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Sake story - August 2020

History of Matsumoto Sake Brewery


A View of Farming Villages from a Sake Brewery 11 Keiichiro Katsuki Keijiro Kuramurasaki "Cold Brewing of Sake and Get off the Kintetsu train at Fushimi-Momoyama-Giryo Station in Kyoto, Japan, and head west immediately. We crossed the railroad crossing at Fushimi-Momoyama Station on the Keihan Railway and headed west down Otesuji Street. Uncle Carnelle and Pekochan changed into their Christmas outfits in preparation for the New Year's festivities. At a street vendor, they are holding out the calendar for the coming year. As you walk a little further, you will see Takeda Kaido and Gekkeikan and Shouwagura on the right, and diagonally across to the left, you will see Fujio Kitagawa Honke, across a large public watercourse beside the storehouse, and to the right front, surrounded by elegant wooden walls.


The Sawaya-Matsumoto Sake Brewery, our "Sawaya-Matsumoto Sake Brewery", has a red-brick, waya chimney, a gable-roofed sake brewery, and baked cedar wood walls. A large figure is shown inside. As soon as we hear the voice of the late summer heat, the temperature drops drastically in the morning and evening. Preparation begins from the beginning. The steam that accompanies the process of steaming is seen from the bank along the Shin Takasegawa River. In addition, the black tiles of the triple gable roof, which stretches north-south, are spat out in white in the morning sun against the background. It has been covered by many photographers and TV crews as a wonderful scenery of Kyoto and a poetic event in winter. In the evening, cars line up on weekends and holidays to see the warehouses lit up.


Now, as I mentioned earlier, we have a lot of things to do in the cold winter, like making sake, steamy breweries, snow flickering in the air, and a lot of fun. The inside of the brewery was dignified, and they were paddling around the barrel. I'd like to have a cup of sake... Nowadays, winter is the season for brewing sake, and washing and steaming the polished rice is the most important part of the sake making process. This is an essential process. If we trace back a bit in the history of sake brewing, we can see that the brewing season from the medieval times to the early days of the Edo period was approximately the last day of spring, the last day of autumn, and the last day of winter. were mainly made during the warmer months when the weather was more stable.


As time went on and the mid-Edo period progressed, the transportation of rice became much more developed with the development of the commodity economy, and sake (rice liquor) was introduced. As breweries have become larger and more concentrated, major production areas have been formed. A typical example is the coastal area of Nada and Fushimi, a key location for river traffic. Particularly in the Nada area of Hyogo, the Yoshikawa and Tojo areas in the hinterland of the Rokko mountain range produce rice suitable for sake brewing. Cultivation is carried out on a large scale. When the autumn harvesting is finished, the farmers load the rice onto wagons and carry it over the mountains. The rice is transported to the coastal area and to the Nada region for brewing sake, and the flow of the river is relatively steep.

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