Carefully crafted from the finest local waters and high-quality Japanese rice, sake broadly describes alcoholic rice wines in English, however, nihonshu is the official term for rice wine that’s traditionally produced in Japan. Served either warm or cold, sake is Japan’s national alcohol, a versatile beverage that’s also widely used in Japanese cuisine. Sake came to rise during the 10th century when temples and shrines brewed sake for religious offerings and ceremonies. Increasingly popular, sake production exploded during the Meiji period, continuing its cultural legacy into the modern era. Today, each prefecture boasts its own distinct sake varieties, altering brewing methods and local ingredients to create signature styles and flavors.
Served at izakayas, restaurants, and specialty bars around Japan, this symbolic drink has long played a quintessential role in Japanese culture. A delicious part of daily life, sake is best shared with family and friends. Crafted en mass but maintaining excellent quality, Japan’s top three sake-producing areas are Fushimi in Kyoto, Nada in Kobe, and Saijo in Hiroshima, constantly competing for even greater fame throughout the country for their exceptional brews. Explore one of these districts with a local sake brewery tour, learn in-depth about ingredients and recipes from a range of products at a sake tasting event, or sip on your new favorite during a bar hopping adventure. Uncap the secrets of Japanese sake and check out our sake experiences for a drink you’ll never forget.
Sign up to receive insider tips about the food scene in Japan's most extraordinary areas.