I understand this blog is devoted to sake brewed in Shizuoka Prefecture, but whenever I have the luck to visit other regions in Japan I follow the (somewhat changed) adage: Drink in Roma what Romans drink!

I went on a six-night tour of Hokkaido from August 26th to September 1st, visiting Shiretoko (see pic above), one of the three Japanese World Heritages.

I also visited (for the second time) the Island of Rishiri where I even unearthed a « maboroshi/one that disappeared » brewery!

Eisen or Hokkai Eisen Brewery was the only brewery in operation in the island from 1876 until 1973 ( the year JRR Tolkien left this world) when it finally folded. The bottle above and a short history of the Kura can be seen exhibited at the Rishiri Island Folk Museum located inside the former first Rishiri Island Primary School Building!

I managed to sample the sake of six different breweries out of the 15 existing kura at restaurants and hotels in Abashiri, Rishiri Island, Sapporo and Otaru!
As a general rule these were very different from those found in Shizuoka Prefecture, not only because of the yeasts, but also because of the rice strains, some of which I had never heard of before.
They showed more acidity when dry, and tasted more sirupy when sweet.
These sake are obviously designed for a fish-based daily food. Shizuoka people do eat a more varied food, notably more greens than in Hokkaido, where everything seemed to contain more salt. They certainly puzzled me at times, although I did find some definitely to my liking!

If you want to taste or buy the whole gamut, I would strongly recommend that you either visit Kita Ichi Glass Company, Otaru City, Sakai Cho, 7-26 or visit their HP at http://kitaichiglass.co.jp/kakuten/kaku-sake.html.
You can call them at 0134-33-2002 or fax at 0134-33-1997 or e-mail them at sake@kitaichiglass.co.jp for their catalogue.


Hokkaido Breweries List:

-Otaru City:
Kita no Homare
Tanaka Shuzo
Yamani Watanabe
Yuki no Hana Shuzo

-Nashike Gun:
Kuni Mare Shuzo

-Ketchan Cho
Niseko Shuzo

-Asahikawa City:
Takasago Shuzo

-Nemuro City:
Kita no Katsu

-Kuriyama City:
Kita no Kinu/Kobayashi Shuzo

-Shintotsukawa City:

-Sapporo City:

-Kitami City:
Yamada Shuzo

-Kushiro City:
Fukutsukasa Shuzo

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