Exploring the Charms of Miyama Nishiki: A Journey from Origins to Sake Excellence

Miyama Nishiki and Its Origins


Miyama Nishiki, developed in Nagano Prefecture, emerged with the ambitious goal of surpassing the renowned Takane Nishiki. Its adaptability to sake brewing and robust resistance to cold weather propelled its widespread cultivation in the Tohoku, Kanto, and Hokuriku regions. The name "Miyama" itself translates to "beautiful mountain brocade," a nod to its distinctive characteristics reminiscent of snowcapped mountain peaks.


Distinctive Traits of Miyama Nishiki


One of Miyama Nishiki's standout features is its large grain size and an appealing shinpaku core, showcasing opaque starch. This unique visual aspect mirrors the picturesque mountain landscapes, adding to the rice's allure. Despite being the third most produced sake rice variety annually—trailing Yamadanishiki and Gohyakumangoku—Miyama Nishiki has faced a decline in recent years due to the emergence of original varieties in various prefectures.


The Essence of Sake from Miyama Nishiki


Describing sake crafted from Miyama Nishiki requires just one word: 'simple.' It tends to be light, thin, and offers a refreshing, clean taste. The rice's modest aroma ensures a lack of distinctive flavors, making it an ideal choice even for those not particularly fond of the typical Japanese sake scent.


Early Harvest Advantage of Miyama Nishiki


The key to Miyama Nishiki's distinct characteristics lies in its classification as an early rice variety. Being among the first rice harvested each year, it grows quickly and becomes firm, posing challenges in breaking it down during fermentation. This results in a sake that releases less flavor into the final product, contributing to its simplicity and lightness.


Tatenokawa's Sake Artistry with Miyama Nishiki


Founded in 1832, Tatenokawa has upheld the tradition of handcrafting authentic sake for almost 180 years. In a bold move towards a new vision in 2010, the brewery became one of the few to exclusively produce Junmai Daiginjo. Their signature brew, Tatenokawa UTSUKUSHIKI KEIRYU, showcases the excellence of Miyama Nishiki. Cultivated by their own sake rice research institute, this sake boasts a profound, sharp citrus-like acidity. Its slightly reserved nose leads to an expansive rustic flavor, offering a clean profile with a well-balanced acidity that complements a variety of cuisines.




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