Hakuko” & “Hiraizumi” & “Sogen” In-store tasting event @ Ikebukuro

You can taste Hakuko, MORIKAWA SHUZO CO.,LTD. from Hiroshima prefecture, Hiraizumi, Hiraizumi Honpo from Akita prefecture and, Sogen, Sogen Sake Brewery Co.,Ltd. from Ishikawa prefecture.


The brewery is located in western Japan at the southern portion of the Hiroshima prefecture, in a small town surrounded in nature; being a part of the Seto inner sea national park. Their brewery is located at the eastern side of the Noro Mountain [839m]. The Norogawa River flows nearby, and its clean waters and the clear air are representative of the beautiful surrounding environment.
Along with Nada and Fushimi, Hiroshima is known as one of the 3 greatest producers of sake, and has been known from long ago as a land suited for making sake. The traditional method of making sake in Hiroshima is the “Soft water brewing method”, a brewing method that fully utilizes the characteristics of the water quality in Hiroshima (generally soft water), and the quality of the sake is recognized throughout Japan.

The foundation of their brewery is in the quality water. The quality of water used is one of the most important factors in making sake. Their water has been commented on by professor Sasaki of the Hiroshima Kokusai Gakuin University, also known as the “Professor of water”: “This is a vary rare soft water which matches the definition of “Good water” given by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The water quality is good for making not only tea, coffee, and cooking, but is also optimal for making soft water brewed sake.”.
The figures learned from analysis show that because of the very low mineral content, the yeast is easily starved of nutrients, and it is difficult to ferment into alcohol. It is said that the mineral content is the very minimum it can be to make alcohol with. Because of this, our brewery puts in a significant amount of effort in making a good koji (malted rice) to introduce the alcohol fermentation, and as a result, a flavorful sake is born.

To sum up the “Hakuko” in one phrase, it is “a sake that tastes soft and pleasant but is full of flavor”. It is a sake perfect for the dinner table.


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Hakuko Yondanjikomi Junmai Red Label 白鴻 四段仕込み純米酒 赤ラベル 720ml

Hiraizumi (Hiraizumi Honpo)

Brewery History and Background:
They are Akita’s oldest and even in Japan 3rd oldest brewery, having been founded in 1487 in the middle of the Muromachi era. Originally, the company was a wholesaler of goods sent by ship, with sake brewing just a side business. But in the early Meiji period, sake brewing became the main business. We have since then been staunchly brewing sake in the old yamahai-shikomi method. Our current brewery dates from 1883.

Origins of the name:
The name is a combination of the name of the business when we were a wholesaler, Izumiya, and the name of the immediate region, Hirasawa, and was shortened from “Hirasawa Izumi no Sake.” Also, there is the theory that a local painter sent our sake to Monk Ryokan of the Echigo region, calling it “jumping, good, white water,” and the name and characters are a play on that expression.

Hiraizumi is Gold Prize winning sake in the Annual Japan Sake Awards 2015.

Hiraizumi Honpo Home page

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Hiraizumi, Yamahai Junmai “Marutobi” Yeast different tasting 720ml 4bottles set 飛良泉、 山廃純米 “マル飛” 酵母別【No12、No15、No77、No24】飲み比べ 720ml 4種【まとめて値】/秋田県

Sogen (Sogen Sake Brewery Co.,Ltd.)

Founded in 1768, Sogen Sake Brewery is deeply rooted in the local community, who have cultivated love of their sake that taste smooth with a hint of sweetness. The locals call it “Sogen sake” after the family name of the owner. In addition, our higher-end sake are well recognized by sake fans for their elegant aroma. Suzu City, where the brewery is located, is home to the famed Noto Toji school of brewers.

Sogen Sake Brewery was founded in the mid-Edo Period, 1768, even before America declared independence in 1776. Legend says Sogen Chugoro who traced his roots to Yoshiharu Hatakeyama, the lord of Nanao-jo Castle in the Sengoku Period, started business and his descendant was trained in a brewery in Itami (present-day Hyogo Prefecture) and mastered the secrets of the sake brewing.

