Kansai, Japan] Nadagogo Village Sake Factory | Japan's No.1 Sake Village Day Trip

The last day of the tour in Kansai was Nadagogo Sake Brewery Tour. Nadagogo, the area between Osaka and Kobe, is the area with the highest production of sake. Nadagogo refers to Nishigo, Mikage, Uozaki, Nishinomiya, and Imazu, and is also known as Nada Sake, which is produced here using Miyamizu water from Hyogo and Yamada Nishiki rice, and is made using Nadagogo's excellent techniques, making it known as the "No.1 Sake Village in Japan.

Many famous sake breweries in the Nadagogo area can be visited free of charge. The original one-day itinerary included Sakura Masamune, Kiku Masamune, Sawanotsukuru Museum, Hamafukutsuru, Shiratsukuru Brewery Memorial Hall, and Kobe Sake Shinkenkan. However, because some of them were not yet open after the New Year's holiday, only Sakura Masamune, Kiku Masamune, Hakutsuru Sake Brewery, and Kobe Sake Shinkan were visited in the end.

If you don't know much about sake and would like to be guided, you can also consider a local sake tasting tour with a guide.

Nadagogo Sake Brewery | Transportation

We took the Hanshin Line from Uozaki Station and walked to each of the sake brewery memorial centers. Uozaki is not a popular sightseeing spot, and apart from sake breweries, it is probably a residential area, but there are still directions to sake breweries.


Follow the directions to Sakazo-dori. The first place you see is Hamafukutsuru, but it's still on vacation.

Nadanokoro Brewery | Trip

Sakura Masamune Memorial Hall

Sakura MasamuneIt is one of the three major sake breweries in Uozaki and has been in business for 400 years. However, the Sakura Masamune Memorial Hall is actually not that big, with two floors. The second floor is where the main exhibits are displayed. There is a video of Sakura Masamune's brewing process in the past, and the more interesting part is the display of sake produced over the past 100 years. These bottles are unopened, and the bottles we see contain sake of varying heights because the sealing technology of the early bottles was not as good as today's, and the bottles have evaporated a bit over the years.

On the first floor, you can enjoy a free sample of one type of sake and three types of sake at your own expense. The Sakura Banquet at the brewery's restaurant is one of the reasons why Sakura Masamune Memorial Hall is famous, and reservations are required.

Kiku-Masamune Sakizo Memorial Hall

Kiku-Masamune, located in Mikage-go, is the second oldest sake brewery after Sakura-Masamune, with a history of more than 350 years. Kiku-Masamune's Sake Memorial Hall has preserved the characteristics of the past sake collection, and the interior has the most complete display of the brewing process of any Sake Memorial Hall, so if you just want to learn about sake and don't have time to go to other sake breweries, a visit to Kiku-Masamune is the right choice.

Nadanwuxiang, Nadanwuxiang Brewery 10

Outside the museum, you can already see the waterwheel and other utensils used for brewing sake. The interior exhibition area of the Kiku Masamune Memorial Hall is so large that it is basically the size of a museum. The exhibition room mainly displays the "kimoto brewing" process that Kiku-Masamune is so proud of. This is an ancient handmade process in which koji, brewing water, and steamed rice are mixed together to cultivate "kimoto" (the yeast that produces alcohol), and it takes four weeks to make the kimoto by hand. There is also a QR code that can be scanned at the exhibition area, so that you can see the introduction of each country's language on your cell phone, which is helpful for understanding the whole production process.

Kiku-Masamune's vendor offers samples of raw sake, of course, Kiku-Masamune's famous daiginjo and junmai sake, and even many sake lotions and skin care products. The most popular item among tourists is the sake ice cream for 350 yen. When we were browsing, the ice cream vendor was not open, but there were only pre-made ice creams, and many people came forward to ask about them.

Nadanwuxiang, Nadanwuxiang Brewery 24

Hakutsuru Brewery Memorial Hall

Hakutsuru BrewingHakutsuru's sake is a well-known brewery, and the current memorial hall is a reconstruction of a 100-year-old brewery, with exhibits of past processes. Unlike Kiku-Masamune, which insists on old-fashioned brewing, Hakutsuru's sake is now produced by machine.

The Hakutsuru exhibition area features scenes and videos of dolls demonstrating the use of equipment, which is quite lively, but unlike Kiku-Masamune, there are no foreign language translations to watch. However, unlike Kiku-Masamune, there is no foreign language translation available. Luckily, I have already seen the production process of Kiku-Masamune, so it is easy to understand.

Hakutsuru features a wide range of products, including Japanese sake, plum wine, wine, and cosmetics. The tasting area is the most generous of the three breweries, where you can sample a variety of flavors, but you have to pay for the more expensive ones. I'm not as fond of Hakutsuru's flavors as I am of theirs.

Nadanwuxiang, Nadanwuxiang Brewery 29

Kobe Sakushinkan

Kobe SakushinkanThis is the exhibition hall of Fukushou, a famous sake brand. Fukushou is also an old name, but in recent years it has established itself as a world-class brand and is committed to promoting sake to the world. Although the entire factory is a former sake brewery, it seems to have a more modern and low-key appearance. Tours of the Kobe Sake Shinkan brewery are free and available in foreign languages, but reservations are required. On the day we visited, the staff was probably still on vacation and the brewery was not yet open.

Nadanwuxiang, Nadanwuxiang Brewery 30

The Kobe Sake Shinkin-kan's store was my favorite on this trip, and it was very generous with a variety of types to try for free, and the taste was also the best. I highly recommend the Hidden Sake that you can only get here. Sake is raw sake that has not been heated or mixed with water, and has a strong flavor, but because it has not been heated, it has a very short shelf life and you can't buy it outside of the store. You can try and buy it by the pound. There are three types of sake: Junmai Ginjo, Daiginjo Ginjo, and Junmai Ginjo, and Junmai Ginjo and Daiginjo Ginjo Ginjo are both excellent.

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