ABOUT US

Wine is a Lifestyle

At 415, Inc, we strive to import and distribute wines from small and medium-sized wineries that are not widely available in Japan. Throughout the years, we have hosted interactive wine-tasting events in major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and other cities to spread the word about all that California wines have to offer.

Our company was established in 2017 as a boutique California wine import company in Tokyo in order to introduce and better communicate the unbelievable diversity, exciting, and high quality wines that California producers are creating to Japanese consumers. Our goal is to help provide greater access to affordable California wines and allow enthusiasts to enjoy many different varietals than they have ever tried before.

Our sommelier (Certified Sommelier from The Court of Master Sommeliers, and a California Wine Appellation Specialist) has hand-selected all of our wines and can walk you through our extraordinary, unique, and diverse California wine selection and we hope to see you soon at one of our tasting events. Please sign up for our mailing list so that you don’t miss any updates on upcoming events!

Image by Christian Bowen
Sommeliers male hold glass red wine tasting degustation card..jpg

弊社ソムリエ紹介, 下平健二
Kenji Shimodaira
CMS SOMMELIER, CWAS
®, & FWS

I am born and raised in the city that I love the most, San Francisco. Wine was not in the cards for me early on in my life. Having attended college at Boston University on the East Coast of the United States and studying Human Physiology, I was on track and was preparing to become a physician.

However, after the Lehman Brothers collapse, it was quite difficult landing a job in my profession after the economy went into a recession. Luckily, I was able to start my professional career at a promising medical software start-up where I was able to work with world-renowned doctors from UCSF and Stanford, as well as top companies in the pharmaceutical industry. Unfortunately, while working in the medical software field, I began to realize that the medical profession was not what I dreamt it would be and majority of the time, physicians spend majority of their time being caught in between the pharmaceutical giants and insurance companies instead of saving patient lives.

When contemplating about changing the direction of my career, I always came back to my fondest memories, which somehow was always involved wine. Whether it was a birthday celebration, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas parties, or any other small get-togethers, it was always "wine with family and friends”. The more I thought about it, there was nothing like wine that can spark conversations, bring friends together, and really bring happiness to people’s lives! I realized then that I was truly lucky to have been exposed to wine and all of its joy at home from a young age.

And with great passion, we started this venture to share the joys and excitement of wine with as many people in Japan as possible. I am a Certified Sommelier by the world-renowned Court of Master Sommeliers and I am a California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS® certification) with highest honors, the most recognized title in the wine industry for a California specialist, from the San Francisco Wine School by Master Sommelier David Glancy. I am also a French Wine Scholar with highest honors (FWS certification) from the French government, also at the top of my class. And just for fun, I am also a certified sake sommelier in Japan as I am a huge fan of sake!

We have led over 35+ wine pairing events called “wineUP”, both in person and virtually, to help people all over Japan how to better understand and taste and enjoy wines in general, but with emphasis on unique California wines.

Leveraging our strong relationships with many wineries, our wine offerings are all very unique, being sure to select wines that have a ‘sense of place’, where they reflect the terroir from which they came from and showcases the commitment and care that is taken by the winemaker's. We only introduce high quality California wines that are approachable and won’t break the bank, since we think wine is a’lifestyle’ and should be enjoyed often! We also offer consulting services for both corporate events as well as for wine aficionados who want to acquire more knowledge and broaden their horizons.

Outside of wine, my passion includes cooking! I really enjoy experimenting with new ingredients and trying new wines with creative homemade dishes. And when I come across a pairing that truly complements and balances the two, there really is nothing else like it in the world!

Wine Decanter