What we will do
Saijo is a hidden gem for sake fans. The town has eight breweries, seven of which are situated along Sakagura-dori (Sake Brewery Street). On our tour, we will take a stroll through the historic streets going from brewery to brewery to enjoy samples of local sake.
Saijo breweries are concentrated in such a tight area because of the “shikomi mizu,” the water that is essential for producing sake. Hailed as a “miracle water” with a medium hardness suited to sake brewing, it bubbles under the ground of this area in the Saijo district. What’s more, is that apparently there are subtle differences in the water’s components according to a brewery’s location. Shikomi mizu is an absolute must for sake.
Our tour begins with a tasting and sake explanation at Kamotsuru. This sake brewery is representative of Hiroshima sake. Kamotsuru boasts an impressive lineup of 12 unique bottles. Visiting this spot first we will see many artifacts and learn about the brewing process. Please note: that the sake brewing process is not available to the public in Japan due to sanitary and health inspection regulations.
After our first brewery visit, we will head off to try a local specialty hot-pot dish made with premium sake, called Bishu Nabe, and other tasting plates made with Saijo ingredients. Learn about the history of this tasty dish at a local lunch spot (bishu nabe must be ordered in advance so please note last-minute bookings for the tour are possible but we may have an alternate lunch menu). After lunch, stroll the picturesque streets and go brewery hopping. Tasting rooms are each unique and you can sample many kinds of sake and sake-based products. Visit a local cafe and enjoy sweets and a snack break inspired by Japanese rice wine. At each brewery will sit be able to sample different kinds of sake. If you find a type you like, the brewery shops carry a huge variety for you to purchase and take home.
- 3-hour tour of Saijo district in Hiroshima.
- Visit 4-6 local sake breweries to get a sense of the differences, try their sake and other products.
- See how a brewery works and get a sense of what goes into the production of the world’s best sake.
- Enjoy a local specialty hot-pot lunch only made in this small, historic town.
- Dessert stop with sweets and snacks.
We are Arigato Travel KK. Our goal is to help you make delicious memories of Japan during your travels to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima! On our tours, you’ll taste local and regional specialties and we will show you places locals cherish for an off-the-beaten-path, foodie experience of daily life in Japan that you won’t soon forget.
Where we will meet
- Meet up point: The front of the Higashihiroshimashi Information Centre 東広島市観光案内所 inside Saijo Station
- Address: 12 Saijohonmachi, Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima 739-0011, Japan
- Access: Saijo Station (Sanyo Main Line from Hiroshima Station)
What I will provide
- 2 food stops and sake tastings at 4-6 local sake breweries
- Lunch and dessert included
- Shopping time
- Local English-speaking guide
- Strict policy on tour start time - Starts promptly at 11:00 am and ends at 2:00 pm. Guests who are late will be left behind and we are unable to re-connect them to the ongoing tour.
- At least 2 people are required, a maximum of 10 for this activity to take place.
- Dietary restriction flexibility: pescetarian, gluten-free friendly. Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary restrictions, and if these restrictions are allergies or preferences.
- The operator reserves the right to expel any participant from any service who is intoxicated, acting belligerently, endangering others, or behaving in a way that may tarnish or act upon the operator’s reputation or cause distress to third parties, participants, and/or individuals.
- The operator and its guides reserve the right to refuse or withdraw guests that are unfit to take the tour for any reason or act in a dangerous manner. A guest's participation in any service will be terminated if the guest breaks any local laws or regulations put in place by Japanese authorities.
- You must be 20 years of age and present a valid photo ID in order to consume alcohol.
- Family-friendly tour