May 13, 2018
2015UA0266 Kanako Togami
2015UA0297 Yumi Nishidai
2015UA0301 Yuma Nishihara
Some hold the view that Kyoto has the oldest history of making sake, especially Fushimi, which is known as one of the most eminent brewing places in Japan. Fushimi is composed of plains along three rivers; Kamo river, Uji river and Katsura river and the peaks of the Higashiyama, including the Momoyama hills. Because of the geographical features of the land, Fushimi has a good quality of underground water and it gushes out from all over. The water is well-balanced with substances like potassium and calcium, therefore, it is an excellent water to make sake. The tradition of making sake flowered in Azuchi Momoyama Period. Since it started, the tradition has taken over for long time. Now, there are many breweries in Fushimi and many tasteful houses standing in a row. Everybody can enjoy tasting sake at many breweries. We introduce one of the famous breweries: Kizakura.
- Kizakura CONCEPT
Kizakura provides a place that people can feel Japanese rice wine and they want everyone to deepen understanding of Kizakura products and sake cultures. Kizakura gets support from customers because they make TV commercials first and develop new products which not general idea. Their new products are liked by everyone, because they have a good taste and affordable prices. Making sake is a traditional occupation but this traditional culture depends not only on the manufactures. So they extend their activities for enjoying to drink sake to younger generations. Kizakura has made a facility which people can visit both making premium sake, made from rice polished to 60%, and making locally brewed beer. This brewery open to the public is located near a memorial hall with restaurant. It is called “Kizakura Kappa Country”. This is located in Fushimi Ward in Kyoto city. The best way is to take a train from Kyoto station. Take the Kintetsu Kyoto line to Momoyamagoryomae station and get off there. It takes 8-minutes walks from the Momoyamagoryomae station to the facility. If you take a car, it is OK because there is a parking lot. This is open every day besides the New Year. Moreover, there are English menu for foreign tourists and child menu for children so everyone can enjoy themselves without age and nationality. This is like a theme park of Japanese rice wine and locally brewed beer. So people can drink fresh sake there. Furthermore, the facility can be reserved for private parties. So people can enjoy a closed-door party with many people. Kizakura contributes to the region’s development and sticks to making sake and working on developing sake business.
Kizakura sells a lot of products. People think Kizakura sells only Japanese sake because Kizakura is the making alcoholic beverages. However, Kizakura makes somethings outside of Japanese sake. At first, I’ll introduce about Japanese sake.
This is the Japanese sake of Kizakura. Japanese sake has many kinds of taste and rich in variety. Sake has a lot of ranks. For example, there is the top-quality sake brewed from rice grains milled to 50 percent or less of their weight. This is the top rank in the Japanese sake. At Kizakura, the rice for that top-of-the-line brew is used to make Japanese sake. The process of fermentation is changed every day. Therefore it is difficult to control and make Japanese sake. The experts who have years of experience working at Kizakura check and control the brewing process with scrupulous care day and night.
- Japanese sake is a relatively new product. This is the Japanese sake, too. And this is the like champagne. It has a good but mild taste. It has a pleasant aftertaste, which is softer than the aftertaste than Japanese sake. Therefore this product’s reputation is growing fast now. Sparkling sake is made from rice and koji ; malted rice. This is a little sweet and moderate sour. Japanese sparkling sake is popular among women.
- Outside Japanese sake. Kizakura makes and sells a lot of products. First is cosmetics. A professional of skincare say that water in which rice has been washed is very good for skin and has some good effects. Some of women wash their face with that. Therefore Kizakura made many cosmetics that is contained components of Japanese sake that take away alcohol.
Second is a sherbet. The flavors are strawberry and mango. A lot of fruit juice is used in the making of the sherberts. They are alcohol like a dessert. They also make shaved ice that only adults can eat, because they contain alcohol.
Third is resort-packed curry. This contains many vegetables grown in Japan. This taste has deep flavor and is a little sweet. There is no alcohol in the curry, so everyone from adults to children can enjoy eating it.
At first, Kizakura did not have a name. In 1925, the founder, Zhiichiro Matsumoto, became independent of his family business of the manufacturing industry of refined sake. He made Matsumoto Zhiichiro shopping district in Fushimi, and this was the beginning of Kizakura. This company has changed its name many times since its foundation.It became a joint-stock company in 1951 and was named Matsumoto Zhiichiro shopping district Co., Ltd. The name was Kizakura making alcoholic beverage Co., Ltd. in 1964 and then in 2006 he changed the name into Kizakura Co., Ltd. The reason of taking away “making alcoholic beverage Co., Ltd.” was to extend the range of their business. In other words, they make not only refined sake but also other kinds of sake. It is said that the company name of Kizakura is taken from the name of a flower. Kizakura is a kind of Satozakura that blooms with light greenish white flowers. Because Mr. Matsumoto loved the flower, he chose this name. Kizakura has the image of a kappa, a Japanese water imp, which they use as their own character on their website and in commercial messages. Why did they choose kappa? The reason was very simple. The second president-director, Shiro Matsumoto, read the comic “Kappatengoku” which is drawn by Kon Shimizu, and he liked it. Since he was so taken with the comic, Kizakura has been using the image of the kappa. After Mr. Shimizu died, Ko Kozhima who is a cartoonist, took over the design of the company’s trademark kappa character. Kizakura is trying to get attention to the culture of refined sake. Therefore, they made “Kappa Country”, which is the first restaurant in Kyoto that serves local beer and has a tour of “Fushimigura” so that people can see the process of making sake and beer at the same time. Kizakura has three wine cellars and makes sake there. And all of them got the gold prize in National New Sake Appraising and Deliberating Fair. Kizakura does not have long history in the manufacturing industry of refined sake, however it has been loved, because of many efforts.
Kizakura has a long history and many products, and has been loved for long time, not only by people who live in Kyoto Prefecture, but also tourists. The reason is that Kyoto is full of beautiful natural places. For example, beautiful rivers and mountains. Therefore, people can use pure water to make Japanese sake. Furthermore, Kizakura produces and sells not only Japanese sake but also cosmetics. Women can feel attached to Kizakura. Nowadays, there’s a Japanese sake boom in Japan. Therefore, everyone will drink it more in the future.
You feel like going to Kizakura, don’t you?
If so, LET’S TRY IT!!