Since then, Sogen Sake Brewery has carried on the tradition and has been brewing sake to please their customers for over 240 years.Their motto is, “Our customers keep coming back to us.”

Noto Toji is one of the Japanese four major Toji group and it is said that Sogen Sake Brewery is the birthplace of Noto Toji. Toji is the superintendents in breweries and is the professionals entrusted with training many brewers.

Sogen Sake Brewery succeeded in making high-quality Ginjo-shu with a fruity, delicate taste. They are proud of their own contemporary style of sake brewing, garnered through years of traditional brewing called the “Noto Style.”

Community vitalization by Sogen Sake Brewery

Like many other country regions of Japan, Oku-Noto struggles with a dwindling population and economy. One consequence was the closing in 2005 of the Noto Line which connected the lower and upper portions of Noto.

In 2013, Sogen acquired and restored a portion of the Noto Line rail and tunnel. It was part of a regional initiative, the “Oku-Noto Area Vitalization Project”, whose goal was to reinvigorate the local communities.

When the restoration was completed, Sogen launched Notoro, a self pedaled trolley. Visitors are welcome to enjoy a ride on this trolley and the scenic views it offers along the coastline. You can also take nostarsic photos walking on the rail tracks like a “Stand by me” film.

The tunnel section of the line was also restored and is now used exclusively for sake storage. The natural ambient temperature of 12℃ is ideal for aging, and gives the sake a more mellow and deeper taste.

Sogen Sake Brewery Co.,Ltd. Home page

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Sogen Daiginjo 宗玄 大吟醸 720ml 全国新酒鑑評会金賞受賞酒


2018/12/05 (Wed)~2018/12/11 (Tue) 10:00~20:00

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Seibu Ikebukuro B1F

〒171-0022 Tokyo, Toshima, Minamiikebukuro, 1 Chome−28−1

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Directly connect
Ikebukuro Station South Exit, Exit 38, Exit 36

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For more information visit, 今週の酒と肴

“Kakurei” & “Kariho” In-store tasting event @ Ikebukuro

You can taste Kakurei, AOKI SHUZO from Niigata prefecture, and Kariho, AKITA SEISHU CO.,LTD. from Akita prefecture.

Kakurei (AOKI SHUZO) 

AOKI SHUZO, is located in Uonuma city, Niigata prefecture, known as one of the snowiest regions in Japan. Established since 1717, we have been brewing Sake continuously for over 300 years. Our signature brand KAKUREI, and other Sakes are produced by various benefits of the snow country, and skilled Echigo-Toji, the master brewers. While Niigata prefecture is famous for Tanrei-Karakuchi, the light, elegant and dry Sake style, we are aiming to create Tanrei-Umakuchi, remaining the pure umami of Sake-rice, handing down our original recipe to the next 100 years.

AOKI SHUZO’s KAKUREI is well accompanied with Uonuma cuisine, strongly flavored with salt and soy sauce for the local’s who works in earnest with sweat, and to preserve fish and vegetables during the long winter. KAKUREI, has sharp and delicate Niigata Sake characteristics, but at the same time we are aiming to bring out the best of the aftertaste of umami of the rice itself, which gives fresh and new taste every time you enjoy.

AOKI SHUZO The Sake Brewery Co., LTD. Home page

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青木酒造 鶴齢 純米大吟醸 Aoki shuzo Kakurei Junmai-Daiginjo 720ml

KAKUREI Junmai-Daiginjo
Junmai-Dainginjo with 100% Niigata’s Koshi-Tanrei (rice). Flowery fruit-like aroma, with smoothness and gentle umami.

鶴齢 純米吟醸 KAKUREI Junmai-Ginjo 1800ml

Bringing out the best of rice itself, still light, soft, and fresh Junmai. Hints of aroma harmonizing with the gentle round umami.



