Fukushima Visit in February
M visited Sake Breweries in Fukushima!
Fukushima is located in Tohoku region, northern part of Honshu
Blessed with a best climate of rice and spring water, Fukushima sake produce award-winning sake each year. With the passion and craftsmanship in many breweries, Fukushima produces winning awards sake in both national and international competitions.
*This photo is taken at Aizu Shuzo
Thanks to Jetro, I have visted following kuras.
Kokken Shuzo (Shuzo = Sake Brewery)
Saw how sake is crafted like Koji room, Moromi, pressing machine, bottling.. This is was the first time to see sake breweries in Fukushima.
I was intrigued by particularly 2 sake breweries, Aizu Shuzo and Daitengu Shuzo. At Aizu Shuzo, 2 young brothers are operating this family -owned brewery. Mr.Watanabe, 9th generation told me that there are a main house where making mizo, and soy sauce over 500 years, and Aizu sake brewery started after. He did not know exact year when the brewery started but at least the sake brewery has been there over 330 years.
Fukushima is divided by mountain ranges into the three regions of Aizu, Nakadōri, and Hamadōri. Aizu Shuzo is located in minami aizu in Aizu region, characterized by warm summers and cold winters with heavy snowfall. Aizu Shuzo crafts 2 distinct sake called Aizu and Yamanoi, Aizu Sake is available within the local only and the concept is to seek to craft best sake using available resource in Kura. Yamanoi has an opposite concept to picture the sake they want - "Free-mind sake" and put together the receipt.
I love their Aizu Nigori and put the photo here.
Finally I was able to visit Daitengu Shuzo, Saori Toji's kura, located in Motomiya, 15 min away from train from Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture. Daitengu Shuzo is Daitengu Sake Brewery is a 149 year old brewery with a long tradition of using local rice and spring water from near Mr.Adatara to make smooth, easy-to-drink, interesting sake that goes very well with all varieties of cuisine.
I was in the right time! Toji was pressing sake using Fune! Funeshibori is one of traditional method to press sake.
When the fermentation mash fill in filtration bag, the sake and sake-kasu separate immediately by gravity. If you want to get more sake, you have to provide pressure from the top.
Because the “Fune Shibori” is gently pressed vertically from above without too much pressure. The sake will be more gentle and balanced from this method.
I was able to see Arabashiri - free-run sake from run out from fune without any weight, so excited!!
It was very educational trip to learn about Fukushima.