Sake In Japan’s Most Beautiful Breweries

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FOOD: Sake in Japan’s Most Beautiful Breweries

Sake breweries across Japan are receiving
contemporary makeovers, making them attractive destinations for visitors
wanting to sample Japan’s most famous drink.

Here’s our pick of Japan’s most beautiful breweries.


Shiraito Sake Brewery, Fukuoka

Nestled amidst the rice fields at the foot of
Mt. Sefuri, Fukuoka, the Shiraito Sake Brewery has
been making sake using ancient techniques and local Itoshima rice since 1855.
Employing the method of haneki-shibori, which applies much less pressure than
machine-pressed sake, Shiraito sake is famous for its pure and mellow flavour. Last
year, to celebrate their 160-year heritage, the traditional brewery decided to
add a new, contemporary structure to their complex of buildings. The result is
an ultra-modern concrete brew house – both beautiful and functional – that celebrates
the company’s history whilst providing a practical space to house new,
innovative facilities.

Head to Fukuoka in spring and you’ll be able to
see the structure for yourself when the brewery opens for public tours between
mid-February and mid-April.


Yamaguchi Sake Brewery, Kurume

Japanese design firm Case Real have given a new lease of life to a traditional cedar-beam sake brewery in
Kurume City, Kyushu. Originally constructed in the early 1800s, innovative
designers Koichi Futatsumata and Koichi Shimohira have sensitively restored the
Yamaguchi Sake Brewery in a way that recalls the structure’s history, whilst
looking to the future.

A beautifully serene courtyard now connects the
aged main house and warehouse, providing a meditative space for brewers to
unwind mid-shift. Vast windows flood a dedicated lounge space with natural
light, whilst original features such as a polished stone flow and sturdy
overhead beams serve as a reminder of the family’s longstanding sake brewing


Shitamachi Brewery Hikobe, Akita

Recently renovated to include a contemporary
café and tasting centre, the Shitamachi Brewery Hikobe is well worth seeking out if you find yourself
in Akita Prefecture. Established in 1688, the brewery has undergone many
renovations during its 330-year history, although none as successful as that
completed earlier this year, by SUGAWARADAISUKE Architects.

Having stripped-back the original structure, the
result is a simplified, contemporary space that serves as a place where locals
and tourists can come together to appreciate the local brew. With vast vaulted
ceilings, the two-storey tasting room houses a café, sake shop and event space.
Tours are available of the brewery next door – simply call in advance to
reserve your free spot.

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