Culture

CULTURE

SAKE BREWERIES

Japanese Sake

Japanese Sake

Sake is integral to Japanese food culture. While produced across Japan, the Shinetsu Shizenkyo area has a particularly large number of breweries capitalizing on the area's characteristic high quality rice and pure water.
Sake is a brew-type alcoholic beverage, made by combining andfermenting rice with an enzyme called "Koji" rice malt and "Kobo" yeast. The alcohol percentage is typically around 13-16%, and can be consumed warmed or chilled according to preference.
Sake is a brew-type alcoholic beverage, made by combining and fermenting rice with an enzyme called "Koji" rice malt and "Kobo" yeast. The alcohol percentage is typically around 13-16%, and can be consumed warmed or chilled according to preference.

While explanations are usually provided in Japanese, visitors to the breweries may be able to observe the sake-making processes and taste test the different brews. As the amount of sake produced at once is limited, there are therefore many sake that are not distributed in the wider region, Tokyo, or beyond. While you are in the Shinetsu Shizenkyo area, why not enjoy trying out the many local sake you cannot experience anywhere else?

Tanakaya Sake Brewery

Tanakaya Sake Brewery   Tanakaya Sake Brewery

Utilizing local rice and pure water from a natural spring at the base of Mt Mizuo, the fragrant title brew "Mizuo" goes down smoothly even for those unaccustomed to sake. Sake tasting is available within the shop. The annual Brewery Opening takes place on the third Saturday of February, and with an advanced booking and a fee of 1000 yen, participants can taste test and observe the sake-making processes.

Address 2227, Iiyama, Iiyama City, Nagano Prefecture
URL http://www.mizuo.co.jp/
Opening Hours 09:00-18:00
Closed Sundays and Public Holidays between April and December/1st and 2nd January;
open every day between January and March
Access 10 min on foot from JR Iiyama Station

Kadoguchi Sake Brewery

Kadoguchi Sake Brewery   Kadoguchi Sake Brewery

The renowned "Hokko masamune" is made from the water that springs at Mt.Nabekura and Nagano-produced rice. Dry and refreshing, almost all the sake offered at the shop can be tasted. A tour of the brewery can be organized for bookings at least a week in advance.

Address 1147, Tokisato, Iiyama City, Nagano Prefecture
URL http://www.kadoguchi.jp/kadoguchi-sake-brewery (English)
Opening Hours 09:00-18:00
Closed irregular
Access 3 min by taxi or 15 min on foot from JR Togari-Nozawa onsen Station

Tenryohomare Brewery

Tenryohomare Brewery

Spring water from Shiga Kogen and rice from a specialist rice paddy are combined and treated luxuriously relaxing in constant lassical music, it becomes the smooth "Tenryohomare". Nakano City's flower, the rose, has also been immortalized in the rose sake, "Pretty Angel".

Address 190, Iwafune, Nakano City, Nagano Prefecture
URL http://www.tenryohomare.co.jp/index.html
Opening Hours 08:30-17:30
Closed Sundays and Public Holidays
Access 10 min on foot from Nagano Dentetsu Shinshu-Nakano Station

Shigaizumi Brewery

Shigaizumi Brewery

The poster brew "Shigaizumi" is a well-balanced sake with fragrant top notes and complex flavours. The refreshing taste you can't tire of is created using mostly Nagano-produced rice, harmoniously blended with Nagano Alps yeast. Bookings in advance required for brewery tours. Tasting available.

Address 3-1, Higashiyama, Nakano City, Nagano Prefecture
URL http://www.shigaizumi.jp/
Opening Hours 08:30-17:00
Closed Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays
Access 10 min by taxi from Nagano Dentetsu Shinshu-Nakano Station

Marusei Brewery Shop

Marusei Brewery Shop

With an original brewing method that adds glutinous rice to the mix at the preparation stage, the distinctive "Ikioi masamune" is not easy to grow tired of. It complements meals and Otsumami nibbling dishes perfectly. Bookings in advance required for brewery tours. Tasting available.

Address 2-5-12, Chuo, Nakano City, Nagano Prefecture
URL http://www.marusesyuzouten.co.jp/index.html
Opening Hours 07:00-17:00
Closed Sundays (Except with bookings)
Access 10 min on foot from Nagano Dentetsu Shinshu-Nakano Station

Ayumasamune Brewery

Ayumasamune Brewery

Brewed under a traditional thatched roof, "Ayumasamune" is brewed using Niigata-produced rice and water that springs right under the brewery. The soft and subtle flavours are a characteristic of this brewery. There is a tasting corner. While there are no observation tours available, visitors are welcome to view the natural spring.

