Understanding Sake in Japan


Breweries in full operation

Winter is the time that breweries all over Japan are in full operation, producing and brewing this delectable drink. Japanese sake has become increasingly popular in recent years in Japan, as compared to other drinks such as whiskey and beer, with trendy sake bars popping up all over Tokyo and other major cities. As a result of the craft sake boom, the range and variety of sake available now is limitless.

A winter specialty

During winter, you can have the rare opportunity to try namazake, a refreshingly smooth unpasteurized drink, made to be consumed shortly after it is brewed. Ideally, namazake should be consumed 2 to 6 weeks after it is produced, if the bottle is left unopened.

Experience the world of sake with an expert

Spending a night out with one of The Art of Travel’s sake experts will open up a whole new world of sake to you. Our certified sake sommeliers are intelligent, thoughtful, knowledgeable and entertaining, and have a passion for helping international guests discover and understand the intellectual and physical charms of sake. They will introduce you to the history of this unique national drink of Japan, how the production and social role of sake evolved of the course of 13 centuries, sake classification, and all of the different ways to enjoy various types of sake.


Sake with the gods

One of our premier experiences in Kyoto allows guests to enjoy the company of a Shinto priestess as they sample local sake. As knowledgeable expert, the priestess can not only pair individual sake with complementary food items, but can also explain the religious and historical significance of the drink. This intimate meeting with an expert is exclusively available through The Art of Travel.

Sake brewery tours

Going further afield, guests with The Art of Travel can enjoy private sake brewery tours just outside of Tokyo, Kyoto, or further to the north. Winter is the most exciting time to visit Hideyoshi Sake Brewery in the quaint Samurai town in the northern Akita prefecture, where they provide a brewery tour, sake tasting and a guided tour in English. The brewery is small, cozy and intimate, with a lovely garden to enjoy during your visit.

Experience luxury in Japan with The Art of Travel

FoodMarie Pilaud