Shizuoka Sake: the figures and numbers


I suppose I have to justify my claim that Shizuoka produces some of the best, if not the best sake in Japan.
It was not always so. But the big change occured in the late eighties when a lot of research was done with the help of government funds, especially under the direction on Dembei Kawamura. It notably led to the « invention » of a new yeast at th e Kokkou Brewery in Fukuroi City called « Shizuoka Koubo » (« Shizuoka Yeast ») that the majority of Shizuoka Brewers use now.
Although the number of « kura » has declined from 56 in 1975 to 28 in 2013, it actually helped concentrate the quality in staff, methods and products to an unheard level.
The average national production of high quality sake, that is from « honjyozu » upwards is 33.4%, whereas no less than 83% of all sake made in Shizuoka is of high quality! Even the rest, that is, « futsushuu » (« normal sake »), could be considered as the highest quality sake used for « atsukan » (« hot sake ») in Japan!
Apart of all the research and the consequent improvement, the sheer abundance of superior water from Mount Fuji and the Southern Alps is the main factor. Moreover, Shizuoka water has a very low acidity level, thus contributing to sake brands that still keep the palate interested after many cups.
Next time you visit some friends, especially Japanese, in a far away Prefecture, offer them a bottle of sake from Shizuoka Prefecture and you will judge from their reactions. Do not forget that Shizuoka Sake is not only good, but rare and difficult to find, even in Tokyo!

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