Ibaraki Sake Breweries
Ibaraki Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kanto region of Honshu. It borders Fukushima Prefecture to the north, Tochigi Prefecture to the northwest, Saitama Prefecture to the southwest, and Chiba Prefecture to the south. Mito is the capital and largest city of Ibaraki. Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province. The first rice suitable for original sake brewing in Ibaraki Prefecture is Hitachi Nishiki, the life of sake, and has been adopted as a recommended variety in the prefecture. In addition, it has quality suitable for sake rice, such as grain size, heart white that aspergillus easily breaks into, and low protein that causes miscellaneous taste. An overview of Ibaraki’s brewing water can be divided into five water systems. The Kuji River system flows into the Pacific Ocean in Hitachi City from the foot of Mt. Yamizo. The Naka River system flows into the Pacific Ocean between Hitachinaka City and Oarai Town from Mt. Nasu. The Tsukuba mountain water system south of the Kasama / Iwase basin centering on Mt. Tsukuba. The Tone River system in the southern part of the prefecture. In addition, there are five Kinugawa river systems that go around the sake brewing area in the west of the prefecture, while being a tributary of the Tone River.
Aiyu Sake Brewery
Since its establishment, Aiyu Shuzo has made and sold sake. We have contributed to the food culture and life culture of all of our consumers. The town of Shiori, facing the Honshu Tone River, goes from the Tohoku region to Edo. It flourished as a water transportation post, and the flower district limit was also showing signs of excitement. The “Aiyu” is originated from the poetic sentimental water village Shiori that was founded by the late Edo period. It means that you love your friend and everyone enjoys drinking alcohol, “all four brothers” small mark inherited the sake brewing tradition, it has been nurtured and supported by the locals.
Representative: Michiko Kanehira
Address: Tuji 205, Itako-city, Ibaraki
Foundation (year) 1804
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Meiri Shurui Sake Brewery
Meiri Shurui Sake Brewery was founded at the present location during the Ansei era at the end of the Edo period, was the predecessor of our company and became a corporation in 1950. Since then, it has been manufacturing distilled liquor, alcohol, etc., but now it has become a comprehensive liquor maker that makes sake, shochu, liqueurs (umeshu, etc.), fermented seasonings, etc., and its sales channels are expanding nationwide and to the world, in addition to good brewing techniques, good rice, good water, and good yeast are essential to making good sake. Meiri Ogawa Yeast and M310 Yeast have excellent properties such as producing a refreshing ginjo aroma with less acid.
Representative: Takazo Kato
Address: 338 Motoyoshida-cho, Mitoshi, Ibaraki
Foundation (year) 1850
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Kiuchi Sake Brewery
Kiuchi Brewery started brewing sake in Naka-shi, Ibaraki prefecture in 1823. We are producing the “Kikusakari” sake brand, shochu, wine and liqueur. We own a buckwheat noodle restaurant “Nakaya” on the premises, and there is a bar counter for tasting a variety of Kiuchi products. Japanese Sake is made using locally grown ingredients, local climate and the hand of the brewer. Each sake is the only one of its kind. The rich underground water of the Hitachino area, the carefully raised sake rice and the hearts of the sake brewers here whose skills have been handed down through generations. Kiuchi Brewery’s Japanese Sake – “KIKUSAKARI” – can only be made with this formula.
Representative: Mikio Kiuchi
Address: 1257 Kounosu, Nakashi, Ibaraki
Foundation (year) 1823
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Inaba Sake Brewery
Inaba Sake Brewery is a sake brewery that constantly challenges new sake brewing based on traditional sake brewing. It has been the 13th generation since our ancestors first settled at the foot of Mt. Tsukuba. In 1867, the 6th generation of Inaba started brewing Minanogawa by using the spring water in our backyard and premier rice. Minanogawa is the name of the river that flows between Mt. Tsukuba which is also sung in Ogura Hyakunin Issyu. Our sake label is named by taking the name of Minanogawa. Since its inception, Minanogawa has been served as the sacred sake of Tsukuba shrine. Since our brewery is very small, we do not rely on machines. We only produce our sake by hand, which is hardly seen in the recent brewing: washing big amount of rice by hands, and so on. While processing koji (rice malt), the brewer checks the right temperature by hand and Moromi, (a fermenting mixture of rice, koji, yeast, and water) management as well, using and trusting on human five senses and talk to moromi, listen to moromi, and taste moromi, we don’t squeeze moromi by machine in the last process. Moromi is hanged in the bag and dropped one by one as a small brewery keeps the traditional handcraft brewing.
