Your trip to the sake brewery will start with a short 10-minute train ride from Matsumoto Station aboard the Dentetsu Kamikochi Line. It’s a small local line but the scenery in the countryside is very nice and the train car looks quite charming!
Modest appearance fronts an amazing experience
After exiting the train, the Sake Brewery is just a short walk through the picturesque landscape of farms and countryside encircled by the snowcapped mountains of the Japan Alps. From the outside, the brewery looks small and modest, but inside there is a hum of excitement and activity.
Natural resources and traditional techniques
Essentially sake is made with water and rice (with a small mixture of yeast and fermentation elements.) The water and rice is almost entirely sourced by natural springs and local farms in the surrounding countryside. The rice is first soaked before being carefully steamed. The hot rice is then carefully tumbled and cooled. The finished rice is then combined with catalyst and sealed in a Koji Muro (a cedar wood room) for approximately 48 hours.
The “Koji Muro” a unique fermentation process
The cedar wood provides anti-bacterial properties as well as a pleasant aroma to the finished product. After the Koji Muro process is complete the rice mixture is removed from the room and gradually added to large fermentation vats over a period of 3 weeks. At various stages of this step different grades of sake may be extracted and refined to taste and alcohol content. The finished sake is then pasteurized and bottled or stored in a chilled vat to be bottled later.
Shopping for sake at the gift shop
After the tour, visit the well-stocked gift shop. Here you can buy a bottle of premium sake as a souvenir or some fresh sake from the cooler for your friends and hosts in Japan (they will greatly appreciate it!) You can even get sake remnants to make in soup and other recipes!
Visit the sake brewery in Matsumoto
Want an organized tour? Your local guide can help!