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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Attraction

Hida Takayama Sake Breweries 飛騨高山 酒蔵めぐり

Six sake breweries and free samples everywhere, including Michelin-class nihonshu

Located in the Japan Alps in Gifu Prefecture , Takayama boasts a number of quality sake breweries. Warm yourself up and stock up on souvenirs while learning about traditional sake making in this Edo period castle town.

Don't Miss

  • The balls of cedar called sugidama hanging in front of the breweries
  • A taste of ginkgo sake, a new type of spirit
  • The museum at Hirata, which outlines the process, ingredients and equipment used in sake manufacturing

Quick Facts

Traditional sake barrels are called sakadaru

Takayama has produced sake for over 400 years

How to Get There

All the breweries are in the Sanno-machi old town area of Takayama and are easily accessible by train and a short walk.

The closest station to the breweries is JR Takayama Station. From Tokyo, catch the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen toward Shin-Osaka and get off at Nagoya Station . From there, catch a bus to Takayamanohi Bus Stop by JR Takayama Station. The breweries are all a short walk east of JR Takayama Station.

For history's sake

Takayama was once home to more than four dozen sake breweries, but time, economic factors and natural disasters have whittled that number down to seven.

Six of these are close to one another. They are easily recognizable by the cedar ball hanging above the door and the sake barrels by the door.

Harada Sake Brewery

Starting at Harada Sake Brewery, visitors can sample around 12 types of sake for 100 yen. You can even keep your cup as a souvenir. Of particular note is the ginkgo sake, a new type of sake that stands up alongside traditional sake.

Next up is Funasaka

The next street over is Funasaka. They are at the forefront of bringing an ancient tradition into the 21st century. Their delicious sake can be tasted at the bar accompanied by brewery experts or at the adjacent restaurant with local cuisine.

On to Hirase

Next up is Hirase, a couple of blocks to the east. This brewery has been producing sake since 1623 and is recognized by Michelin. As a result, their Kusudama sake is in high demand. Sampling at the source will cost you only a fifth of the price here that it will in restaurants around the world.

Then to Kawashiri

Back to the northwest is Kawashiri. Their unique approach is to store their product for years to prolong the fermentation process. This brewery's sake is never exported, and can only be bought in Takayama—a must for connoisseurs looking for a peak experience.

Niki is next

A few steps to the north sits Niki. Their building is such an authentic re-creation of a 17th-century brewery that it has been used for filming period dramas. Their specialty is ginjo sake made with superior rice.

Last but not least: Hirata

The final brewery in Takayama's Sanno-michi area is Hirata Sake Brewery, home of the sweet suiou. This brewery has an interesting museum outlining the process, with ingredients and equipment used in sake manufacturing.

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