- Ikumi Watanabe
Go on a Japanese Sake Tour Around Japan! Ways to Enjoy Delicious Japanese Sake
One of the real pleasures of traveling is getting to taste the local dishes of your destination! The taste of Japanese sake varies depending on the water, rice, and brewing method used in each region, so you will surely come across new tastes and flavors when you travel to different places in Japan. This article will feature ways to enjoy Japanese sake that each region has to offer and articles related to those Japanese sake. Make sure to check them out!
1. Compare Different Kinds of Japanese Sake in Kyoto!
Boasting the second largest production volume of Japanese sake in the country, Kyoto is a region where virtually every area produces its own delicious Japanese sake, especially Fushimi which is blessed with high-quality groundwater. Japanese sake made with water from Fushimi are particularly famous for their mild and delicate taste. Fushimi is home to more than 20 breweries, as well as a museum where you can sample Japanese sake and learn about the history of Japanese sake brewing. A great way to tour this area is by going on an approximately one-hour cruise that will take you to the waterway that runs near the local breweries.
2. Tour Japanese Sake Breweries on a Train Journey in Kansai
Harie district in Shiga Prefecture is home to Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. This area’s spring water, which is so good that it is used for Japanese sake brewing, remains fully integrated with the daily lives of the residents today.
Harie, known for its abundant supply of top-quality spring water, is also where you will find Kawashima Brewery. Founded in 1865, this brewery uses sakamai (brewer’s rice), a raw material for making Japanese sake, sourced from local farmers that are particular about the use of organic fertilizers. Its Japanese sake that was exhibited at the Expo 2015 Milano is this brewery’s masterpiece that has fans all over Japan.
3. Get to Know the Japanese Sake Breweries in Kyushu
Japanese sake is primarily made in winter, when the yeast used to brew alcohol is more active. While major Japanese sake manufacturers equipped with air-conditioning systems get to brew Japanese sake all year round, small and medium-scale breweries today still take advantage of the natural environment and brew their Japanese sake from November through February. From January to early May, these breweries hold the annual opening of their warehouses to celebrate having brewed Japanese sake.
In Kyushu, where there are many small and medium-sized Japanese sake breweries, there are two major brewery openings that Japanese sake lovers find irresistible: the Joshima Brewery Kurabiraki in Fukuoka and the Kashima Sakagura Tourism in Saga! You can enjoy the fruity and refreshing new brews of local breweries during these events.
4. Taste Local Japanese Sake Sweets in Hokkaido!
Kushiro City is located on the eastern side of the prefecture of Hokkaido. Fukutsukasa is the famous Japanese sake brand that has been made since 1922 by the only brewery in Kushiro. This brewery capitalizes on the rich nature of Hokkaido, as its Japanese sake is mainly made from rice produced in Hokkaido and naturally-filtered underground water in Eastern Hokkaido.
There are also sweets that incorporate Fukutsukasa, and they are the pudding and cake introduced in the related article! Both are exquisite treats that perfectly balance the aroma and sweetness of Japanese sake. They are great souvenirs, too.
5. Go Drinking in the Tohoku Area, Famous for its Japanese Sake!
Blessed with a cold climate, the Tohoku region (made up of the prefectures of Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Yamagata, Miyagi, and Fukushima) is one of Japan's biggest rice-production areas. It is also known for its abundant supply of underground water and snowmelt from the Ou Mountains, Shirakami-Sanchi, and Kitakami Mountains, so Japanese sake brewing has been thriving here since ancient times. Tohoku is home to plenty of delicious ginjo sake thanks to the region’s cool weather being ideal for low-temperature, long-term fermentation.
Japanese sake brewed in Tohoku is characterized by a sweet and refreshing taste with low acidity. This makes Tohoku’s brews easy to drink even for people who don’t usually drink Japanese sake, so how about trying and comparing the Japanese sake in each prefecture?
Japanese sake, which tastes different depending on the area where it is brewed, is the perfect thing to enjoy while traveling! If you find a Japanese sake to your liking, it might be fun to visit the place that brew was produced in, don’t you think?
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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