After the tour, some more tasting! They have a tasting room where they have many types of sake, available to taste at reasonable prices!
This week’s entry is being written as the maelstrom known as the “Go To (Can’t Go To?) Travel Campaign” is making more than a few inhabitants of Japan increasingly uneasy. With many a vacation plan left blowing in the wind, Tokyoites interested in fine sake and traditional dining might want to play it safe and stay close to home. If you count yourself among those, a destination you might want to consider is Ozawa Brewery (OB), which is located in the village of Sawai in Okutama, just an 80-minute ride from Shinjuku Station. The Okutama region is the source of the mighty Tama River (a.k.a., the “Tamazon” further downstream). At OB visitors can spend some time frolicking along its banks, playing ducks and drakes, and dipping their toes in its cool, clear waters without the fear of undergoing a piranha-performed amputation. They can also take in the impressive scenery, and, if they get lucky, which we did the last time we visited, a serow sighting is a distinct possibility. But the real draws here are the excellent sake, which is marketed under the name “Sawanoi,” and their restaurant Mamagotoya, which specializes in tofu dishes. Their tasting room has a permanent selection of twelve sakes at reasonable prices and seasonal sakes, as well. The good people at OB obviously know what they are doing: the company has been around since 1702! English-language literature is available that provides information on sake tasting, the production process, and the company’s history and products. Free, guided tours are also available.
Ozawa Brewery’s website is here: http://www.sawanoi-sake.com/en
Mamagotoya’s website (Japanese only) is here: http://www.mamagotoya102.com/
Recommendation level (out of five stars):
We have written a book. For more information on Japanese beverages, please check it out. You can get it at fine offline and online booksellers in Japan, including Amazon.
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