KURABITO STAY: Become a Sake Brewer for the Weekend at an Age-old Brewery
An authentic experience in one of Japan's sake-brewing heartlands
Escape the bustle of the big city and embark on a journey to experience the true essence of Japanese culture in Nagano prefecture’s bountiful Saku region, a traditional center of sake brewing home to thirteen breweries. Slip into the traditional white smock and handcloth of a brewer, purify yourself infront of the patron deity of sake, then cross the threshold into the mystical halls of a venerable brewery boasting 320 years of history. Here, you’ll try your hand at the brewing process under the careful guidance of the master of sake brewer.
Surrounded by the gentle scent of steaming rice and aromatic sake, embrace your new role while the master of sake brewer and staff guide you through various stages of the time-honored brewing process. Depending on the day’s agenda and weather conditions, you’ll have the chance to try your hand at washing, steaming, cooling the rice, preparing koji rice for fermentation, stirring the starter mash, and other vital steps in producing sake. Sake is born through the power of microorganisms, and as such every moment is unique—your experience on a given day will be a once-in-a-lifetime one. Observe the miracle by which sake is born, through a brewing process as artistic as it is intricate. Immerse yourself in a pristine, sacred world that has long been closed to outsiders. You’ll be challenged to perform your duties with care, as the sake you help produce will one day be shipped to the market.
Next, why not unleash your creative side and design a unique sake bottle label during a fun afternoon workshop? Hone your palate with a comprehensive sake-tasting seminar, sampling wide-ranging varieties from Ginjo to Junmai, and Honjozo—you’ll feel like a true sake somelier. Doing so will bring home to you the profound expertise and artistry developed at this brewery for more than three centuries, and you’ll pick up some knowledge to show off to your friends next time you drink together.
Resting in a comfortable guest rooms set in a 100-year-old historic building, it has been refurbished to provide guests with all the rest and relaxation they need between daily events. KURABITO STAY has partnered with local eateries to offer Japanese cuisine prepared from abundant locally sourced ingredients, and paired with Saku’s exceptional sake. Make lasting memories as you bond with fellow brewers—laughing, chatting, and enjoying sake pairings and other shared culinary adventures.
Finally, rounding off the two-night, three-day experience, you'll receive a certificate from the master of sake brewer himself, recognizing you as a member of the brewing team. But your journey of discovery need not stop there, as more charms in the Saku area await. Join workshops and learn to handmake soba noodles or prepare sushi, or visit one of the numerous other sake breweries dotted around the region.
The KURABITO STAY brewery hotel is housed within the premises of Kitsukura Shuzo Sake Brewery, accessible from Tokyo Station in under two hours by the Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train, followed by local transfer. Currently, the experience is available primarily on weekends. Bookings are essential and inquiries can be made in either Japanese or English. The authentic sake brewing experience is also offered with simultaneous English translation.
1 day or more