Fuji Takasago Brewery is situated at the foot of world famous Mt Fuji. This brewery was established in other places, but in 1831, it was moved to its current location. The founder of Fuji-Takasago brewery, Shokichi Yamanaka, met a brew master (toji) from a famous sake production area, Noto, by chance, stimulating his interest and he decided to open the brewery.
Since 1831, this sake brewery uses crystal clear, pure ground water from Mt Fuji.It takes about 100 years to filter this water through the strata, which makes the water extremely soft. The water quality is so high that many retailers and even individuals come to the brewery to use water from their spring. The temperature of water is a stable 5℃ which is ideal for sake production.This water resource is connected to a pond situated in the grounds of world heritage shrine, Mt Fuji Hongu Sengen.
Thanks to the ideal sake brewing environment, Fuji-Takasago is seriously dedicated to the quality, rather than the quantity of their sake. Their approach is “To produce sake as we grow our kids.” Although they have a lot of scientific methods to develop great sake, they never rely only on those data, but instead utilize their five senses as well.
By way of example, quality control is done not only by the required industry parameters, but by conducting a tasting for all employees. Similarly, to ensure that the taste test is not affected by any odors left, tasting ware (kikichocko) is washed for three days in the water used for sake production.
As for their sake production, they take good care of the koji production just like other sake breweries. But for koji for premium sake production, their sake brewer wakes up every hour to check how it is going.
Fuji-Takasago Brewery has tended to use a sake specific rice variety (yamadanishiki), grown locally. However, since the area is generally regarded as less than ideal for yamadanishiki, they started working with a variety of experts to study how to grow it better. Year after year, the number of contracted farmers is increasing, with improved economic outcomes for the whole community.To further support the famers involved, Fuji-Takasago buys all the rice the farmers grow which meets their strict quality criteria.
Not surprisingly, their sake is excellent, with a soft and tender structure and pleasant rich umami.Their quality sake has been sold not only in Japan, but abroad, such as Sweden, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong.
In the sake brewery, you will see beautiful statues of Buddha. In the 18th and 19th centuries ,it was popular to display those kinds of statues at the top of Mt Fuji, the entire summit of which held by the Mt Fuji Hongu Sengen Shrine.
However in 1868, the government enforced a separation of Shinto shrines from Buddism, leading to the destruction of Buddhist statues and temples. However, the employees of Fuji-Takasago Brewery could not bear the thought, so they climbed up Mt Fuji and brought down eight statues to hide and protect them. These have since been designated as important cultural properties. Recently the statues were relocated to be in closer proximity to the fermentation tanks and many locals come to the brewery to pray or just to see them.