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Column 2023.10.16

Niigata Sake Trip Recommendations〈Joetsu City Part XNUMX〉

A series that introduces sake travel courses from all over Niigata Prefecture and serves as a reference when choosing real sake travel and travel souvenirs.Continuing from last time, this time we will be visiting Joetsu City.In the second part, we will introduce six sake breweries to the big event “Echigo Kenshin” that is approaching this weekend.SAKEIt will be introduced along with information on festivals, sightseeing spots, and food.

In 2023 years18Count the timesEchigo/KenshinSAKEFestival”.This time10Month21Sunday (Sat),22It will be held on Sunday.Sake breweries in Joetsu City and Myoko City15In addition to sake from breweries, there will also be sake breweries from Sado City, Uonuma City, and Niigata City, as well as craft beer, craft gin, and Iwanohara wine from Joetsu City.


Another area of ​​interest is ``Kuruma-gakari,'' an event-limited sake brewed by sake breweries on a rotating basis every year.

“Kurakake” in 2023

This year, the person in charge is Joetsu City.Myokoshuzo Co., Ltd..Gohyakumangoku from Joetsu50The Genshu is bottled using Junmai Daiginjo sake that has been polished to a certain level, and after being sterilized in the bottle, it is aged in the refrigerator.Enjoy the elegant aroma and taste1It's a book.

October 30On the XNUMXst, breweries from Joetsu and Myoko cities gathered at Kasuga Shrine and dedicated ``Kurumakake''.4He prayed for the success of the regular event without restrictions for the first time in years.

“Echigo KenshinSAKEEnjoy the delicious sake and food of the Joetsu area to the fullest at the festival.


I will introduce this time6Of the two sake breweries, Yoshikawa Touji no Sato Co., Ltd. and Katou Shuzo Co., Ltd. are located in Yoshikawa Ward, one of the areas that has produced a large number of Echigo Toji.


In Yoshikawa Ward (formerly Yoshikawa Town)1957(Showa32), a brewing department was established at Prefectural Yoshikawa High School to train specialists in the fields of sake and fermented foods.Unfortunately, Yoshikawa High School is 2008 (Heisei 20)Although the school closed in XNUMX, its graduates are still active in the fermentation industry, including sake breweries in the prefecture.

Inheriting the history of sake brewing in Yoshikawa Ward,1999(Heisei11) was founded inYoshikawa Touji no Sato Co., Ltd.It is,Roadside Station Yoshikawa Touji no Sato Co.,Ltd.It's a sake brewery located in

Inside the sake brewery facility, sake, local products, and gelato made with sake lees are sold.this year7You can also purchase the Michi-no-Eki Card, which went on sale starting this month.

On the second floor, panels introducing the history of Yoshikawa Toji and sake brewing are displayed, and you can view them through the glass.After the tour, you can enjoy free tastings.Drivers can listen to the staff explain about the many famous sakes lined up in the shop, and then purchase their favorite.

In addition to the representative brands ``Yoshikawatoji'' and ``Tenkeiraku,'' there is also Junmaishu ``Yukizakari,'' which is aged in a snow room at Yasuzuka Yukinohako in Yasuzuka Ward.Junmaishu is an easy-to-drink drink made with locally produced Gohyakumangoku, while still having the flavor and sweetness that can only be achieved by storing it in a snow room.

We also recommend ``Arigatashi'' pure rice aged sake, a brand named by Shigesato Itoi.Almost no shavings of brown rice,90Junmaishu's unprocessed sake is brewed using Yamada Nishiki from Yoshikawa, which has been milled for XNUMX minutes, and has been further aged.1Book.You can enjoy the aroma as well as the mellowness due to aging.


In addition to the sake brewery, the roadside station Yoshikawa Touji no Sato Co., Ltd. also has a direct sales store, a day-trip hot spring, a restaurant, and a tourist information center.

At the tenant Sasaki Foods Tomodachi, you can purchase oshizushi, a representative of Joetsu City's local cuisine.


I previously covered Sasaki Foods' pressed sushi.

Yoko Sasaki and Hirokazu from Sasaki Foods Friends

Work began late at night, with representative Yoko Sasaki making pressed sushi, mugwort mochi, gomoku okowa, bamboo dumplings, and chimaki one after another with the support of her husband, Hirokazu.

