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Sake Brewery Tours in Tokyo

Tom Inoue

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Recently, sake brewery tours have become one of the best sightseeing activities in Japan.

When you visit, you will visibly feel the traditional ambience of sake brewing, and you may even get the opportunity to drink sake for free.

Describing the sake brewery experience is beyond the ability of written words. Going there and immersing yourself is the (only) best option.

So, which ones should I visit? Scroll down to find out!

1. What goes on in a Sake brewery?

To get an overview of the activities being held in a Sake brewery, watch this video:

Some of the activities include washing and steaming rice, making malted rice and fermentation mash, fermentation, squeezing, mellowing (aging), and, eventually, bottling the finished product.

All these activities are done under strict control, in terms of, time and effective teamwork.

2. Breweries are very old

old

Although it is rare to see old buildings in Japan, sake breweries come in with more than 100 years of history in them. The oldest being ‘Sudo Honke’ in Ibaragi prefecture, which was established in 1141 and has over 875 years of history.

If you’re going on a sake brewery tour, there is a very high chance that you will end up in one of these old Japanese buildings. You will be pleased to find that most of them are still well-preserved.

3. Some offer FREE booze

free

Did you say, free?

Some breweries offer sake-tasting opportunities to their visitors, either for free or for a small fee. Seeing and feeling the actual sake-making process, plus getting to actually taste the finished product will be one of the most inspiring and priceless moments in your entire visit. Trust us!

You also have the option of buying bottled sake products as souvenirs.

4. English Tours may not yet be Available

English tours may not be easily accessible especially in breweries along the countryside. Unfortunately, they have yet to realize how sake is getting popular among tourists, nowadays.

But do not fret. What we recommend is looking for English-speaking guides who advocate sake tourism. They can join you during the tour and translate as you go along.

This site provides individual tours in breweries around Tokyo. Personal arrangements are also possible: Tour.anchorman

5. Where to visit?

So, the last and the most important thing you should know is where these breweries are.

We’ve listed the breweries that you can visit while you’re in Tokyo. The black line in the image map indicates the train routes.

We recommend visiting the breweries during the sake-brewing period, which is October to March. Ideally, book your trip during October or November. Although there is still a lot to see during December and January, these are also the the busiest time for the breweries and booking may become an issue.

You might not be as lucky to witness the actual sake-making process in other months outside the sake-brewing period.

map

Ozawa brewery

ozawa

Brand: SAWANOI
Established: 1702
Address: 2-770, Sawai, Ome-shi, Tokyo
Sake tour:
Everyday except Mondays and the next day of National Holidays
4 times a day (11:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00)
Reservation: required
English guide: not available
Free tasting: Yes
Sake tour contact: +81-428-78-8210
URL: Ozawa Brewery
Note: This brewery produces sake all year round, and an English brochure is available for the tour.

Nakamura brewery

nakamura

Photo Credit: http://www.chiyotsuru.jp/

Brand: CHIYOTSURU
Established: 1804
Address: 63, Ushinuma, Akiruno-shi, Tokyo
Sake tour: Depends upon request/ Personal Arrangements
Reservation: required
English guide: not available
Free tasting:
Sake tour contact: +81-42-558-0516
URL: Nakamura Brewery

Tamura brewery

tamura

Photo Credit: www.tachikawaonline.jp/

Brand: KASEN
Established: 1822
Address: 626, Fukuo, Fukuo-shi, Tokyo
Sake tour:
Tuesdays-Saturdays
Available for more than 10 people.
For < 10 people, you can join the monthly tour instead (see the website below for more information)
Reservation: required
English guide:
Free tasting: yes
Sake tour contact: +81-42-551-0003
URL (only in Japanese)
Sake tour: Tamura Brewery Tour
Monthly tour notification: www.seishu-kasen.com

Ishikawa brewery

ishikawa

Photo Credit: www.tamajiman.co.jp

Brand: TAMA-JIMAN
Established: not specified, probably about 200 years
Address: 1 Kumagawa, Fukuo-shi, Tokyo
Sake tours:
Mondays-Sundays including National Holidays
10:00, 14:00, 16:00
Reservation: required
English guide: available upon prior request
Free tasting: yes
Sake tour contact: +81-42-553-0100
URL: Ishikawa Brewery

Toshima brewery

toshima

Photo Credit: osakelist.com

Brand: KINKON
Established: 1596
Address: 3-14-10, Kumegawa-cho, Higashi-murayama-shi, Tokyo
Sake tours: available periodically with a small charge (USD 5.00)
Reservation: required
English guide:
Free tasting: included
Sake tour contact: +81-42-391-0601
URL: Toshima Brewery

Koyama brewery

koyama

Photo Credit: www.koyamashuzo.co.jp

Brand: MARUSHIN-MASAMUNE
Established:
Address: 26-10, Iwabuchi-cho, Kita-ku, Tokyo
Sake tours:
Available for more than 5 people and with a small charge (USD 5.00 each),
Mondays-Fridays
Reservation: required
English guide: not available
Free tasting: included
Sake tour contact: +81-3-3902-3453
URL: Koyama Brewery
Note: this brewery provides only video presentation and sake tasting.

So, this is pretty much everything you need to know about sake brewery tours. When you visit Tokyo, you wouldn’t want to miss this great opportunity!

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