Nagano Sake Breweries
Nagano Prefecture is a landlocked prefecture of Japan located in the Chubu region of Honshu. It borders Niigata Prefecture to the north, Gunma Prefecture to the northeast, Saitama Prefecture to the east, Yamanashi Prefecture to the southeast, Shizuoka Prefecture and Aichi Prefecture to the south, Gifu Prefecture and Toyama Prefecture to the west. Nagano Prefecture is the highest altitude prefecture in Japan, with a typical landlocked climate and a land moistened by the intense and abundant snowmelt, making it a unique natural environment in Japan. It is in such an extremely fortunate environment that the “Sake of Nagano Prefecture” has been born and nurtured. In addition, the complex topography of Nagano Prefecture gives rise to differences in climate and tradition among the finely divided regions, and this is a factor that brings out the individuality of each brewery. Nagano Prefecture is also renowned for rice production, including sake rice that is especially suitable for making sake. Sake rice including “Miyama Nishiki”, born in Nagano prefecture, has been nurtured carefully in clean water and clear air. The number of sake breweries in Nagano prefecture is the second most in Japan, and some breweries have more than 300 years of history.
Endo Brewery was founded in 1864 in the Edo period as a brewer of fine sake, and provider to the lord of the Suzaka feudal clan. For over 150 years, Endo Brewing has continued on its tradition under the philosophy of its founder Tokusaburo Endo, the first Brew Master “brewing the best Sake”. Endo Brewery is located 2-3 minutes from Garyu Park, designated as “One of Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Sites” in Shinshu Suzaka.
Representative: Hidesaburo Endo
Address: Ooaza Suzaka 29, Suzaka-City, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1864
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Fuyo Shuzo Brewery
Representative: Masamichi Yoda
Address: 5371-1 Hiraga, Sakushi, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1887
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In the northern part of Omachi city, which is also called Daikokucho, there is Daikokuten, which extends to 7 shaku (a little over 2m). In the 12th year of the Taisho era, Hokuan Brewery began producing sake under the name of “Daikokumasamune”, it was renamed “Hokuan Daikoku” later. Since its founding, Mori Kotani, a brewer with the workers have been running the smallest sake brewery in the area in harmony.
Representative: Keiichirou Ito
Address: omachi2340-1, Omachishi, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1923
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Imai Sake Brewery
Since its founding in the 4th year of Genroku, Imai Sake Brewery has been sticking to handmade products and has cultivated the local sake “Wakamidori” with all its heart. The origin of our representative brand “Wakamidori” is derived from the songs of the Edo period, and the idea of ”highly ideal, enterprising and not forgetting youth” is included. “Enterprising” means to be willing to do things on your own, and to be willing to do new things without sticking to conventional customs. The taste created by the traditional techniques and climate that have been passed down through the long history has a charm that can be called “genuine local sake”. The handmade taste unique to Imai Sake Brewery is a mellow and delicious sake that makes the best use of the goodness of rice, which is a blessing of nature.
Representative: Yoichi Imai
Address: 62 Kojima, Naganoshi, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1691
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Ito Shuzo Sake Brewery
Representative: Takeshi Ito
Address: 2-3-6 Suwa, Suwa City, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1955
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Kametaya Sake Brewery
Kamedaya Sake Brewery was founded by the first Kamei Hanjuro in the island of Matsumoto in 1887, and the second Kamei Kazujiro developed the brewing industry in both name and reality, and built the main building in 1887. Until now, we are celebrating 150 years with the support of everyone for a long time. Underground water from the Alps is used for everything from washing the rice for preparation. The water pumped from 62m underground is soft water with a water temperature of 15 degrees. This clear water determines the quality of sake. Since the goodness of Jiuqu affects alcoholic fermentation, we do not use dried Jiuqu or a fully automatic Jiuqu making machine, and we make Jiuqu by the hands of the brewers.
Representative: Daiichiro Murase
Address: Shimadachi 2748, Matumoto City, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1869
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Kikusui Sake Brewery
As the only brewery in Shimoina, Nanshin, there used to be 37 brewers in the castle town of Iida, which overlooks the Southern Alps, and in the Nanshin area of Shimoina. It is a rare sake brewery in Japan that remains as a joint brewery among the breweries that were jointly held in various places in 1944 (Showa 19) during the Pacific War. It is also the only sake brewery in the Iida Shimoina area of Minami Shinshu. The sake brand “Kikusui” has taken over the venerable brand used by sake brewers in the city since the Meiji era when the companies joined together and continue to this day.
Representative: Noboru Kato
Address: 4293 Kanaekiriishi, Iida City, Nagano Prefecture 395-0807
Foundation (year) 1944
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Kurosawa Sake Brewery
Kurosawa Sake Brewery is located in central of Japan, Sakuho-cho, Nagano established in 1858. Sakuho is surrounded by mountains such as the Asamayama and Yatsugatake and along the Chikuma River, which is one of the longest in Japan. Since its inception, Kurosawa has been brewing authentic sake under the most ideal conditions; beautiful and natural surroundings with clean air, high quality water, and cool temperatures.
