10 Must-Visit Sake Breweries In Japan

Meghna
Meghna 
Updated

Japan is one of the earliest settled countries in the world. Some of the earliest settlements date back to 30,000 BC based on a paleolithic study. Over the years, Japanese culture has simultaneously evolved but maintained their traditions and customs. One of these customs is the national beverage of the country: sake. Sake, or Japanese rice wine, is made by polishing rice to varying degrees and then fermenting the product. It is a relatively simpler process than the production of other forms of alcohol, but in order to make good-quality sake, you need good quality ingredients. Would you like to learn more about sake or get to know where to go in Japan for the highest-quality sake? Keep reading to find out about the must-visit sake breweries in Japan.

1. Daimon Brewery, Osaka

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


Daimon Brewery started producing sake in 1826 and they have been run by six generations from the same family. Initially, their brewing methods were all about experience and intuition. However, as time went on, they began updating the process to ensure fermentation control while still maintaining as much of the handmade nature they could. They use regional rice and fresh mountain spring water to ensure the production of quality sake. When you visit their brewery, you are seated in a small, intimate attic that is the perfect place to spend hours drinking sake with your friends or family.

Daimon Brewery

Address: 3 Chome-12-1 Moriminami, Katano, Osaka 576-0031, Japan

Website: Daimon Brewery

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

2. Sawanoi Ozawa Brewery, Tokyo

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Ozawa Sake Brewery on Thursday, December 3, 2020

Sawanoi Ozawa Brewery has been brewing sake for over 300 years! They started in 1702, having drilled deep holes through the Chichibu Rock Formation to harvest the fresh spring water. It was named for the crystal clear waters that are found in the Sawai area in western Tokyo. They host free, daily brewery tours where you can walk around their facility, watch the spring water flow through the rock formations, and of course, taste-test their sake. All of the tours are subject to availability and are conducted in English. It is only a short walk from the Sawai train station.

Sawanoi Ozawa Brewery

Address: 2-770 Sawai, Ome‐City, Tokyo

Website:

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 8am - 5pm (closed on Mon)

3. Ishikawa Brewery, Tokyo

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


Ishikawa Brewery uses only pure mineral water from a local source. Their drinks are lovingly named ‘Tamajiman’ which translates to ‘the pride of Tama,’ a touching tribute to the area. In addition to their sake, they also produce other types of alcohol. They’ve been producing different types of beer since 1998: pale ale, pilsner, and Munchener dark. They also have made the ‘Tokyo Blues’ collection: a series of drinks with complex tastes inspired by the blues music genre. Throughout the years, the brewery has maintained its traditional architecture which grants an authentic feel when you’re walking around. It is 110 minutes by train from Haneda airport and 150 minutes by train from Narita airport.

Ishikawa Brewery

Address: 1 Kumagawa, Fussa, Tokyo 197-0003, Japan

Website: Ishikawa Brewery

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

4. Oishi Sake Brewery, Kyoto

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Oishi Sake Brewery has been around for more than 300 years! They employ the Kimoto technique. First, microorganisms are used to grow the yeast. Then the steamed rice and water are mixed together and ground for a few hours in cold temperatures, following which it is aged at low temperatures for a few days then heated slowly to purify the solution. The entire process does not use machines at all. The brewery’s motto is to make customers happy, one sip at a time, and it surely does that!

Oishi Sake Brewery

Address: Kakiuchimata-13 Hiedanocho Saeki, Kameoka, Kyoto 621-0033, Japan

Website: Oishi Sake Brewery

Opening hours: 8:30am - 6pm (daily)

5. Tamura Sake Brewery, Tokyo

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Tamura Shuzou/Kasen on Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Tamura Sake Brewery is located on the banks of the Tamagawa Josui, where it has been since the late 1600s. Over 16 generations of family members have run this brewery, and to date, they have 24 stores around the country selling their carefully made sake. All this time has led them to constantly improve on their sake brewing techniques. They believe that to make sake, they need good ingredients and reliable technology, but that the human technique is the foundation of the process. Sometimes, when you visit, you can witness the uniformed brewers singing their customary sake brewing song.

