5 star rating: Highly Recommended 9 Reviews

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  • Location:Kyoto, Japan
  • Duration:45 minutes (approx.)

Kyoto Small-Group Sake Brewery Tour with Sake Tasting

Visit a traditional or modern sake brewery for a 45-minute tour and sake tasting in Kyoto, and you’ll be steeped in the history of Japan’s most famous drink. At the Horino Memorial Museum, learn how sake was once made, or visit the modern sake brewery of Matsui Shuzo. Then, enjoy a sake tasting while your expert guide describes the ingredients and process that created each characteristic flavor. You’ll leave this tour a sake connoisseur! Receive personalized attention on this small-group tour, limited to 10 people.


  • 1-hour sake brewery tour and tasting in Kyoto
  • Visit the Horino Memorial Museum or Matsui Shuzo (depending on which option you've selected)
  • Tour a traditional or modern-style brewery building for a look at sake production
  • Enjoy sake tastings with a professional guide
  • One-way taxi transfer to Matsui Shuzo included (or walk to the Horino Memorial Museum)
  • Small-group tour limited to 10 ensures a more personalized experience

What You Can Expect

Kyoto Small-Group Sake Brewery Tour with Sake Tasting

Kyoto Small-Group Sake Brewery Tour with Sake Tasting

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 several 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 several different types of sake.

Click on "View Additional Info" for the machiya location.

View additional info

Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Arrived at WAKJAPAN offices for start of our Sake Brewery Tour. Was pleasantly greeted by a charming Japanese lady sorry, I don't remember her name, who was key to this positive review. She escorted us by taxi to Matsui Sake Factory. Note: My husband and I were the only members of the group so it was essentially a private tour. Our tour guide at the factory, Shigeki Matsui, was terrific. He spoke perfect English and was very informative. He showed us the processes in the brewing of sake. We actually got to see inside of a fermentation vat! Really cool! Previous to tour, we knew nothing about sake after, we had a basic understanding of the differences between rice wine and grape wine production. After the tour, we got to taste around 6 different types of sake, with very generous pours. We even got seconds of a couple that we liked! We walked away with a bottle of our favorite. We were limited by USA customs laws about bringing back alcohol. After the tour, our WAKJapan tour guide walked us to the train station and even took the train with us and told us where to get off! Along the way, she talked to us about what we were passing and answered any questions we had. Great service! Overall, great experience!

Stephen B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Really enjoyed, our guide was really good taking photos etc. The amount of Sake tasted was generous and the brewery master was very knowledgeable.

howtaobrowncow United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

I really enjoyed this small brewery tour of the Matsui Shuzo Brewery. They've been around for a couple of hundred years, and supply many of the local shrines, and for good reason. The brewery staff and master brewer were super nice, and the sake was really excellent I bought a couple of bottles of my favorites to keep me company during the remainder of my trip. The tour guide, Ms. Kinoshita, was terrific she was very knowledgeable about sake and about the local area, her English was very good, and she was excellent company during the tour. I had a terrific time.

Justine L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

We are very glad to choose this tour. Our guide Yoshie is a certified Sake Sommelier, who is very passionate about the Sake culture as well as very helpful in answering our questions.

The Sake Brewery Matsui Brewing is highly recommended. It is small however the owner is the 15th generation who is very kind, friendly and well knowledgable. We also visited other bigger brewery, we are very glad that we have visited Matsui.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

Highly Recommended personal tour with experienced teacher.

Mark S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2015

We had a private experience as my wife and I were the only ones on the tour. With most sake production, it is a small, modern operation. The owner was very generous with his time, gave us the history and background of sake production, and answered all our questions. The sake tasting was excellent. Of course it is set up to tempt you to buy, but we had no problem with that!

rainerice Singapore

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

It was just my girl and I and had a blast. Great sake and very informative.

Jeffery T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2014

Great exprience. I love going to Wine country in California so this was the sake version of that. The tour was given by the wife of the owner. Small sake distillery so we were able to get a behind the scene look at the making and production of Sake. Great way to spend a few hours and taste some great sake.

Lucas M

4 star rating: Recommended May 2014

The brewery has been around since 1726 and you get to see the whole process from start to finish. The brewmaster has really good english and explains a lot of the details. However, have a plan to get back to your station/hotel before arriving at the pickup point, the tour ends at the brewery which isn't on or that near a rail line. Bus/taxi is pretty much the only option. The bus can be a long trip back.

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Tour code: 5163KYO2101


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