn in blue, which is the opposite color of the yellow that indicates the aging process of the sake).

Therefore, it is a suitable ware for enjoying dry and light-tasting sake. Since the taste of dry sake deteriorates when it becomes lukewarm, the Ochoko, which can be consumed quickly before the temperature changes, is ideal.

Choko, Ochoko, Sake cup

On the other hand, the guinomi is a ware used when drinking alcoholic beverages such as sake in Japan, and it has a larger capacity than the ochoko. As the name suggests, guinomi is designed for drinking at once, allowing you to consume a large amount of alcohol in one sip. Compared to ochoko, guinomi has a larger capacity and can hold a lot of alcohol at once, so it is commonly used for special occasions such as banquets and celebrations. Recommended types of alcohol for the guinomi include aged sake (jukushu), and flavorful sake (junshu). Particularly when the opening is narrowed, it captures the rich and intense aroma.

Ceramics, sake cups, sake vessels, Karatsu ware, sake
Photo: Karatsu ware |Naoki Kojima| Korean Karatsu sake cup


The sakazuki, a saucer-shaped cup, is a shallow ware used for drinking sake and other beverages in Japan. It has a small pedestal and a larger capacity than the typical ochoko, but not as large as a guinomi. The sakazuki is used not only for enjoying regular drinks but also for toasting during celebrations and special occasions. It is particularly useful in fostering relationships with close acquaintances while enjoying everyday drinks. Kunshu sake, such as ginjo-shu and daiginjo-shu, is recommended for sake cups with a wide mouth. Sake with a fruity and gorgeous aroma is ideal for experiencing its fragrance more deeply.

Sake vessels, Takatori ware, Takatori Shunkei, sake cups, sake cups, Kuroda sake cups
Photo: Takatori ware |Takatori Shunkei |Kuroda sake cup Hyakko glaze



The differences in shape and capacity between the ochoko, guinomi, and sakazuki are designed to suit their respective usage scenes and purposes. The ochoko is used by individuals to slowly savor a small amount of sake, while the guinomi is designed to be convenient for multiple people to drink sake together. Therefore, the ochoko symbolizes the delicacy and appreciation of sake in Japanese sake culture, while the guinomi is positioned as a vessel that represents sociability and unity in celebratory and social gatherings. Additionally, the sakazuki is used when emphasizing Japanese hospitality and interaction with close acquaintances, playing an important role as a tool to express intimacy and warmth.

There are also differences in shape and design for each of them. The ochoko generally features intricate patterns and carvings, paying attention to even the smallest details, and its beautiful design is highly regarded as a traditional Japanese craft. On the other hand, the guinomi, with its larger capacity compared to the ochoko, often exhibits more powerful and luxurious shapes and designs.

Furthermore, the ochoko, guinomi, and sakazuki not only reflect Japanese culture and traditional values but also symbolize the spirit of Japanese hospitality. For a long time, Japanese people have prepared ochoko, guinomi, and sakazuki with heartfelt intentions when entertaining guests, expressing their hospitality. These wares are deeply intertwined with Japanese drinking culture and play an important role in enhancing the enjoyment of alcoholic beverages such as sake and shochu.

In conclusion, the ochoko, guinomi, and sakazuki are wares for enjoying traditional Japanese drinks, each with its own shape and design.

Types of Japanese Sake and Recommended Sake Wares,日本酒のタイプとおススメの酒器

andPOLITE carries a wide variety of sake cups and sake cups, so please enjoy them on the "Sake Utensils" page. https://andpolite.com/en-usa/collections/drinking-vessel

reading materialに戻る