Sometimes you have to rest. After many days of walking many kilometers, it was time to rest up and take it easy. Kyoto is an excellent place to take in and learn about traditional Japanese crafts and techniques. Today was the day to learn about Sake.
What is Sake (pronounced /sakeh/ = “sah-kay”)?
Sake is a Japanese rice wine that is an alcoholic beverage. The process has a long, storied history, and the end result is divine. I love Sake and I love it even more after this!
How Do They Make Sake?
First, it starts with the purest water (their words not mine). Apparently, water comprises up to 80% of Sake. We got to taste test the water before the tour started. I thought that the cups were clean, but it turns out that every visitor drinks form the cups and just rinses them after! Luckily I didn’t get sick!!!
Then the finest rice is used!
The rice is washed and steam-cooked. This is then mixed with yeast and koji (next steps). Everything ferments in a massive wooden tank called a shikomi.
So I am too lazy to write up the steps and add my own commentary, so I will just add the photos of the steps here for you to enjoy!
Adding the Koji!
Making the Malt!
Was the Tour Worth the 400 Yen?
YES! It was totally worth it. Each admission (~$5 CAD) came with three samples of sake and a little take-home bottle of Sake! Totally worth it to learn about sake and get free drinks 🙂
Now here are some cool Retro Sake Posters!
And Photos of the Huge Barrels!
Additional Reading for Sake Making and Tours:
Japan Travel Guide: https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2037_sake.html