Dewazakura Sake Brewery is a fantastic place to be if you’re a sake lover. The brewery, based in Tendo-shi in Yamagata-ken, proved itself worthy of global praise by winning the numerous top prize in its category at the International Wine Challenge, one of the world’s largest wine competitions. In 1988, the brewery opened the doors to the DEWAZAKURA ART MUSEUM, a collection of traditional ceramics, crafts and calligraphy. The museum building is a traditional Japanese house built in the Meiji period (1868–1912) and the former residence of the last president of Dewazakura Sake Brewery.
Founded in 1724, this brewery has been tickling the taste buds of sake connoisseurs for nearly 300 years in Siogama-shi. Since then, it has been providing the sacred sake for the thousand-year-old Shiogama Shrine, one of the most important shinto shrines in northern Japan. Now, the establishment offers a wide range of products, including classic sakes, seasonal specialties, Japanese Plum sake and tasting accessories. Additionally, visitors can enjoy a tour of the brewery, which is followed by a fascinating tutored tasting session.
The third largest sake producing region in Japan, Niigata, is practically overflowing with the characteristically Niigatan dry and pristine sake. In fact, about 90 breweries populate the prefecture. One of its most notable sake breweries is the massive Asahi facility in Nagaoka-shi. Quality is no afterthought at Asahi with its labels, bottles and containers tastefully designed to celebrate their amazing contents. The brewery’s modern facility is a work of art, but the real magic comes from their careful brewing methods and understanding of Niigata’s many kinds of rice.
Hanamaki Onsen, surrounded by Tohoku’s magnificent nature, is one of the best places in this region to soak after Sake brewery tour. Easily the largest spa resort in Tohoku, the facility features about 500 rooms across all four of its charming hotels – Hotel Senshukaku, Hotel Koyokan, Hotel Hanamaki and Kashoen. Luxurious halls, traditional accommodations and elegant design bestows guests with a sense of grandness, even as they wander through the hotels in comfortable, loose-fitting Japanese yukata.
A variety baths delight travelers, including outside hot springs with spectacular views of the surrounding nature in all its seasonal glory. Made from cypress and stone, the outdoor baths, or rotenburo, perfectly represent the Japanese aesthetic.
In addition, guests won’t be going on their next journey on an empty stomach. The resort’s buffet is truly astounding, using fresh seafood and vegetables to serve up the best of Tohoku’s local dishes. They also have a wide selection of local sake. Let’s enjoy the sake along with the delicious cuisines!