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Hospitality, Tourism & Events Wine, Spirits, Sake & Coffee

Foundation Study in Japanese Sake

Course Code
Application Code
Study mode
Start Date
05 Jul 2024 (Fri)
9 hours
Eng or Cant, suppl with teaching materials in Eng
Course Fee
Course Fee : HK$2600 per programme

Early Bird Rate : HK$2400 per programme (applicable to enrollment on/before 1 February 2024)

This course fee includes:
(1) Student study pack for WSET Level 1 Award in Sake in English (color print-out)
(2) At least 13 sakes for tasting
(3) At least 10 types of specially selected otsumami for food pairing
(4) Examination Fee for WSET Level 1 Award in Sake qualification (exclude re-sit fee)
(5) WSET certificate and lapel pin
Deadline on 28 Jun 2024 (Fri)
2520 4607 / 2867 8483
Apply Now

Early Bird Special Rate is available.


This programme is intended for people who have little or no prior knowledge of sake, and who like to have an authentic Japanese sake learning experience. It is suitable to people who need a basic familiarity with the main styles and categories of sake. Sake enthusiasts and people who work with sake as part of a larger beverage portfolio in the retail and hospitality sectors are suitable to join the programme.


  • Our sake courses are taught by qualified sake professionals who are also experienced in sake education.
  • Our sake courses will be delivered by a single teacher throughout the entire course to ensure consistency in content and teaching style.
  • All sakes are carefully and impartially selected from different recognized sake suppliers to suit the genuine needs of the courses.

Programme Details

TThe programme consists of 9 face-to-face contact hours, including sake tasting, food pairing, and 45-minute WSET examination. This programme intends to prepare students to attempt the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) qualification, namely ‘WSET Level 1 Award in Sake’, and therefore it will cover the content on ‘WSET Level 1 Award in Sake’ qualification, as well as content on authentic Japanese culture about sake. Our teacher will share more stories and cultural practices on topics such as how important is sake in traditional cultural celebrations in Japan, manners and etiquette of drinking and serving sake, some useful terminologies and expressions related to sake culture, and so on. Throughout this 9-hour programme, at least 13 different styles of sake will be tasted; to further enhance the authenticity and experience of the sake learning, at least 10 types of specially selected otsumami snacks (such as Japanese rice crackers, pickles, nuts, cake, cheese) will be used to pair with sake.


Learning Outcomes:

  • List and state the purpose of the main ingredients and the main production steps used to make sake.
  • Name the principal categories and grades of sake as well as some speciality styles of sake and state their key characteristics.
  • Know and recognize the processes and principles involved in the storage and service of sake.




What is sake?


Sake in Japanese history, tradition and culture


How is sake made?

4 Categories and grades of sake

Main production steps


Storage and service of sake

7 Sake and food pairing
8 Useful Japanese expressions in the world of sake

An introduction to tasting sake (using the WSET Level 1 Systematic Approach to Tasting Sake (SAT))


Textbook (included in the course fee) & Specification

Study Guide for WSET Level 1 Award in Sake


Level 1 Award in Sake Programme Specification



Assessment and Award

Students will attempt the ‘WSET Level 1 Award in Sake’ Examination (examination fee included), and the details is as follows:

  • 45-minute closed-book examination
  • 30 Multiple-Choice Questions
  • Students need to pass the examination with a minimum mark of 70%.
  • Students may apply to resit the examination if they are unsuccessful, subject to a fee. There is no limit on the number of attempts that may be made.

On completion of this programme with a minimum mark of 70% in the examination, students will gain the certificate “WSET Level 1 Award in Sake” awarded by WSET and a WSET lapel pin. If students fail the examination, a HKU SPACE Statement of Attendance will be issued to them.


HKU SPACE Wine Alumni Association (WAA)

alumni logo

Students are eligible to be a member of HKU SPACE Wine Alumni Association (WAA) after completion of the course. On a regular basis, the executive committee will post the latest updates and promotional materials on the availability of the seminars and events, discounts and offers on the Facebook at; Email will also be sent for information.



