Japan Trip 2010: Masukagami Sake Brewery


Before I left Kamo, Niigata, Ms. Yamazaki took me to meet a local sake Brewery in town. It was just a short drive from Yamazaki Sake shop to the Masukagami Sake Brewery. As they currently don’t export to the US, I had not yet tried their sake, but I was so happy to meet them.

Masakagami Sake Brewery is owned and operated by the Nakano family. Mr. Nakano, the current president welcomed us warmly and took us on a guided tour of their brewing facility in Kamo. I would say that Masakagami is widely known for their very unique and eye catching packaging. They sell in the standard bottles, but they also sell in glass and ceramic urns that come with a bamboo shaped ladle that allows you to display and serve sake as if from a punch bowl.

unique sake packaging

Although they don’t export to the U.S.A., this brewery currently does export to Canada, where you can buy their tokubetsu junmai sake. On my tour of their facility, I noticed a couple of unique things – I saw their beautiful bizen clay jars used for aging and storing sake as well as several large vats of umeshu or plum sake, with the plumbs soaking right in the vat.

The Nakano family was so kind and welcoming, I couldn’t help but be charmed by this brewery. They were generous to a fault and willing to share so much with me. It was a wonderful day spent discovering a wonderful brewery. Maybe their Tokubetsu Junmai will make it down from Canada one of these days? My special thanks to Mr. Nakano and his father for all their hospitality!