Akita Seishu Co. Ltd. makes and bottles nihonshu using Akita rice under the Dewatsuru, Kariho and Yamato Shizuku brands. The Akita Seishu Kariho brewery was founded in 1913 in Akita Prefecture. This area is located at the extreme northwest of Honshu island, a mountainous area with very cold winters, and heavy snowfall. Many beautiful rices exist here, and very pure water; making it the ideal environment for quality sake production.

The Kariho brand has a more mineral-heavy water source, creating a drink characterized by a drier, sharper taste, while elsewhere in the region water is rather soft. The top seller, the Kariho Daiginjo, has a lighter, clearer taste that’s reminiscent of the cold snap of Akita’s winter air.

Kariho brewery is located in Daisen in Akita. Daisen is its famous for sake breweries and has the largest number of breweries in the prefecture. The sake here is brewed using ancient techniques that are passed down form generation to generation and the breweries have a commanding and refined atmosphere.

You can stay Kowakubi Hot Springs Shohoen. It is hidden hot springs that are surrounded by mountains, where the four seasons are beautiful. The inn offers you selected local sake including Kariho. The building is a national registered tangible cultural property. You can feel a truly traditional and luxurious farmer Japanese experience.


Kowakubi Hot Springs Shohoen

019-2335 Akita Prefecture, Daisen City, Kowakubi, Kowakubi-268

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Awarded: Kura Master 2018 Junmai Daiginjo & Junmai Ginjo : Gold medal

Kariho Junmai Daiginjo Kaei 刈穂 純米大吟醸 嘉永 720ml


2018/12/06 (Thu)~2018/12/12 (Wed)


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Ikebukuro Tobu Department Store B1F 1 Chome-1-25 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 171-0021

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Directly connected to “Ikebukuro station”

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For more information visit, 東武百貨店 池袋店 日本酒催事スケジュール

“Mansaku no hana” & “Shimeharitsuru” In-store tasting event @ Ikebukuro


You can taste Mansaku no hana, Hinomaru Jozo Co., Ltd. from Akita prefecture, and Shimeharitsuru, Miyao Sake Brewing Co.,Ltd. from Niigata prefecture.

Mansaku no hana (Hinomaru Jozo Co., Ltd.)

Hinomaru Jozo is located in Masudamachi, in Yokote city in the picturesque snow country of Akita, Japan. Akita has long, harsh, snowy winters. In the height of the winter season, Hinomaru Jozo’s touji (sake master) Ryoji Takahashi can be found with his hands buried deep in cold, mashed rice, preparing it for fermentation.

Like many older breweries and distilleries, Hinomaru Jozo follows traditions that date back to when it was first founded almost 330 years ago, in 1689. Something the Hinomaru Brewery is proud of is the usage of the “rising sun” imagery, 200 years prior to its official association with the Japanese flag and government. The logo and name were created by the feudal leader of the region at the time: Lord Satake.

But there is more to a distillery than a name and a logo. Their motto, coupling “quality first” with “challenging spirit,” reflects the rigorous process involved in concocting the perfect sake mix. Still to this day, everything is done by hand: the rice growing, harvesting, mashing, steaming, transferring, and bottling. One of the key elements that helps Hinomaru’s sake stand out is the usage of small, 1.8-liter bottles to store and age the sake, as opposed to more common practice of storing and aging sake in massive, 500 to 1000–liter barrels at other breweries. There is no better example of Hinomaru’s quality nihonshu than the Mansakuno Hana brand: named for the mansakuno flower and created to commemorate a popular NHK TV drama that was set in Akita, it can be found at restaurants around the world. An even more refined variety of this sake is the Mansakuno Hana Daiginjo, whose beautiful pale gold color matches its fruity aroma—like that of apples or pears.

