Sawanotsuru Museum


Sawanotsuru, a long-established sake brewery celebrated its 300th anniversary last year. By continuing to use traditional sake brewing methods and fine raw materials without pursuing volume and low prices, they have been producing a variety of precious junmaishu. Brewery buildings originally constructed in the late Edo period were precisely restored and converted into a museum. Here, exhibits such as huge vats and tools are displayed with easy-to-understand commentaries. The museum is designated as one of the Important Tangible Folk Cultural Properties of Hyogo Prefecture.

See Location Below

01 Accurate reproduction of the traditional sake-making process - designated as Important Tangible Folk Cultural Properties

Gigantic vats of nearly 2m deep, araiba (rice washing workstation), pots used for pasteurization of sake - these are some of the exhibits which were actually used in the past and are now displayed in Sawanotsuru Museum to show how a brewery looked like at the end of the Edo period. Exhibits include "funaba," where a step called joso was carried out which involved pressing moromi (fermenting mash) to separate fresh sake from sakekasu (lees). Other exhibits include "Koji-muro," the room where koji was cultivated―a process which decisively affected the quality of sake as well as a model of "taru-kaisen," large cargo boat used for transporting sake to Edo (current Tokyo). The museum will offer you an opportunity to get in touch with old time brewery buildings and the culture of sake-making. It has been a popular tourist spot ever since it was designated as one of the Important Tangible Folk Cultural Properties of Hyogo Prefecture in 1980.

01 Smooth and rich "Koshu-jikomi Umeshu"

An ume liqueur made using high quality "Nanko ume" carefully grown in Kishu (Wakayama Prefecture), which is known for their plum blossoms. The sake used for soaking ume fruits is junmai-shu which is made by an old time brewing method called kimoto-zukuri and is aged for more than three years until it acquires a rich, sweet and deep flavor like caramel or honey. "Soaking ume fruits in this koshu (aged sake) produces an extremely smooth and rich ume liqueur" says the brewery. Combined with the elegantly sour flavor of Nanko ume, why not come and try a glass of this special ume liqueur and enjoy the umami and deep flavor of sake?

01 Check out the sake-tasting opportunities to enjoy precious genshu.

There is the Museum Shop - a place with a great line-up of Sawanotsuru sakes including their limited edition products. Choosing sakes and other souvenir items is certainly a pleasant experience. However, we recommend you first enjoy the sake tasting service offered at the shop. As premium genshu (undiluted sakes) can also be tasted, those who can hold their liquor would be missing out if they left the shop without trying a sample! Raw, i.e. unpasteurized genshu is high in alcohol content. Therefore, even a small amount packs a strong punch. You will certainly enjoy its rich and sweet taste as well. In addition, "Koshu-jikomi Umeshu," mentioned above can always be tried. Visit this shop and find the Sawanotsuru sake of your choice.

Other Points


A realistic display of "Koji-muro"

The display of "Koji-muro" (koji room) is a must-see. Brewers are said to have worked without sleeping or resting to cultivate koji malt in this room.


Tools named after animals

Monkey, horse, fox, frog, cat, snake, sparrow and so on - there are more than 10 kinds of tools which are named after animals. Try to identify them all.

Sawanotsuru Museum

Address 1-29 Oishi-minamimachi, Nada-ku, Kobe View in Map

Opening Hours

Wednesdays, Obon (mid-summer holiday period), year-end & New Year holidays

A ten-minute walk from Hanshin Railway Oishi Station




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