Skip Navigation

A Side of Kobe You Didn’t Know 7: Want to know the secrets of sake brewing?

Kobe has a long-held tradition of drinking sake at festivals and celebrations like New Years and the summer Obon holidays. One of the reasons for drinking sake on such occasions is not simply for enjoyment, but also to create a sense of togetherness by receiving sake from the gods of the festival. Sake culture is deeply tied to Japanese history.

Kobe’s Nada district has a great many sake breweries, and it’s an especially famous area amongst sake fans. It’s said that the secret to the deliciousness of Nada’s sake is the mineral-rich “miya-mizu” water that flows down from Mt. Rokko, and the wonderful Hyogo sake rice.

Most alcohol offered at household shrines is sake.

●Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum
Why not start learning about sake at the Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum? Here you can find displays of the real workplaces and tools used to make sake, and learn about every step of the process. You can also enjoy fun experiences like dressing in the kimono worn by staff in the Edo period (1603-1867) and taking photos, or sake tasting.

*Wearing staff kimono has been paused due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

4-5-5 Sumiyoshi Minami-machi, Higashinada-ku, Kobe City 658-0041 (Entry is free)
Tel: 078-822-8907

An image of sake preparation in the Edo period

●Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewery Museum
If you don’t take care with how you store sake once it’s been made, the quality may be affected, and the flavor may be altered. At the Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewery Museum visitors can learn how the barrels used to store the finished sake are made and used. Even now, these barrels are made by hand from the first step.

1-9-1 Uozaki Nishi-machi, Higashinada-ku, Kobe City 658-0026 (Entry is free)
Tel: 078-854-1029

●Kobe Shushinkan
If you want to buy shampoo, face masks, or ice cream made from sake, head to Kobe Shushinkan! There is also a restaurant, so come and enjoy the tasty food as well.

1-8-7 Mikagetsuka-machi, Higashinada-ku, Kobe City 658-0044 (Entry is free)
Tel: 078-841-1121

There are other great locations aside from the museums mentioned above, so be sure to check out the following as well:

●Hamafukutsukuru Sake Workshop
4-4-6 Uozaki Minami-machi, Nada-ku, Kobe City 658-0025 (Entry is free)
Tel: 078-441-0492

Sakura-en, where you can eat in a Japanese-style room while enjoying the Japanese garden.

●Sakuramasamune Museum Sakura-en
4-3-18 Uozaki Minami-machi, Nada-ku, Kobe City 657-0025 (Entry is free)
Tel: 078-436-3030

5-1-2 Shinzaike Minami-machi, Nada-ku, Kobe City (Entry is free)
Tel: 078-882-7788