Life Membership Fee is HK$200 to current students and alumni of all HKU SPACE wine/spirits/sake/beer programmes. Majority of WAA events are hosted by leading figures in the wine industry. All events are exclusive to members, and sometimes with their guests.


Future Events
  • Wine tastings
  • Wine dinners
  • Master classes
  • Wine seminars
  • Idea sharing programmes
Application Code 2235-1516NW Apply Online Now
Start Date 05 Jul 2024 (Fri)
Apply Online Now

  • 9 hours (including 45-min WSET exam)


Class Details

class details

Application Code

Date and Time


(Medium of Instruction)


Application Deadline


5, 12, 19 July 2024





Lawrence Wong

(Cantonese supplemented with English)

WSET Level 1 Award in Sake

19 July 2024

28 June 2024
  • The programme team reserves the right to change the above timetable if necessary.
  • All classes are subject to sufficient enrolment.
  • Re-assessment fee for WSET Level 1 Awards: HKD700


OUR Sake Teacher


Ms Naoko Ikeda (池田直子)

Ms. Naoko Ikeda 池田直子 is a Japanese Sake & Wine Specialist based in Hong Kong. Born in Hiroshima, she has lived in Japan and France. She is a WSET certified educator and is also conducting her tailor-made original classes. She has more than 20 years experiences in Food & Beverage Industry, as Educator, Speaker, Consultant, Buyer, Marketer and Sales Manager. She has worked for sake breweries and wineries. Currently she works for a major Champagne House. Her sake qualifications: WSET Level 3 Award in Sake Pass with Distinction (2018), Japan Sommelier Association Sake Diploma (2017) and SSI International Kikisake-shi (2017). Besides teaching, she also loves pairing her homemade food with sakes and working at production sites and wishes to spread her passion of appreciating sakes.


Mr. Lawrence Wong

Lawrence is a WSET Certified Educator and consultant to various alcoholic beverage trading companies and restaurants, with a strong focus in wine and sake. He has been passionate in wine after he studied WSET Level 2 in Wines & Spirits at HKU SPACE in 2012, he continued to study further and he is the holder of WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits. Besides, Lawrence is also an avid sake enthusiast, he achieved WSET Level 3 in Sake and received Japanese Sommelier Association Sake Diploma International.  For the past years, he has dedicated his time in teaching aiming to share his wine and sake knowledge through conducting workshops for numerous organizations.

HKU SPACE has been using the following measures to protect the safety of our students/teachers/staff and reduce the chances of infection:
  • Temperature check at the entrance of the School campus
  • All students/teachers/staff need to wear a surgical mask at all times (except for wine/sake/coffee tasting and food pairing moments)
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Regular sanitary / hygienic measures in the School campus
  • Mandate Vaccination for students/teachers/staff

Professional Accreditation

WHAT is Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET)?

WSET was founded in 1969 to provide high quality education and training in wines and spirits. Since then, WSET has grown into the foremost international body in the field of wines and spirits education, with a suite of sought-after qualifications.  WSET qualifications are recognised internationally and are now represented in over 70 countries through the world. WSET Awards is recognised as an awarding body by the English regulator for qualifications, examinations and assessments, Ofqual. It also operates a quality management system that complies with ISO 9001:2015, and is a member of the UK’s Federation of Awarding Bodies. For details regarding WSET, please visit

HKU SPACE is one of the Approved PrograWSET LOGOmme Providers (APPs) of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), and this programme prepares students to attempt and complete ONE   WSET sake qualifications, namely ‘WSET Level 1 Award in Sake’.  This programme fully adopts all the learning outcomes, curriculum, specification, educational materials including textbooks and PowerPoints designed and provided by WSET, so that students exactly know the examination requirements and assessment criteria.

