Koyama Brewery 小山酒造
The only sake brewery in Tokyo
Koyama Shuzo has the distinction of being the only sake brewery in the 23 central wards of Tokyo.
- Tasting the products during the tour
- Visiting Tokyo Sakakura University
How to Get There
Five to seven minutes on foot from Akabane Iwabuchi Station.
Koyama Shuzo is located in a residential part of Tokyo, in Kita Ward, north of central Tokyo, with the closest station Akabane Iwabuchi Station, on the JR Saikyo Line.
Founded in 1878
Koyama Shuzo was founded in the early Meiji era (1868-1912) by founder Shinshichi Koyama. He started the brewery because he found a well with sufficient clean water to brew good sake.
Take a tasting tour
The brewery offers a 40-minute tour of facilities, complete with a tasting of their various sake. The tour includes a short video of how sake is made. It costs just 500 yen but must be reserved at least one week before you plan to visit.
Get a sake education
Together with a company that makes cut glass, Edo Kiriko Co., Ltd., Koyama Shuzo offers a special course on sake, which they have called "Tokyo Sakakura University." The classes and workshops were started in 2016 and will continue until at least the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with the intention of trying to maintain the tradition of craftsmanship in Tokyo.
The university offers classes in many locations, trying to educate as many people over the age of 20 (legal drinking age in Japan). They provide information about their events and activities on Facebook and Instagram.
After your visit
The town of Akabane is a well-known haven for fans of imbibing. You can visit a standing bar or izakaya, some of which specialize in local brews, such as craft beers and, of course, Koyama Shuzo's sake.
One, in fact, offers sake in portions of 0.5 "Go." This is half of the size of a standard "shot" of sake. By drinking in smaller portions, you can have more varieties of sake, thereby expanding your taste for the many different styles and flavors.