Japanese Sake: Blessed by Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji Sake!

The former entrance to Ide Jyozo (Ide Sake Brewery)
The former entrance to Ide Jyozoten (Ide Sake Brewery)

Ide Jyozoten (Ide Sake Brewery) has been producing delicious sake for the past 170 years. However, long before making sake, about 300 years ago, the Ide family was known for brewing soy sauce and for fermenting soybeans to make miso paste. The current owner is the 21st generation operator of the family business.

If you are lucky enough to be on one of the rare tasting events held in the breweries 300-year-old home and gardens, you will not be disappointed!
If you are lucky enough to attend one of the rare tasting events held in the brewery’s 300-year-old home and gardens, you will not be disappointed!
The miniature shrine, whose base is made of volcanic stones, is part of Ide Jyozoten's 300-year-old garden.
This miniature shrine, whose base is made of volcanic stone, is part of Ide Jyozoten’s 300-year-old garden.

One reason why they could not produce sake earlier than 170 years ago was that the well-drained volcanic soil in the immediate area would neither yield nor retain the water necessary for cultivating rice paddies.

Without rice, there is no sake.

Elsewhere in Japan you can find many rivers, but there are no rivers flowing from Mount Fuji. Instead, the volcano, which is about 1,400 cubic kilometres in size, acts like a giant sponge that absorbs runoff from melting snow and rain. This runoff percolates through successive layers of ancient volcanic debris to eventually reemerge as the Fuji Five Lakes. This water also wells up in natural springs and this is how Ide Sake Brewery gets its pure water for making sake.

Lilies grow from the narrow spaces in the garden's volcanic stone walls (ishigaki).
Lilies grow from the narrow spaces in the garden’s volcanic stone walls (ishigaki).

In addition to benefitting from the pure waters sourced from Mount Fuji, the Ide Sake Brewery is also favoured by the microclimate found on the north side of the world-famous volcano. According to Mr. Ide, the current owner and operator of the sake brewery, the cool winter conditions, which are similar to those found on the northern island of Hokkaido, help to maintain the purity of Ide Jyozoten’s fine sake.

This photo of the sake brewery's owner, Mr. Ide, is a testament to Japan's strict adherence to COVID-19 protocol.
This photo of the 21st generation operator of the family business, Mr. Ide, is a testament to Japan’s strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.
The interior of Ide Jyozo's 300-year-old home is richly decorated with stunning works of art from the Edo period.
The interior of Ide Jyozoten’s 300-year-old home is richly decorated with stunning works of art from the Edo period.
The paintings on the walls and screens of this Edo-period house are museum quality.
The paintings on the walls and screens of this Edo-period house are museum quality.

Click here to go directly to Ide Jyozoten’s website.

Tours, including tasting, take 1 hour and must be reserved beforehand. Ask your hotel, the tourist information office (Tel: +81-55-572-6700), or call Ide Jyozo (Tel: +81-55-572-0006, Japanese language only) for details.
Tours, including tasting, take 1 hour and must be reserved beforehand. Ask your hotel, the tourist information office (Tel: +81-55-572-6700), or call Ide Jyozoten (Tel: +81-55-572-0006, Japanese language only) for details.

Click here for Ide Jyozoten’s tour calendar and online reservation form.

Begin your adventures off the beaten path by booking a night in my Airbnb property.

Copyright ©  David Ellis | All Rights Reserved