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Attractions in Saitama Prefecture

Meet the Sake Producers in the Tokyo Area

Take a Winter Trip to Enjoy Saitama's Freshly-Brewed Sake

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Winter is the season for brewing sake.

Using rice that is harvested in the fall as the raw material, each region in Japan produces its own unique, freshly-brewed sake depending on the degree of fermentation, which is aided by cold, dry air. Unlike wine, that usually appears on the market after being aged for several years, the majority of sakes are considered most delicious when drank while still fresh, before it undergoes any change in taste or smell. This is the reason why winter is said to be the best season to drink sake.

Saitama Prefecture boasts the fourth largest sake production in the country and is the largest sake hub in the Kanto region. It is said that Saitama became an active producer of sake as it was blessed with the land and water needed to cultivate rice. Furthermore, Saitama was home to a large number of post towns because the highway that connected Edo to places such as Kyoto and Nikko used to pass through the prefecture. Even though the scale of Saitama's breweries is on the smaller side, one can experience the unique "handmade sake" traditions of each brewery that have been passed down for countless generations.

Here are some places where you can experience the joys of sake in various ways.


Seiun Shuzo Co., Ltd.

Flourishing as a post town in the past, Ogawa-machi is a region blessed with exceptionally good water and is best known for its sake, as well as for washi or traditional Japanese papermaking. Utilizing the locally abundant well water, Seiun Shuzo uses premium polished rice to brew their sake, placing great importance on tradition while also incorporating the latest technology, conveying their strong spirit and resolve towards creating good quality sake. One can freely explore the inside of the ancient brewery, and guided tours are also available for groups of 10 or more people upon reservation. After the tour, visitors can experience sake tasting at various stalls. Since this is a region where organic agriculture is popular, one can taste sake brewed solely using organically grown rice, and eat cuisine prepared with organically produced vegetables at the adjoining restaurant, 'Tamaiya.'

Official site (Japanese website)
http://www.kumagaya.or.jp/~seiun/index.htm

Admission Fee
Free Admission

Opening (Shop)
9:00~17:00,365 days
Except New year holiday and 12:00~13:00 on Wednesdays

Brewery tour cannot be accepted from December 31 to January 3.
(Tamaiya) 11:00〜17:00, Ordered by 16:00
Closed every Wednesday (Open if holiday)

Address
178-2, Otsuka, Ogawa-machi Hiki-gun, Saitama, 355-0328, Japan
Phone 0493-72-0055

Access Station:
Ogawamachi Sta. (Tobu Tojo Line) about 8 minutes on foot
No.1 on the Location Map

Further info. “Seiun Shuzou Tamaiya”
http://www.pref.saitama.lg.jp/chokotabi-saitama/eng/travelmag/24.html


Gonda Syuzo Co., Ltd.

2 on Map

Brewed using high-quality underground water brought to the region by two rivers, and rice that is grown in one of Japan's hottest summers and subjected to the cruel, cold winds of winter, this sake is without a doubt, a product unique to the region. After a tour of the brewery, visitors enter a tatami room in the heart of the building and indulge in a group sake tasting complete with handmade snacks.

As the brewery is located quite far from the closest train station, please also consider participating in a tour.
http://beauty-of-japan.com/tour/meet-japanese-craftsman-tokyo-sake-tatami/

Official site
http://www.gondasyuzou.com/en/

Admission
Fee Brewery tour and tasting: Free Admission
Tasting at tatami room needs to pay fees
Opening
9:00 - 18:30
Closed on Sundays and holidays

Address
1491, Mikajiri, Kumagaya-shi, Saitama, 360-0843, Japan
Phone 048-532-3611

Access Station :
Kagohara Sta. (JR Line) about 30 minutes on foot or 6 minutes by car
No.2 on the Location Map
Notice Reservation is needed for brewery tour and tasting


Kikizake Dokoro Shōwa Warehouse

Located between Kawagoe's cityscape lined with Edo-period warehouses and Kawagoe station, this tourism spot is highly recommended as the last stop for visitors to Kawagoe. The liquor shop is remodeled from an old, traditional sake brewery, and visitors can enjoy sake from all 35 of Saitama Prefecture's breweries in one go. JPY500 can be exchanged for 4 tokens, and one cup of sake can be sampled starting at one token upwards. So why not visit some of the breweries in Saitama, where everyone can appreciate the aroma and flavors of sake, try appropriate temperatures and recommended drinking styles, and compare various types of sake until they find the perfect one!

Official site (Japanese website)
https://www.machikawa.co.jp/sake

Admission Fee
Free Admission

Opening
11:00 - 19:00
Temporary closures may happen

Address
1-10-1, Shintomicho, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama, 350-0043, Japan
Phone 049-229-6110

Access Station :
Kawagoe Sta. (JR Line, Tobu Tojo Line) about 15 minutes on foot
OR
Hon-Kawagoe Sta. (Seibu Shinjuku Line) about 3 minutes on foot

No.3 on the Location Map


Article provided by Saitama Prefectural Government Department of Industry and Labor Tourism Division

Location Map

1: Seiun Shuzo Brewery
2: Gonda Syuzo Brewery
3: Kikizake Dokoro Shōwa Warehouse
Enlarge Map

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