Representative: Takao Kurosawa
Address: 1400 Hozumi, Sakuho , Minamisakugun, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1858
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Maihime Sake Brewery
Along the Koshu Kaido in Suwa City, Nagano Prefecture, there is an area where five sake breweries are lined up in just 500m. The five breweries that have continued to brew their own unique sake while using the same underground water from Kirigamine as the water has come to be called “Suwa Gozo.” It was in 1894 that “Maihime,” who plays a part in the Suwa Gozo, started brewing sake in Suwa. Since then, with the motto of “making sake with a visible face,” we have been making traditional and innovative sake.
Representative: Mika Nishinaka
Address: 2-9-25 Suwa, Suwa City, Nagano
Foundation (year) 2014
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Masuichi-Ichimura Sake Brewery
The Masuichi-Ichimura Sake Brewery has been referred to as simply “Masuichi” since the Edo period. Masuichi can be written with a square and a one, giving this sake its name. It also has the meaning of going back to the beginnings; thinking back to the origins of sake brewing. A strong dry sake made with traditional methods.
Representative: Tsugio Ichimura
Address: 807, Obuse, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1755
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Matsubaraya Honten Sake Brewery
The brewery was established during the middle of the Edo period. It was relocated to Obuse in 1889 at the beginning of the Meiji period. The current brewery building dates back more than 200 years. With its eye-catching red brick chimney, this is where our master brewer creates a range of sakes of both vigorous and delicate. Sake made from rice steamed in our giant wagama boiler has exceptional flavor.
Representative: Ichikawa Hiroyuki
Address: 778 obuse obuse-town, kamitakai-gun, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1700
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The origin of Shinanonishiki’s sake brewing is the desire to have customers enjoy sake to their heart’s content. On this site, we look back on our sake brewing, which has progressed to contract cultivation of raw rice and pure rice brewed sake since the development of preservative-free sake, and about the current “sake brewing rooted in the climate of Shinshu”.
Representative: Satoshi Miyajima
Address: Arai 3629-1, Ina City, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1911
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Miyasaka Jozo Brewery
The brewery was firmly established by 1662 and had done well enough to gain the praise of several historical figures. It is said that Matsudaira Tadateru, sixth son of the first Tokugawa Shogun and part-time resident of Suwa, was so fond of our sake that he always kept it by his side. And Otaka Gengo, one of Japan’s famous 47 ronin warriors, praised its smooth taste. Our family still has several items from these men, such as a lacquer sake cup from Matsudaira and an embossed seal box from Otaka. We began using the name “Masumi” for our sake at the end of the Edo period (1603-1867). Masumi, which means transparency or truth, is the name of an 8th-century bronze mirror kept at the Suwa Taisha shinto shrine. My family had provided the shrine with sake for centuries, so it was only fitting that our sake took the name of the shrine’s “Masumi Mirror.”
Representative: Naotaka Miyasaka
Address: Motomachi 1-16, Suwa City, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1662
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Nanawarai Syuzo Brewery
Nanawarai sake brewery was founded in 1892 in KisoFukushima-juku, a cold region even in the summer. For those living in the bitter cold region of Kiso, Japanese sake that warms the body from the core, has been a daily necessity. The name of the store at the time of inception was “Fujishin” taken from the name of the first sake brewer, Shinsuke Kawai, and the names of their first sakes were “Kisonishiki” and “NanawaraiOmatsu”. What travelers traveling the dark and harsh mountain roads of Nakasendo Road all looked forward to was having “savory sake”. The hardships of travel are blown away after laughing seven times while enjoying good savory sake. Nanawari’s sake, brewed with the subsoil waters of Mt. Kiso-Komagatake, must have warmed the bodies and souls of our forefathers, healing their travel fatigues.
Representative: Jyungo Kawai
Address: 5135, Fukushima, Kiso Cho, Kiso-Gun, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1892
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Ootsuka Shuzo Brewery
Ootsuka Sake Brewery is a historical and cultural city of Komoro, with a view of the clear stream of the Chikuma River and the white smoke of Mt. Asama. It had continued to brew the ridge. Sake Asamatake is brewed with the technique of Mori’s soul, using suitable rice from Nagano prefecture and underground water of Mt. Asama under the optimum environment for sake brewing, where the average temperature from January to February is below zero. In the Meiji era, Toson Shimazaki, who was a teacher at Komoro Gijuku, brewed sake in “Chikumagawa Journey no Uta”, saying, “I’m sick of nigiri, and I’m sick of grass pillows.” It is also a sake brewery that leaves an anecdote and it will continue to strive to brew sake of better quality while being aware that sake is a culture of taste rooted in the region.