To make pressed sushi, we use a wooden box that has been handed down in the Sasaki family for generations. We spread bamboo grass on the bottom and spread vinegared rice on top. On top of that, we put eggs, minced chicken, bamboo, vinegared rice, pickled trout, bamboo, vinegared rice, hijiki and shiitake mushrooms. Top with toppings called gomoku, which are boiled carrots, zenmai, etc., arrange the bamboo leaves on top, put the lid on, and place a weight on top.3Completed in time.

The whole bamboo is cut and packaged into small pieces.Sasaki Foods' pressed sushi is available at roadside station tenants and direct sales shops, as well as in Joetsu City.Seasonal Vegetable Exchange Center Arurun FieldBut it is on sale.


Another sake brewery in Yoshikawa Ward,Katou Shuzo Co., Ltd.was founded in1864(Fumihisa4)Year.

Currently under the brand name ``Echigoya'', we aim to create the ``best evening drink'' that is easy to buy and enjoy, and that is close to the people who drink it.

We recommend "Echigoya Junmai Ginjo".

Enjoy the gorgeous flavor and taste of rice1According to the book, it goes well with richly flavored foods such as blue cheese.I want to try it.


Approximately by car from Yoshikawa Touji no Sato Co., Ltd. towards the Sea of ​​Japan10Minutes.Along the coast of Ogata Ward during the Tenpo era (1830~44) was founded in Koyama Shuzo Co., Ltd., known for ``Echigojiman.''


The business was taken over in 2021 and is located in Agano City.biotech japanHowever, while preserving traditional techniques such as tank pressing and bottle heating, the brewery is taking on new challenges such as lowering the protein content of rice through lactic acid fermentation.

``Junmai Kamoshika Midori'' was born from a new challenge, and is brewed by reducing the amount of protein in the rice through lactic acid fermentation, without shaving much of the rice.1Book.It is characterized by its rich sweetness, sharp acidity, and rich aroma.

Although it cannot be purchased at sake stores yet,22“Echigo Kenshin”SAKEFestival”23It was sold at ``Niigata Sake no Jin'' in 10 and has received positive reviews from Niigata sake fans. October21-22Echigo/KenshinSAKEYou can also enjoy it at the festival.In the future, they plan to sell it at Biotech Japan's Rakuten shop.

"Echigojiman" is located inside Niigata Station.Ponshukan Niigata 驛 storeetc. are sold.

Unfortunately, the sake brewery is scheduled to move from Joetsu City to Agano City in the fall of 24, so I want to keep the taste of ``Echigojiman'' firmly etched in my memory.


You can tour all three of the breweries we will introduce later, so if you want to enjoy some tastings, you can take the train, local bus, or taxi.

From Naoetsu Station, take the Echigo Tokimeki Railway “Myoko Haneuma Line” towards Myoko Kogen.

On the way, get off at Kasugayama Station, which is the next station after Naoetsu Station, and tour the historical sites in Kasugayama that are connected to Lord Uesugi Kenshin.The best time to see the autumn leaves is11From mid to late month.


Walk or take the local bus from Kasugayama Station and stand at the foot of Mt. Kasuga.Rinsenji Templefart.Lord Kenshin7From age14It is a temple of the Soto sect, where he practiced literary and martial arts up until the age of XNUMX.

Rinsenji Temple (early summer)

About a walk from Rinsenji Temple30Kenshin is enshrined in the place where Kenshin is enshrined.Kasugayama Shrine.

Kasugayama Shrine is also known as a famous spot for autumn leaves.

It is also known for being founded by Sumiharu Ogawa, a former samurai of the Takada clan and the father of Mimei Ogawa, a children's story writer from Joetsu City.On the way to Kasugayama Shrine, halfway up the ruins of Kasugayama Castle,1969(Showa44) There is a bronze statue of Kenshin Uesugi that was created to commemorate the broadcast of the taiga drama ``Heaven and Earth.''

Kenshin statue located halfway up Kasugayama Castle ruins

Elevation of castle ruins approx.180mFrom the main enclosure ruins, you can see the Sea of ​​Japan and the Kubiki Plain.I want to take my time and enjoy walking around the castle ruins.Goshuin stamps are distributed at shrine shops.


While returning to Kasugayama Station, you can see exhibits about the history of Joetsu City and restoration work on excavated items.Joetsu City Buried Culture CenterLet's stop by.Gojoin of Kasugayama Castle is distributed here (for a fee).


Return to Kasugayama Station and take the Myoko Haneuma Line to the next stop, Takada Station.

