The Finest Sake from Kumamoto Prefecture

04 Apr 2019

Kumamoto Prefecture is fruit heaven

Kumamoto is centrally located in the Kyushu region. With its famous Kumamoto Castle that has stood for a thousand years, the sweeping plains of Aso and many other famous sights, Kumamoto has drawn visitors from both within Japan and abroad, many of whom come to enjoy the abundant natural waters and dishes made from Kumamoto grown produce.

Although it suffered extensive damage because of the earthquake in 2016, Kumamoto has come back stronger than ever. With the largest domestic production of watermelons, plentiful varieties of mikan oranges, large sweet kosui pears, strawberries, grapes, chestnuts, kiwis and other seasonal fruits are abundantly available for visitors to enjoy.

One of the famous fruits of Kumamoto is amanatsu (sweet summer orange), grown in Ashikita area in Kumamoto. It is packed with honey creating a harmony between sour and sweet tastes. The natsumikan tree is believed to be genetically derived from the pomelo.

In 2006, it was the 50th anniversary of Amanatsu of Kumamoto Prefecture being shipped to the market for the first time, and it was decided by Japan Anniversary Association that April 1st will be Amanatsu Day.


Kumamoto Shuzo Kenkyusho

While we’re on the subject of Kumamoto Prefecture, we would like to introduce an outstanding sake brewery from Kumamoto. Kumamoto Shuzo Kenkyusho has two faces. One as developer of Yeast No. 9, and other as a producer of fine quality sake brand named Kohro.

Founded in 1909 in the fine city of Kumamoto, the Kumamoto Shuzo Kenkyusho was set up as a collaborative project between sake brewers in the region, in the hope of improving sake quality. With the expertise of Chief Engineer Dr. Kinichi Nojiro – now known as “a genius in sake making”- new techniques were implemented and sake quality improved year upon year, rather like a fine wine. This finally resulted in KOHRO – widely considered to be a front-runner in the sake elite.


KOHRO sake is made with the exquisite mineral water from the slopes of Mt. Aso

Kohro Tokubetsu Junmai

Kohro Tokubetsu (Special) Junmai is a unique sake option from Kumamoto Shuzo Kenkyusho made with distinctive ‘Shinriki’ rice. That is the reason why this sake is called “special” –  Shinriki rice is the original sake rice invented more than 100 years ago. Shinriki or “divine power rice” was thought to be extinct since the 1910-20s.  In 2006, it was resurrected with 5g worth of Shinriki rice using less than a handful of seeds.

The fragrance is very quiet but the flavour is clean and rich, with a good amount of acidity and minerals. It is a perfect accompaniment to light meals.

We invite you to try this sake from Kumamoto Prefecture which reflects the skillfulness of artisans well as the excellent quality of rice and water. Enjoy its exceptional aroma and rich taste.