Tasting  is a vital part of the WSET qualifications. Students must make themselves familiar with the WSET level 1 Systematic Approach to Tasting Sake® (SAT). Our experienced teacher will base on the WSET recommended tasting samples and choose sake samples that are both very good and very typical of the required styles for students to taste. Students will have an opportunity to taste at least 13 different categories and styles of sake during the entire programme.


Course Fee
  • Course Fee : HK$2600 per programme

    Early Bird Rate : HK$2400 per programme (applicable to enrollment on/before 1 February 2024)

    This course fee includes:
    (1) Student study pack for WSET Level 1 Award in Sake in English (color print-out)
    (2) At least 13 sakes for tasting
    (3) At least 10 types of specially selected otsumami for food pairing
    (4) Examination Fee for WSET Level 1 Award in Sake qualification (exclude re-sit fee)
    (5) WSET certificate and lapel pin

Entry Requirements

Applicants should:

  • Be aged 18 or above
  • Not suffer from any health problems that are unfit for tasting wine in class


Online Application Apply Now

Application Form Download Application Form

Enrolment Method
Payment Method
1. Cash, EPS, WeChat Pay Or Alipay

Course fees can be paid by cash, EPS, WeChat Pay or Alipay at any HKU SPACE Enrolment Centres.

2. Cheque Or Bank draft

Course fees can also be paid by crossed cheque or bank draft made payable to “HKU SPACE”. Please specify the programme title(s) for application and the applicant’s name.. You may either:

  • bring the completed form(s), together with the appropriate course or application fees in the form of a cheque, and any required supporting documents to any of the HKU SPACE enrolment centres;
  • or mail the above documents to any of the HKU SPACE Enrolment Centres, specifying  “Course Application” on the envelope.  HKU SPACE will not be responsible for any loss of payment sent by mail.
3. VISA/Mastercard

Applicants may also pay the course fee by VISA or Mastercard, including the “HKU SPACE Mastercard”, at any HKU SPACE enrolment centres. Holders of the HKU SPACE Mastercard can enjoy a 10-month interest-free instalment period for courses with a tuition fee worth a minimum of HK$2,000; however, the course applicant must also be the cardholder himself/herself. For enquiries, please contact our staff at any enrolment centres.

4. Online Payment

Online application / enrolment is offered for most open admission courses (course enrolled on first come, first served basis) and selected award-bearing programmes. Application fees and course fees of these programmes/courses can be settled by using "PPS by Internet" (not available via mobile phones), VISA or Mastercard. In addition to the aforesaid online payment channels, continuing students of award-bearing programmes, if their programmes offer online service, may also pay their course fees by Online WeChat Pay, Online Alipay and Faster Payment System (FPS). Please refer to Enrolment Methods - Online Enrolment  for details.


  • If the programme/course is starting within five working days, application by post is not recommended to avoid any delays. Applicants are advised to enrol in person at HKU SPACE Enrolement Centres and avoid making cheque payment under this circustance.
  • Fees paid are not refundable except under very exceptional circumstances (e.g. course cancellation due to insufficient enrolment), subject to the School’s discretion. In exceptional cases where a refund is approved, fees paid by cash, EPS, WeChat Pay, Alipay, cheque or PPS (for online payment only) will normally be reimbursed by a cheque, and fees paid by credit card will normally be reimbursed to the payment cardholder's credit card account.
  • In addition to the published fees, there may be additional costs associated with individual programmes. Please refer to the relevant course brochures or direct any enquiries to the relevant programme team for details.
  • Fees and places on courses cannot be transferrable from one applicant to another. Once accepted onto a course, the student may not change to another course without approval from HKU SPACE. A processing fee of HK$120 will be levied on each approved transfer.
  • Receipts will be issued for fees paid but HKU SPACE will not be repsonsible for any loss of receipt sent by mail.
  • For payment certification, please submit a completed form, a sufficiently stamped and self-addressed envelope, and a crossed cheque for HK$30 per copy made payable to "HKU SPACE" to any of our enrolment centres. 
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