Meet your guide at a machiya, a traditional Japanese house located in central Kyoto. From here, your guide will accompany you to the sake facility of your choice. Select from two options: Horino Memorial Museum, a former sake brewery, or Matsui Shuzo, a modern-style sake brewery currently in operation. (See descriptions of each location below.) It's a short walk to the nearby museum or a short taxi ride (included) to the brewing facility.
Before your sake tasting session begins, embark on a tour of the traditional townhouse or modern brewery (depending on your selection). You'll see the tools used in sake production, hear about sake history in Kyoto and learn the secrets to making this traditional Japanese drink – still popular at Japanese festivals, ceremonies and rituals today.
Then, take a seat and enjoy your sake tasting! You’ll sample several types of sake with different alcohol content. As you sip each small cup, your guide will describe the special combination of water, malt, yeast and rice that creates each distinctive aroma and flavor, ranging from sweet to dry.
Your sake tasting and tour concludes at the brewery or museum, and your guide can help you secure a taxi to your next destination.
Option 1: Horino Memorial Museum
This former sake brewery, housed in the prior home of the Horino family, produced one of the highest quality sake brands in Japan. There is an exhibit of sake brewing tools, a demonstration of different ways of brewing sake, and an area for making sake with your own label. Your tasting includes 3 or 4 different types of sake.
Option 2: Matsui Shuzo
This family-owned sake brewery has been in operation since 1726. Originally established in Kyogo prefecture, the modern-style facility later moved to Kyoto. At this working factory, you'll observe how sake is currently made, using innovative modern technology while keeping with tradition for small-scale production. Your tasting includes 9 different types of sake.
Click on "View Additional Info" for the machiya location.