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Mount Fuji Sake!
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.
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.
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.
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