Experience the Height of the Brewing Season
A fun-packed tour to Kawaba village in Gunma complete with sake and onsen.
January is the best season for brewing sake. It is when most breweries brew their best Daiginjo sake because the cold keeps harmful bacteria out of the brewery.
As an add-on to the usual monthly Sake Salon, we have put together a tour to Nagai-shuzo, the brewery who came to introduce their sake in October, and the surrounding nature that is every bit as beautiful as Mr Nagai described. We will visit two sake breweries with a special lunch in between at Nagai-shuzo, as well as Kawaba’s famous Michi no Eki (roadside rest area) one of the most thriving in Japan, finishing off the day indulging in a rejuvenated, relaxing soak in the local Onsen.
Please refer to the guide for more information.
We hope you can join us!
This event is limited to 20 people so please apply now to reserve your spot.
Date Saturday, January 27, 2018
7:30 Take chartered bus at Shinjuku Station
10:30 Tsuchida-shuzo (Kawaba)
12:30 Lunch at Koshinkan, the old brewery building of Nagai-shuzo
14:00 Denen Plaza (Michi-no-eki) beer brewery, craft sausage,vegetables, etc.
15:00 Yutori-an Onsen
19:00 Shinjuku station
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Details of the destination
Founded in 1907, the founder of the brewery, Randai Nakamura was a very famous seal-engraver, whose marks adorned the works of many well-known painters such as Taikan Yokoyama and Gyokudo Kawai. His mark is used today on the label of the brewery’s signature brand: “Homare Kokkou”. His legacy is succeeded by the 6th generation of the family, a young president who is also the brewery’s master brewer.
Located just a stone’s throw away from Tsuchida-shuzo surrounded by rice fields, Nagai-shuzo was founded in 1886 by Shoji Nagai. It is now run by 6th generation Noriyosi Nagai. The founder decided to start brewing at the present location because he found the water to be perfect for sake brewing. The inherent mission of Nagai-shuzo has always been about protecting the surrounding environment to protect the water, the very core of their sake’s character.Nagai-shuzo’s brewing puts strong focus on hand crafted sake, but they are not afraid of using modern technology when a machine can do the job better.Nagai-shuzo is probably more famous nowadays for its authentic Champagne style sparkling sake, the product of long struggle and much failure. It’s a story in a glass worth every sip.
Koshinkan is the building where Nagai-shuzo previously brewed, renovated into restaurant and shop. It was built by the former president who was also a real gourmet and loved not only eating but also cooking. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy local food in an authentic setting.
4. Denen Plaza (Michi-no-eki)
Denen Plaza is a traditional road-side rest area with plenty to do,see and buy for a whole day of fun surrounded by the beauty of Kawaba.Lose yourself in the farmer’s market which has everything from fresh vegetables and fruits to beer, bread and craft sausages.While Michi-no-eki can be found all over Japan, this is by far one of the most famous.
5. Yutori-an Onsen
Kawaba is also famous for good onsen.For many Japanese, onsen is the ultimate pleasure and no tour would be complete without a relaxing soak in these magical, waters.