If you are a fan of sake, when enjoying sake, one of the things you focus on is where the sake was made.
I would like to introduce the situation of sake in each prefecture that I have been focusing on. For the first installment, I would like to introduce Yamanashi Prefecture.
◆What is Yamanashi Prefecture like?
Yamanashi Prefecture is located almost in the center of Japan and is a so-called basin, surrounded by many high mountains such as Mount Fuji and Mount Yatsugatake.
It is adjacent to the five prefectures of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Nagano and Saitama. The mountains block the humid winds from the sea, resulting in little rain or snow throughout the year and a climate with many sunny days.
Yamanashi’s famous tourist attractions include many places to get in touch with nature, such as Mt. Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain, and Lake Kawaguchi. It produces Japan’s largest shipment of mineral water, and is home to a distillery for the Japanese whiskey “Hakushu” and a winery that produces Japan wine. This prefecture is blessed with delicious water, which is used to make a variety of alcoholic beverages.
◆What kind of breweries are there in Yamanashi Prefecture?
There are 14 sake breweries.
While there aren’t as many breweries as in other prefectures in Japan, many of the sake is fruity and approachable, and most are easy for beginners to try.
Some of the sake brands in Yamanashi Prefecture include “Dan” and “Sasaichi”, and my favorite brand is “Shichiken” from Yamanashi Meijo.
Yamanashi Meijo is a sake brewery with a history of 300 years in business and sells junmai-daiginjo, junmai shu and honjozo, as well as sparkling-shu and sake lees.
Especially, their sparkling-shu, “Morinokanade”, which is matured in barrels of “Hakushu” whiskey made in the same prefecture, caught a lot of attention at the time of its release as a one-of-a-kind sake.
◆Recommended dish when you visit Yamanashi
One of the famous dishes in Yamanashi Prefecture is “Chicken Motsuni”.
Chicken liver, gizzard, heart and kumquat are cooked down in a sweet and rich soy sauce. Its robust flavor goes very well with sake.
If you are visiting Japan, be sure to visit Yamanashi Prefecture.