The Akita snow is a crucial indirect ingredient: keeping the building cold and frosty creates a specific flavor and texture known only to Hinomaru’s brand-name sake. A crisp, sweet, fruity winter taste dominates their flavor profiles, and complements the famous sour pickled vegetables of the north. Winter in Akita is suddenly much less cold when it’s paired with a bottle of sake from Hinomaru Jozo.

The Yokote Kamakura Festival (横手の雪まつり, Yokote no Yuki Matsuri) has a history of about 450 years. It is held every year in mid-February. The festival features many igloo-like snow houses, called kamakura, which are built at various locations across the city. Along Yokote River, hundreds of small kamakura the size of lanterns are made. These mini kamakura are illuminated by candles from dusk until around 21:00 and create a lovely sea of lights.

During the Festival, you can enjoy walking around while enjoying Akita’s local delicacies and sake.

Hinomaru Jozo Co., Ltd. Home page



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Mansaku no hana Bekkaku Daiginjo 金賞受賞蔵!秋田のお酒、まんさくの花 別格大吟醸 720ml(四合)瓶 桐箱入


Shimeharitsuru (Miyao Sake Brewing Co.,Ltd.)

The flavor of Shimeharitsuru is crafted with the brewers’ dedication to making supreme sake, and is best defined as rich yet light. Established in 1819, Miyao Sake Brewing is situated in Murakami, one of the finest rice producing areas of Niigata that cultivates a variety of quality sake rice such as Gohyakumangoku. The brewery’s well taps into the pristine underground water that flows from the Asahi mountain range via the Miomote River which is famous for its salmon run. This delicate and almost sweet soft water is used in brewing, and shapes the flavor of our sake. Genuine devotion to sake brewing is another important aspect that has been passed down in our brewery. Using outstanding rice and crystal clear water, we dedicate ourselves to brewing delicious sake to the satisfaction of our customers.

The Murakami city is located in the north of Niigata Prefecture, Japan, which is a castle town still having signs of its former days. In the center of the city, there are spots you can feel city’s the history such as rows of “merchant houses” of those days and “Maizuru Castle Ruins” famous for cherry blossoms blooming there.

Murakami specialty: Murakami Beef

Murakami beef is praised for its vivid red meat with beautiful marbling along with a soft juicy texture, which makes for an unmistakable taste. Carefully selected high quality breeding cattle are raised from a plenty of Koshihikari rice straw and hay for additional two years and brought up to maturity as Wagyu, with the farmer’s generous love, unstinting labor and time in the majestic nature in Murakami, Niigata, Japan, where the traditional culture is still alive.

Murakami is easily accessible from Tokyo via Shinkansen. Enjoy Yakiniku (Japanese BBQ), Sukiyaki and Shabushabu with exceptional Japanese Black Wagyu Beef while tasting Niigata sake.

Edosho: http://www.edoshow.com/index.html
Open: 11:00~14:00
Reservation required 81-254-50-1181

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You can taste Murakami Beef on a Budget at Yamashin. Outside the restaurant, they sell deep-fried croquets and Menchi Katsu (minced meat cutlet) with Murakami Beef. You can buy some and eat them while strolling the city.

Yamashin: http://www.bishokuya.com

Shop Open: 9:00-18:00
Meal order: 10:00-17:00
Close: Wednesday
e-mail: info@bishokuya.com

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Miyao Sake Brewing Co.,Ltd. Home page

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Shimeharitsuru Tasting 720ml x 3 bottles set Yuki -Snow Tsuki -Moon Hana -Flower【人気地酒蔵】新潟 〆張鶴飲み比べ 720 ml×3本セット 〆張鶴月 〆張鶴雪 〆張鶴花 11


2018/11/29 (Thu)~2018/12/05 (Wed) 10:00~20:00

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Ikebukuro Tobu Department Store B1F

1 Chome-1-25 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 171-0021

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Directly connected to “Ikebukuro station”

Web site

For more information visit, 東武百貨店 池袋店 日本酒催事スケジュール