06 October, 2010

Learning the History of Sake in Nishinomiya

Hello everyone! The other day I visited the city of Nishinomiya, which is located in the southeastern part of Hyogo prefecture, and it is conveniently located about 15 minutes by train from Kobe and Osaka.
Nishinomiya is famous for its’ sake breweries, and Imazu Brewery and Nishinomiya Brewery, are two of the five famous breweries in Japan.
                                                                 Nishinomiya Shrine

One of the seven deities, Ebisu, is enshrined at Nishinomiya Shrine. In January, the shrine hosts Toka Ebisu, a festival celebrating prosperity and a good harvest, which attracts over 1.5 million visitors. When I went, it was peaceful and I was able to enjoy my time there.

Next we headed for the sake museum Hakushika Kinen Shuzo Hakubutsukan, or the Hakushika Memorial Sake Museum.

                                                                    Inside the Museum

Inside, there were many of the actual tools used to create sake back in the day. There was also a large display case filled with beautiful sake cups.
 Rengakan on Sakagura Street

                                                   Inside RengakanSake tasting section

After the museum, we went to Sakagura-dori Rengakan on Sakagura Street (Sakagura means sake breweries) for a sake tasting session. This is a very popular event because the visitors can try the freshest sake before purchasing it.

Between October 2 and December 18th, Rengakan is hosting an event where people can enjoy music, sake, and sweets. Check out the official webpage here: http://www.rengakan.com/index.html

Then we visited the Imazu Lighthouse, the oldest wooden lighthouse in Japan. It is designated as a National Cultural Treasure, and it is still being used today to protect the safety of the sea.

  Ozeki Breweries Imazu Light House

The last place we visited was the cute café called Sekijuan, run by one of the major sake breweries, Ozeki. Visitors can purchase snacks and other products that are made using Ozeki’s sake.

                                                Sekijuan Sake              Steamed-Bun Ice cream                           

We all tried the original Sake steamed-bun ice cream. It had a rich flavor, but it wasn’t heavy at all. It was absolutely delicious!

Nishinomiya also has the home stadium for the professional baseball team The Hanshin Tigers. Come and see this exciting town with many unique attractions!

・Nishinomiya Shrine 5 minute walk from Hanshin Nishinomiya, or 8 minute walk from JR Sakura Shukugawa Station.
・ Hakushika Memorial Sake Museum 17 minute bus ride from JR Nishinomiya. Get off at Kotsu Koen-mae bus stop. http://www.hakushika.co.jp/en/
・Sakagura-Dori Rengakan 5 minute walk from JR Nishinomiya
・Ozeki Brewery Imazu Light House 15 minute walk south from Hanshin Kusugawa Station
・Sekijuan 10 minute taxi ride from JR Nishinomiya.
(You can find this information on the provided homepage as well as on our website)

 Soo (Hyogo Tourism Association)