Akane Niikura is well known in Japan for her extraordinary talent in cooking, and she is considered a child prodigy. But now her reputation is expected to rise further after becoming Japan’s youngest certified sake expert.
The 10-year-old has passed her test at the Sake Service Institute of Japan, and is now a specialist in pairing the alcoholic beverage with food. Although she is qualified, Akane has reportedly never tasted sake; in fact the legal drinking age in Japan is 20.
Thanks to her remarkable knowledge about the history and production of sake, her acute sense of smell and her knowledge of what to look for as the sake sits on the side of the glass, she is able to identify the characteristics of this drink, without even having a sip.