Tamura Sake Brewery

Address: Fussa 626, Fussa 197-0011 Tokyo Prefecture

Website: Tamura Sake Brewery

Opening hours: 8:30am - 5pm (daily)

6. Nakamura Brewery, Tokyo

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by on Friday, May 14, 2021

Nakamura Brewery has been making sake since 1804! Over 18 generations have managed this company splendidly, which is why they have won national awards for brewing sake for 20 years in a row. It gets its name from the cranes that fly into the basin of Akikawa. Water is pumped out from 170m (558ft) underground for use in sake production. The water in this basin is so pristine even after all these centuries which is evident by the still-thriving fish that habit the area.

Nakamura Brewery

Address: 63 Ushinuma, Akiruno-shi, Tokyo

Website: Nakamura Brewery

Opening hours: 12pm - 5pm (daily)

7. Kankiku Brewery, Chiba

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by on Thursday, April 15, 2021

Kankiku Brewery has been perfecting their brewing techniques for over 130 years! They have learned about processing time and the fluid required for brewing varies depending on the type of rice over the years. They emphasize daily checks to make sure that the fermentation process is progressing as planned. Each batch is also tested in order to ensure that everything is up to standard.

Kankiku Brewery

Address: 11 Matsuomachi Takenosato, Sammu, Chiba 289-1532, Japan

Website: Kankiku Brewery

Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)

8. Matsuoka Brewery, Saitama

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Matsuoka Brewery started out in 1851. Ogawamachi was selected as the location as it was in a key place between major cities and was right in between the rice fields and the city limits. Presently, it is only a 15-minute drive from the Ranzan Ogawa interchange. They offer guided tours every day but only after advance reservation. During these tours, they have free sake and spring water tasting. In addition to sake, they also have non-alcoholic products like the daiginjo ice cream.

Matsuoka Brewery

Address: 7-2 Shimofurutera, Oaza, Ogawa-machi, Hiki-gun, Saitama-ken 355-0326, Japan

Website: Matsuoka Brewery

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

9. Shichiken Brewery, Hokuto

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


Shichiken Brewery is listed on the UNESCO Biosphere reserve list. It is located in the centre of Japan in Hokuto city amidst a number of mineral water factories. However, it is the only sake brewery in the area. The rice that is used to brew sake is grown by the people who live in the area as they know the land the best. It has been around for centuries, since 1750 and has been appreciated by Emperor Meiji during his travels. They host annual events like festivals that teach people about how to make sake.

Shichiken Brewery

Address: 2283 Daigahara, Hakusyu-cho, Hokuto-city, Yamanashi pref. Japan 408-0312

Website: Shichiken Brewery

Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)

10. Matsui Sake Brewery, Kyoto (from USD 57.0)

Matsui Sake Brewery is one of the oldest breweries in Rakunaka. In fact, it started in 1726! They produce different types of sake: ginjo (highly milled raw rice), gaigindo, junmai sake (rice koji), and honjoshu. What is commendable about their sake production is that it is not mass-produced at all. This ensures quality in each and every sip. They offer tours of their brewery but it is subject to availability as it is often full during the peak seasons. If you want to pick up gift items, you can get their sake bag and towel.

Kyoto Sake Brewery Small-Group Tour with Tasting

Duration: 45 minutes

10 reviews

Enjoy the taste of sake in Japan

Whether you’re here for the sights or for the food, you’re sure to have your fill of fun. These breweries are certain to let you in on the processes involved in producing only the highest-quality sake Japan is known for. Check them out and enjoy the best sake in Japan!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Meghna is one of those few lucky individuals who can claim more than one country as her own. She spent her formative years in India, Singapore, and Malaysia and consequently attended a variety of...Read more

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