Niigata Prefecture is located along the coast of the Sea of Japan in the Chubu Region. It is famous for its high quality rice, beautiful coastal and mountainous sceneries, skiing in winter and hot spring bathing around the year.
Amongst the Japanese, Niigata is regarded as one of the country’s best culinary hotspots because of its quality rice and sake. Niigata Prefecture boasts the largest number of sake breweries in Japan, with 89 breweries and one of the highest production volumes in the country. Niigata has been long recognized for having the some of the most refined rice cultivation techniques in all of Japan.
If you have ever visited Niigata Prefecture, after enjoying ski resorts and many breathtaking views, and trying local delicacies, such as hegi soba (soba noodles with smooth texture made with funori seaweed), noppe (traditional stew filled with bountiful ingredients), sasadango (mugwort flavored dumplings) you might have had a cup of Niigata produced sake. For those who would like to try Niigata sake, we have the perfect recommendation!
Shirataki Sake Brewery
Shirataki Sake Brewery is nestled in the gorgeous mountains of Echigo Yuzawa area in Niigata Prefecture, where the moderate humidity and cold of winter are ideal for controlling bacteria growth and slowing fermentation to brew the finest premium sake.
Yearly, up to 15m of snow melts slowly into the earth and becomes minerally charged, impurity free groundwater 40-50 years later. This water not only tastes amazing, but when thoughtfully brewed with local rice, their sake delightfully embodies the natural notes of Echigo Yuzawa.
Our recommendation is Tanrei Uonuma Junmai, named after Uonuma area of Niigata Prefecture which is famed for its natural beauty. The kura-bito (brewery workers) have a long history of affection for the Uonuma area due to its production of excellent rice crops, and this is shown in Uonuma sake. It has a smooth, mellow mouth-feel with a delightfully savory-acidic balance that more than pops. Crisp, dry, and chuggable on the hottest of days.