Honmachi with Gangi Street from Takada Station6Chomeya Omachi5Walking around Chome,Machiya Exchange Center Takada Komachi,Former Imai Dye Shop, Japan's oldest operating movie theaterTakada World MuseumWhile visiting the museum, I headed to Musashino Shuzo Co.,Ltd.

Machiya Exchange Center Takada Komachi

Takada World Museum


Musashino Shuzo Co., Ltd.Speaking of which, they are known for their brand name ``Sukimasamune,'' which includes katakana characters, and they also sell retro and stylish reprint labels.

One of their unique products is ``Sukimasamune Asaichi Shibori,'' which is sold only during the brewing season and by reservation only.

"Sukimasamune morning first squeeze".The photo is from XNUMX

Depending on the brewing date, you don't know what you'll receive, from regular sake to Junmai Daiginjo sake.Experience a sense of excitement1is book.

This year10Month20Reservations start from today. “Echigo KenshinSAKEReservations can be made from the flyer distributed at the festival or from the online store.

Reservations are required for sake brewery tours, and there are free and paid tours available.3There are courses available and you can make reservations from the official website.


What you would like to enjoy together with Musashino Shuzo Co., Ltd. is a short walk from the sake brewery.10MinutesTakada Castle Ruins Park.There is beauty in each season, and the surrounding area isJoetsu City History Museum,Kobayashi Kokei Memorial Museum, in the city library.Ogawa Mimei Literature MuseumThere are also other spots such as


Takada's gourmet spots have a history dating back to the end of the Edo period.Hundred Years Restaurant UkiyoApproved by Kazuhiko Ota, an izakaya explorer.Ganki-teiI would like to stop by as well.

A guest room at Hyakunen Ryotei Ukiyo.The photo shows the bamboo room on the first floor.

Matsutake rice from Ukiyo (photo is for illustrative purposes only)

Kazuhiko Ota's sake journey to Gangi-tei was published in the 2017 spring issue of this magazine, "Niigata Hakka R."It was later featured on Ota's own TV program.


Walk from Takada Castle Ruins Park10Myokoshuzo Co., Ltd. is a few minutes away.

1815 (Culture15) Founded in XNUMX, the representative brand is "Myodakayama."Masayuki Hirata, the chief brewer, is from Kubiki Ward (formerly Kubiki Village) and is also a rice farmer.He has been recognized as a master craftsman in Niigata for more than half a century since becoming the youngest master brewer in the prefecture.


``Shikomi Junmai Ginjo Myokosan,'' which uses Gohyakumangoku cultivated by Mr. Hirata, is a brew made by the chief brewer with all his heart, allowing you to enjoy the rich flavor and richness.1Book.Let's taste it.


Introducing at the endJouetsu Shuzo Co., Ltd.Take a taxi from Takada Station or Minami-Takada Station.20A little weak.

Founded in 1804 (Bunka XNUMX), they brew two brands: ``Echigo Bijin'' and ``Echigo Wakatake.''

After taking over the business in 2021, the founder, Noriyoshi Iino, continued to provide advice on sake brewing as chairman, and the renovated sake brewery has installed the latest equipment, inherited the tradition of Tank Squeezing, and taken on new challenges while becoming loved by the locals. We continue to preserve the original taste.

The cup sake ``Cup Wakatake'' is also a Tank squeezing sake, so be sure to try this luxurious cup sake.

``Echigo Bijin Daiginjoshu'' uses Yamada Nishiki from the prefecture.35It is polished to a low temperature and fermented for a long period of time, and is characterized by its gorgeous aroma and deep flavor.

Nihonshu-do is negative66The super sweet ``Echigo Bijin Junmai Daiginjo sake Amashizuku'' can also be enjoyed as a substitute for dessert wine.8It is recommended for beginners as it has a low alcohol content.

Sake brewery tours require reservations, except during Obon and New Year's holidays.Please contact us via the inquiry form on the official website or by phone.


Located in Joetsu, a region surrounded by diverse nature and dotted with historical stories.12sake brewery.

We hope you enjoy your trip to Joetsu while encountering each unique local sake.



Photography/Tatsuya Imai (Nakata Photo Office)

Photo cooperation: Niigata Prefecture Tourism Association, Yoshikawa Touji no Sato Co., Ltd., Katou Shuzo Co., Ltd., Koyama Shuzo Co., Ltd., Musashino Shuzo Co., Ltd., Myokoshuzo Co., Ltd., Jouetsu Shuzo Co., Ltd., “Echigo Kenshin SAKE Festival” Executive Committee



"cushu notebook''R from Niigata"Editor-in-chief

Mariko Takahashi