Use the

Planning a Trip to Japan?

Share your travel photos with us by hashtagging your images with #visitjapanjp


Savor the Flavor of Premium Sake


Tour an authentic sake brewery


In Nikko City, about 90 minutes north of Tokyo in the Nikko National Park, is a kura, or sake brewery, that has been making sake, the alcoholic beverage central to Japanese gastronomy and religion, since 1842. 


Now entrusted to the seventh generation, family-owned and operated Watanabesahei Sake Brewery has also opened the doors of its kura for tours by international travelers. With English audio guidance, multilingual pamphlets, and English-speaking staff, sake lovers from around the world can learn everything about the sake brewing process. It begins by drawing river water flowing down from the Nikko Mountains and harvesting rice grown in Nikko and its surrounding areas. Combined with koji and yeast, these ingredients produce a premium Junmai (“pure rice”) sake under the watchful eye of the master brewer, who carefully monitors the temperature, water content, and fermentation essential to producing their sake, made without any distilled alcohol added.



During the 45-minute tour, discover what makes their sake so special by taking a brewery tour and sampling some of their products. For those who wish to go into greater detail, a 1-hour 30-minute tour offers a peek inside the enormous fermentation tank and a sake-tasting paired with carefully chosen snacks. To take part in the tours, please make a reservation at least one day in advance. If you visit during the sake-brewing season (November to March), you may even get to see the brewers in action. This hands-on experience is sure to wet the whistle of alcohol enthusiasts and Japanese cuisine aficionados alike. The adjoining shop offers limited-edition sake and drinking vessels to bring home as precious souvenirs of this unique tour.


Access: From Tokyo Station, take the Tohoku or Yamagata Shinkansen (varies by time) to Utsunomiya Station (about 50 minutes), then transfer to the local Nikko train to Imaichi Station (about 40 minutes). The brewery is about a five-minute walk from the station.



National Parks of Japn Sake Brewery Tour (Watanabe Sahei Sake Brewery)


450 Imaichi, Nikko-shi, Tochigi-ken


Approx. 45 minutes




Please Choose Your Language

Browse the JNTO site in one of multiple languages