Representative: Yoshitaka Inaba
Address: 1485 Numata, Tsukuba, Ibaraki
Foundation (year) 1867
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Nemoto Shuzo Sake Brewery
Our brewery is located in the area called Oku-kuji (Yamagata, Hitachiomiya City, Ibaraki Prefecture). The Oku-kuji area is a broad natural enclave with tranquil rural views, situated near Mt. Yamizo, a prefectural natural park, and the Kuji River, where a pristine stream flows. Since 1603, Nemoto Shuzo Sake Brewery has been producing sake for over four hundred years. Our sake is skilfully produced in the unspoiled natural surroundings of Oku-kuji. Following our ancestors’ traditional sake brewing expertise and techniques, we pursue the finest tasting sake, assessing the taste of the rice harvested that year, the influence of the day-to-day changes in the weather, and using our ancient skills. We intend to continue to commit ourselves to passionately producing the best tasting sake and endeavour to craft sake that pleases our customers the most.
Representative: Akihiro Nemoto
Address: 630 Yamagata, Hitachi Ohmiya Shi, Ibaraki
Foundation (year) 1603
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Sudohonke Sake Brewery
The brewery is located in an area called Obara, one of the areas where the prefecture name Ibaraki was originated from. There are still historical remains in a property. The history we have a bit different from other breweries; our family started as samurai warriors with a mission of revitalizing the economy. For this purpose, we started brewing sake. In fact, ahead of the family used to have two names; Gensayuemon as a samurai, and Gen-uemon as a brewery. In Japanese traditions, each family used to share common values such as manner, ethics or traditions. Ikebana (Flower arrangement) is one example. Arts created from the traditions of each family were beautifully unique, and that have shaped Japanese culture. Yet now this culture has been fading away little by little. Even though it is a good thing that today there are a variety of products from all over the world, there is one thing that we shouldn’t lose: the true traditional common value in craftsmanship. It’s no exaggeration to say that the true value of craftsmanship roots in sake. Sake at first was brewed as a gift to gods; we brew, offer before gods, and then afterward, sake was served to people as naorai (feast after a ceremony). Brewing sake is full of joy and excitement. Our mission is to share and spread this joy to more people while passing down our traditions to the next generations. We keep on challenging ourselves to brew sake better and better.
Representative: Gen-uemon Sudo
Address: 2125 Obara, Kasama-shi, Ibaraki
Foundation (year) 1141
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Takemura Sake Brewery
An Omi merchant from Shiga Prefecture took root in this area blessed with water and ran a sake brewing (Tenmaya) that made the best use of the area. That is the beginning of our 260-year history. At first, the head office was located in Ishige, Joso City, and there were several branches in Mizukaido, Fujishiro, Osaka, etc. During the Tengu Party turmoil, the main store’s brewery was attacked twice, and the clerk who felt the danger closed the store and then moved the brewery to Mizukaido (Hinoya), it continues to this day. The oldest brand is “Fujiryu”, which still exists for ordinary sake, but this is the brand named by the head of the family three generations ago. The current main brand is “Kyo no Yume”, which is named after Junichiro Tanizaki’s essay “Kyo no Yume Osaka no Yume”, which had a close relationship with his predecessor, Shigehachiro. The picture on the label is the same old map of Kyoto as the cover of the first edition book. The newest brand is “Ruri”, this is the newest brand launched in 1991. In this history, it is a sake brewery that has been called “Hinoya-san” and “Fujiryu-san” and has been popular on the Mizukaido.
Representative: Iichiro Takemura
Address: 3374-1 Mitsukaido Takaramachi, Joso City, Ibaraki
Foundation (year) 1763
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Yoshikubo Sake Brewery
Representative: Fumi Yoshikubo
Address: Honcho 3-9-5, Mito-city, Ibaraki
Foundation (year) 1790
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