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Nada Go Go Sake Tokoro

Our Tours

Our walking tours explore the historic sake region of Nada to discover the art and science behind Japan's national drink. During the tour, an expert guide with insider access and deep knowledge of the brewing process will accompany you. You will visit some of Japan's most prestigious sake breweries, enjoy a guided tasting of rare sake with your host, and learn brewing secrets passed down through generations.

Nada West (Kobe)

Nada is the undisputed sake capital of Japan, housing some of the world's most famous and prestigious sake breweries. It has been at the forefront of brewing development for centuries, and its secrets hold the key to the foundations of the modern sake industry. Within the boundaries of Nada's Five Villages, you can find renowned names such as Kiku-Masamune, Hakutsuru, and the legendary Kenbishi.

Our tour of Uozaki and Mikage, two of Nada's Five Villages, offers a unique opportunity to explore what makes the region's sake special. We will take you to visit some of the most famous names in the industry where you will learn about their unique brewing methods and characteristics. Our knowledgeable guide, who has first-hand experience brewing in Nada, will take you through the fascinating history and brewing expertise that make sake such a magical drink. We will look at how Nada brewers utilized nature to win the hearts of the Japanese during the times of the Shoguns. We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that your Nada West experience is unforgettable.

Tour Highlights

  • Sample at least seven different sakes from local breweries.

  • Visit a barrel (taru) making facility (subject to availability).

  • Learn traditional brewing techniques.

  • Guided sake tasting with your host. 

  • Visit two of Nada's famous ''Five Villages.''

Nada West Itinerary (approx 4hrs)

Part One 

Museum Visit
Sake Barrel Factory 

Sake Tasting 

Your Nada adventure begins in Uozaki, one of the Five Villages of Nada. This region is home to some of Japan's most famous sake breweries. First, we will take a short stroll through the central brewing district, passing by the towering Sakura-Masamune brewery and the legendary Kenbishi.

Our first stop is Kiku-Masamune, established in 1659 and famous for traditional taru-sake (barrel-aged sake). Here, we will learn about one of the often-overlooked secrets to Nada's success and enjoy some of their delicious sake, made using traditional techniques dating back to the time of the Shoguns. Included in the tasting is sake from their premium lineup that celebrates the strong relationship they maintain with the local rice farmers who cultivate Hyogo's famous Yamada-Nishiki sake rice. 

Part Two

Sake Museum 

Sake Tasting

Brewing Techniques
 

Next, we make our way west to the village of Mikage, which, according to legend, was the first region to brew sake in Nada.
Our port of destination is Hakutsuru, the biggest of Nada’s breweries. Here, you will enjoy a tour of their restored traditional sake brewhouse, which includes various old tools and brewing equipment. Your guide, who has experience using some of these implements, will explain the brewing process in detail and how it differs from modern brewing.  
To finish, you will try a comparative tasting of two of their ultra-premium Daiginjo, one made from a modern strain of rice and the other pre-modern. Tax-free shopping is also available, with several items ideal for souvenirs, such as sake vessels, aprons, and head scarfs worn by the brewers. 

Part Three

Guided Sake Tasting and light snack

Former Brewery Visit
 

Finally, we will arrive at the centre of Mikage to visit the renowned Nada Sake Tokoro, a bar and brewery unlike any other. It is housed in a former Kenbishi brewery, with tanks and other equipment still visible. Unlike our first two brewery visits, this contemporary brewery provides a unique opportunity to enjoy sake in the same place it was once made.
Here, you can try a specially crafted comparative tasting of three types of Nada sake. This is an excellent opportunity to relax, reflect on your day’s tour and learn about the various styles of sake you have encountered throughout the day. For those wishing to continue drinking, the Nada Sake Tokoro also stocks sake from every brand in Nada.

Meeting Place

Our meeting place is Uozaki Station on the Hanshin Line. Those coming from Osaka can board the Kobe-bound train from Osaka Umeda Station or Osaka Namba. The journey takes approximately 25 minutes by local train. From Kobe Sannomiya Station, board the Osaka-bound train. The journey takes around 8 minutes. Please note that Uozaki Station is on the Hanshin Main Line, not the Japan Rail or Hankyu Lines, which also run from these locations. 

