Different regions of Japan produce sake (known as nihonshu in Japanese) with unique characteristics, reflecting the terroir of the local area. Hiroshima sake is renowned for its mellow taste and gentle sweetness, which is attributed to the region’s soft water, excellent quality rice, and the special Hiroshima Ginjo yeast, for which Umeda Shuzo-jo Brewery won an award. In particular, Saijo, Hiroshima’s “Sake Town” is famous nationwide as one of the top three sake brewing locations in Japan, with eight breweries located in close proximity to one another. Their business flourishes from the abundance of shikomi mizu, water which is well-suited for sake brewing. So, going on this Hiroshima Sake Town Tour of Saijo is the perfect way to brush up on your sake knowledge, in one of the best sake regions of Japan! Our local tour guide will show you around various historic breweries in Saijo, giving you insights into the local culture and traditions of sake brewing. You’ll hop from one brewery to another to taste samples and witness the production, exploring the surrounding town in between.
Starting off at Kamotsuru, a sake brewery which carries a line of 12 unique bottles of sake, you’ll learn about the brewing process. But you’ll soon find out that sake is not just for drinking when you stop off at a nearby restaurant to enjoy Bishu Nabe, a local style of hot pot made with sake! You’ll learn all about the history of this yummy dish, and enjoy other local specialties at the restaurant. Then, you’ll enjoy brewery hopping in Saijo, your palate encountering new flavors during the Hiroshima sake tastings at each location. If one, in particular, tickles your fancy, feel free to purchase a bottle to take home! Finally, you’ll wind down the adventure with a few sweets and snacks inspired by Japanese nihonshu.
Visit 4-6 sake breweries in Saijo, Hiroshima’s Sake Town
Bishu Nabe, a local style of hot pot (must be ordered in advance; if the reservation is made on short notice, there may be an alternative lunch)
Delicious dishes local to Saijo
Japanese sake tastings at local breweries
Lunch and dessert at a restaurant
Meeting Point and Meeting Time
The meeting location is in front of the Higashihiroshimashi Information Centre, inside Saijo Station. Take the Sanyo Main Line from Hiroshima Station. The train leaves every 10 minutes and takes about 35-40 minutes.
The food tour starts strictly on time. If guests do not arrive at the meeting point by the departure time, the tour will begin regardless, and no refund shall be given.
The sake brewing process is not available to the public due to sanitation concerns and health regulations, so there may be areas of the breweries that are off-limits to visitors.
Please wear comfortable shoes as this tour will involve lots of walking.
Please note that the legal drinking age in Japan is 20 years old.