Representative: Takako Ohtsuka
Address: 2-1-24 Ohote, Komoroshi, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1841
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Shinshu Meijo Brewery
Four traditional breweries that have continued from the Edo and Meiji eras were born in 1958, when joint bottling began, in this land of Maruko, Shinshu. After that, in 1973, the structure became one. Mariko is surrounded by beautiful mountains, and “Kikuzakari Sakemine” is a famous sake made by combining the skills and spirits of the four breweries. The quality of sake can only be expressed by the flavor of the sake itself. There are no inspections or restrictions on the quality of sake, so the enthusiasm and conscience of the brewery can only support the production of sake that pleases our customers.
Representative: Kyoji Takizawa
Address: 2999-1 Nagase, Ueda city, Nagano
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Tamamura Honten Brewery
The sake brewery of the sake “Engi” is located at the foot of Shiga Kogen in Kita Shinshu. The first Kisoji was founded in this area in the second year of culture (1805), and the name Tamamura is named after Joshu Tamamura (currently Tamamura Town, Sawa District, Gunma Prefecture), where the first trained in sake brewing. The sake brewed in the clear water, clear air, and cold temperature of this clear mountain has been loved and cultivated by many people for over 210 years.
Representative: Kisozi Sato
Address: 1163Hirao, Yamanouchimachi, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1805
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Tanakaya Sake Brewery
Representative: Ryuta Tanaka
Address: 2227 Iiyama, Iiyama City, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1873
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Totsuka Syuzoten Sake Brewery
At the beginning of the Edo period (about 400 years ago), the first Totsuka Heiemon moved to Saku from Suruga no Kuni (now Kakegawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture) and started making doburoku by making use of the sake brewing knowledge he learned in Kakegawa. It was the first time for Totsuka Sake Brewery. This doburoku was originally made for private use, but it became popular at the post station (Iwamurada-shuku, Nakasendo), and later started the brewing business in earnest.
Representative: Totsuka Takeshi
Address: 752 Iwamurada, Sakushi, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1653
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Kasuga Sake Brewery (formerly known as Urushido Brewery)
Kasuga Sake Brewery (renamed in 2020, formerly known as Urushido Brewery), which was founded in 1918, is the brewery of “Inoto” in Ina City, Nagano Prefecture, where the Tenryu River flows. All sake is carefully brewed only by two brothers who graduated from the brewing department of Tokyo University of Agriculture, hoping that people who drink Inoto will feel “delicious” at various places and times, and that they will have a good time and be indispensable for their memories.
Representative: Masahiko Urushido
Address: 4875-1 Nishimati, Inashi, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1915
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Usui Syouten Brewery
It was named “Hakuba Nishiki” by the second generation brewery, Shiori Usui, after the famous peak Shirouma Sanzan. The sake brewery in Omachi City is located at the foot of the Northern Alps at an altitude of about 700m and we continue to brew sake under the contract-grown rice of Shinano Omachi, the clean water of the Northern Alps, and the blessed natural environment. With the aim of preserving the beautiful hometown of Satoyama and the rural landscape, we have been working on local production for local consumption using contracted rice with local farmers from Daiginjo to ordinary sake since 1990, and from 2017 all Shinano Omachi. The raw rice is grown under contract. We will pursue sake with a transparent taste like the snow-melted water of the Northern Alps.
Representative: Tomosuke Usui
Address: 2512-1 Omachi, Omachi City, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1906
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Yoikana Syuzou Brewery
The castle town, Matsumoto’s local sake: “Yoikana” and “Metoba-no-Izumi”. Rich and clean famous water “Metoba no Izumi” and carefully selected sake rice in a cool air brewery with Mori’s traditional technique. The sake brewed by the brewers with all their soul is “Zenzai” and “Metoba no Izumi”. Both are famous sakes from Matsumoto, a castle town blessed with history and nature in Shinshu. Using abundant pure spring water from our well, “Metoba-no-Izumi”, selected brewing rice and brewer’s traditional skill; our special products, “Yoikana” and “Metoba-no-Izumi” have been brewed in a cooler brewery in the mountain region. Pouring brewers’ heart and soul into sake brewing; our sake has been well-received as fine local sake by both locals and visitors.
Representative: Keisuke Hotaka
Address: 5-4-24 Oote, Matsumoto, Nagano
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Yukawa Shuzoten Brewery
Representative: Naoko Yukawa
Address: 1003-1 Yabuhara, Kisogun Kisomura, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1650
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Founded in 1758, Fukugen Brewery is an old established sake producer, ever since the Edo period, a time when samurai rode the streets and ruled the land. The company is owned by the Hirabayashi family, and its secret method of sake brewing has been passed down from generation to generation. Currently, Atsuo Hirabayashi is the seventeenth of head of family, and his daughter, Seiko will succeed him. During this long time, the Hirabayashi family has contributed to the local development of the city, including building the railroad, establishing a local bank, the silk-reeling industry, and others, as well as managing the sake business. Fukugen has earned many top honors in the National Sake Appraisal competition, a medal at The International Wine Challenger (IWC) and has been selected SAKE for the Sake for 21st Century by the Maestro of Sake Tasting.
Representative: Naotaka Miyasaka
Address: 2100 Ikeda, Ikedamachi, Kitaazumigun, Nagano
Foundation (year) 1758
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