 

Nada East (Nishinomiya)

Nada is divided into five regions, or villages. Nishinomiya, located in the east, is home to renowned names such as Hakushika, Nihon-Sakari, and Hakutaka. It is also the source of Nada's famous miyamizu well water, still used throughout Nada. This mineral-rich hard water is said to be the ideal water for brewing Nada's signature rich and full-bodied style, and helped propel the region to fame during the Edo Period.

Our walking tour of Nishinomiya reveals the unique qualities of this regions sake. We take you to the source of miyamizu, where you will see the wells still used by brewers throughout Japan. You will explore two of the region's most famous breweries, Hakushika and Nihon-Sakari, where you can taste their delicious local sake and learn about the unique brewing methods and characteristics used to make them. Finally, we will visit a kaku-uchi, a traditional liquor store and bar, to enjoy a guided tasting of the local sake.

Tour Highlights

  • Sample at least six different sakes from local breweries.

  • Explore the Nishinomiya Brewing District.

  • Visit a traditional kaku-uchi (liquor store)

  • Visit the source of miyamiza. 

  • Guided sake tasting with your host. 

  • Guided tour of a Sake Museum.

Nada East Itinerary (approx 4hrs)

Part One 

Shrine Visit 

Miyamizu wells 

Your adventure begins with a quick visit to Nishinomiya Shrine. Here, you can take pictures next to traditional komodaru, ornate sake barrels donated to this famous Shinto shrine. After that, we will visit the source of Miyamizu well water. This miraculous brewing water is one of the reasons why Nada gained fame during the Edo Period (1603-1868). It is rich in minerals, which results in Nada's signature rich and luscious sake.

Part Two

Sake Tasting

Sake Museum 

Learn  About Traditional Brewing Techniques
 

Next on the itinerary are visits to two local breweries. The first destination is Nihon-Sakari, renowned across Japan. We will sample an exceptional sake provided to the Imperial Household Agency, utilized in the enthronement ceremonies of various past Emperors. For those interested, you can also purchase a bottle of draft sake (additional cost), bottled fresh right before their eyes. After that, you will visit the sake museum at Hakushika, where your guide will explain traditional sake brewing techniques. We will finish this leg of the tour with a quick tasting of their fantastic sake. 

Part Three

Guided Sake Tasting and light snack at a traditional kaku-uchi.


 

Our final stop is a visit to a small, family-owned kaku-uchi. This is a unique type of liquor store that allows customers to drink and eat snacks, known as otsumami, inside the shop. Here, your guide will prepare a special tasting of local sake, the perfect way to unwind and reflect on all you have experienced during your Nishinomiya adventure.

Meeting Place

Our meeting place is Nishinomiya Station on the Hanshin Line. Please wait outside the tickegate of the Ebisu Exit (Ebisu Guchi). Those coming from Osaka can board the Kobe-bound train from Osaka Umeda Station or Osaka Namba. The journey takes approximately 25 minutes by local train. From Kobe Sannomiya Station, board the Osaka-bound train. The journey takes around 8 minutes. Please note that this station is on the Hanshin Main Line, not the Japan Rail or Hankyu Lines, which also run from these locations. 

 

Eligibility

The legal drinking age in Japan is 20. Those under 20 can accompany paying adults for free. However, under 15's are not permitted to enter the Meister Factory (barrel making facility) and minors are not permitted at our final destination (Nada Sake Tokoro). For further information, please contact us for a free consultation before making your booking. 

Our Commitment

  • Tours may change: Due to unforeseen circumstances, certain aspects of the tours (such as site closures or restricted access) might be altered. However, suitable alternatives will be arranged.

  • Tour inclusions: Each tour covers a minimum of three sites, and complimentary tastings are provided.

  • Final tasting: The final tasting experience is immersive and guided by your host.

In summary, our tours include multiple site visits and include a guided tasting experience.

Recommendations

Our tours are conducted on foot, so it is recommended that you wear appropriate clothes and footwear. The distance covered from the beginning till the end of the tour is approximately 3 kilometers. If you are not comfortable walking this distance, we suggest that you avoid making a booking. Moreover, if there is a possibility of rain, we recommend that you bring an umbrella or wear waterproof clothing. If you have any special requirements, please feel free to get in touch with us for a complimentary consultation.

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