Address 636, Saruhashi, Myoko City, Niigata Prefecture
URL http://www.ayumasamune.com/
Opening Hours 08:00-17:00
Closed Sundays and Public Holidays
Access 10 min on foot from Echigo Tokimeki Railway Arai Station

Kiminoi Brewery

Kiminoi Brewery

"Kiminoi" is created from high quality Niigata rice and abundant water from the Myoko aquifer. The "Yamahaijikomi" - the preparation process for raising good lactic acid bacterium to aid fermentation is carried out especially slowly and carefully. The care taken early on can be seen upon completion, in the deep and complex flavors. Book in advance for an observation tour (winter only).

Address 3-11, Shimommachi, Myoko City, Niigata Prefecture
URL http://www.kiminoi.co.jp/
Opening Hours 08:30-18:00
Closed Sundays and Public Holidays
Access 30 min by taxi from Echigo Tokimeki Railway Arai Station

Chiyo no Hikari Brewery

Chiyo no Hikari Brewery

Using rich well water from Mt. Oogenashi, "Chiyo no Hikari" embodies both softness and crisp dryness. "Mochi Junmai", produced with glutinous Mochi rice instead of sake rice, pairs surprisingly superbly with cheeses and Italian cuisine when chilled. Book up at least two days in advance for an observation tour.

Address 656, Kubomatubara, Myoko City, Niigata Prefecture
URL http://www2.ocn.ne.jp/ sa-chiyo/
Opening Hours 09:00-16:00
Closed Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays
Access 10 min by taxi from Echigo Tokimeki Railway Arai Station

Takahashi-sukesaku Brewery Shop

Takahashi-sukesaku Brewery Shop

Using the spring at Togakushi Shrine as a water source and 100% hand-produced Kouji rice malt, most of the delicate Takahashi-sukesaku sakes produced use Nagano-produced rice. Alongside the poster brew "Matsuo", they also produce a yoghurt sake that complements Western style cuisine. Bookings in advance are necessary for observations. Tastings available.

Address 856-1, Furuma, Shinano Town, Kamiminochi District, Nagano Prefecture
URL http://www.matsuwo.co.jp/
Opening Hours 08:00-17:00
Closed 1st January
Access 5 min by taxi from Shinano Railway Kurohime Station

BEER

Tamamura Honten

Tamamura
Tamamura

Originally producing a sake called "Engi", now also produces the local "Shiga Kogen Beer". The taste can be attributed to only using select ingredients - water sprung from Shiga Kogen's aquifers, self-cultivated rice, handpicked wheat germ and hops; and by avoiding heat-treatments and filtering live yeast. There are five types, including the Miyama Blonde. Both the beer and the sake can be enjoyed in its locality: Shiga Kogen, Shibu and Yudanaka Onsen Villages.
Free admission to the "Sakagura Gallery Tamamura Honten" includes a chance to peek into the "Shikomi" preparation stage of sake-making on the second floor, as well as tastings of "Engi".

Address 1163, Hirao, Yamanouchi Town, Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture
URL http://www.tamamura-honten.co.jp/
Opening Hours 09:00-18:00
Closed 1st January
Access 2 min on foot from Kutsuno bus stop on the Nagano Dentetsu bus to Kanbayashi Onsen, which is 10 min from Nagano Dentetsu Yudanaka Station.

WINE

Shinetsu Shizenkyo area includes areas such as Nakano City and Iizuna Town, renowned for their production of fruits such as apples and grapes. Their long daylight hours, fair weather, low levels of rainfall and the well-drained fine soil make the areas especially suited for the production of wine grapes. European style grapes such as Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot noir thrive. Unique wines, made with care and capturing the characteristics on the regions and grapes can be enjoyed.

St. Cousair

St. Cousair   St. Cousair

A picturesque restaurant and winery sitting atop a small hill. The surrounding vineyards spread out for 10 hectares, mostly boasting chardonnay and some pinot noir. It is without saying that the flagship wine is a Chardonnay, but there is also alcoholic cider using Iizuna Town's famed apples to look out for. Jams and preserves are available for sale at the store.

Address 1260, Imogawa, Iizuna Town, Kamiminochi District, Nagano Prefecture
URL http://www.stcousair.com/en/ (English)
Opening Hours 09:00-17:00
Closed Wednesdays in winter period
Access 5 min by taxi from Shinano Railway Mure Station

Takayashiro farm

Takayashiro farm

From the cultivation to winemaking and beyond, it all happened on the six hectares of Takayashiro farm. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Kerner are all produced here; as well as alcoholic apple cider, apple juice and jams.

Address 1609-7, Takehara, Nakano City, Nagano Prefecture
URL http://www.takayashirofarm.com/
Opening Hours 08:30-17:00
Closed Sundays and Public Holidays
Access 15 min by taxi from Nagano Dentetsu Shinshu-Nakano Station

The articles include information as of September 2014. The information is subject to change without notice.


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