Sake Breweries in Tohoku
Tohoku is home to 300 independent sake breweries and is nationally known for sake of exquisite quality. Each prefecture in Tohoku has its own variety of premium rice, one of the key ingredients for sake. With clear spring water flowing in magnificent natural surroundings, the region is the perfect place to produce fine sake.
Tohoku’s innovative breweries are continually experimenting with new twists on their historic traditions. Many breweries in the region offer tours and tasting experiences that allow visitors to get a feel for the ambience of the traditional breweries, and to sample a wide range of premium quality sake.
Visitors can enjoy a varying range of flavours of sake depending on the district and producer. A number of the breweries create sake designed to bring out the flavours of the local sea and mountain produce, be sure to enjoy some local sake in combination with seasonal produce at the many wonderful restaurants located throughout the region.
Unique wineries in Tohoku
Wineries in Tohoku have come up with unique solutions to the challenges of growing grapes in the region’s harsh climate and natural environment. Long years of experimentation have given rise to a variety of distinctive regional wines.
Many wineries offer tours and tasting experiences, some also have gift shops and restaurants on-site. In recent years the wineries of Tohoku have gained popularity and have become hot-spots for local and international visitors. Come and find your favourite bottle in the hidden vineyards of the north!
Unique craft beers of Tohoku
Along with sake breweries and wineries, Tohoku is also home to a number of craft beer breweries. Benefiting from the clear spring water flowing in the beautiful natural surroundings, each brewery has its own variety of craft beer made with local produce including peaches, apples, Japanese peppercorns and even oysters.
Tours and tasting experiences are available at a number of breweries, some of which also offer tasty meals with accompanying beer at their restaurants.
Whisky production in the river gorges of Tohoku
The Nikka Whisky Sendai Distillery is located near Sakunami Onsen on the outskirts of Sendai. Following the founding of the company’s first distillery in the town of Yoichi in Hokkaido, Masataka Taketsuru, one of the founders of Japan’s whisky industry, founded a second distillery along the gorge nestled between the Hirose River and Nikkawa River in Tohoku. The Nikka Whisky Sendai Distillery offers tours including the sampling of various whiskies and displays introducing the founder and the process of whisky production to visitors at the museum in the visitor centre.
In addition to the Nikka Distillery, Sasanokawa Shuzo in Fukushima prefecture has been producing local whisky since 1946.
Find the perfect alcoholic Tohoku souvenir
Locally produced alcoholic drinks are widely available from the on-site shops of local sake breweries and wineries, major train stations and airports as well as the many local shops and roadside stations. One of the highlights of travelling to unique traditional regions such as Tohoku is enjoying the local food and drink available at restaurants just as the natives do. Be sure to try the wide range of local drinks on offer during your visit before finding your favourite to take home for an ongoing Tohoku travel memory!