Jan 21 2021

Warm up with Nara’s storied sake

Winter is the busy season for sake breweries, as the colder temperatures allow more control over brewing conditions. While many breweries are open for sales and tastings, tours may be not be available during peak brewing times or may be canceled due to the risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Explore Nara’s sake culture at Ohmiwa-jinja Shrine. Sake producers from all over Japan visit the shrine in November, hoping to produce good sake. Nearby, Imanishi Sake Brewery is open for tastings, with tours from February through October by reservation.

Visitors can tour Umenoyado Sake Brewery in Katsuragi from February to April or visit the store for tastings all year. Contact the brewery directly to make a reservation. Imaicho in Kashihara is a historic town for strolling, with many cozy cafes and restaurants. At the Kawai Sake Brewery, visitors can taste several varieties of sake.

Sake and Japanese food are a perfect pair. Namakura Sakae has private rooms and booths for comfortable dining, with seasonal dishes and sake from across Nara. Sit around the open kitchen at Umasshu and enjoy Nara sake with small dishes to match. Learn more at Nara Izumi Yusa, dedicated to Nara’s sake. Staff will help you find your favorite from around 120 different brews, with tastings and bar snacks for a small fee.