Trip Report Part 1: Nozaki Shuzo (Brewery) in Akiruno, Tokyo

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The entrance is quite impressive
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The brand of sake from Nozaki Shuzo is Kisho, and it is sold and served throughout the Akigawa Keikoku Valley.
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No tastings or plant tours but there is a quaint shop on site to buy their offerings.
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I purchased two bottles – a Junmai Ginjo made from Yamadanishiki rice and an Umeshu (Plum) Wine made from sake.

The rainy season in Tokyo this year appears to be never ending. On top of that the coronavirus pandemic is making the planning of trips very difficult. One of the writers of this blog (Robin) took a two-day trip to Akigawa Keikoku Valley. Along the way to our minshuku ,or small budget inn, (more on this in a following blog post) we stopped by at a sake brewery in Akiruno City. Although we went by car, which is the best way to visit the area (the valley is quite remote), you can also get to the brewery by train and bus (about 1.5 hours from Shinjuku). After arriving at the minshuku, we tried the Umeshu, named Umesake. It had a pleasant sweetness. With no distilled alcohol added, it did not seem overly alcoholic, which was a good thing. The ABV was between 12 and 13%. As we were a little cold from being wet from the rain, we tried it with a little hot water, and this was also very good. The store clerk recommended warming it like sake, having it on the rocks or pouring it on ice cream. I tried one of their Namazake at dinner, but I will withhold my review of the brewery’s other output until I’ve tried the Junmai Ginjo.

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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