History of NARASAKE- Its location is the birthplace of Seishu.
Written by aki
It is actually not well known throughout the world, but the birthplace of SAKE(清酒) as a beverage is “Nara” in Japan.
Originating in Nara Prefecture in 1400, SAKE has now spread throughout Japan and is made as a “LOCAL SAKE” in various regions.
SAKE consumption in Japan has actually declined to one-third of its peak. However, the growth stage of SAKE has spread to the rest of the world, and many overseas fans love sake and enjoy its taste with the common word “SAKE”.
From Nara Prefecture, the historical origin of SAKE, I introduce its history and recommended SAKE!
How SAKE was born in Nara
In Japanese, the character sake (kanji: 酒, Japanese pronunciation: [sake]) can refer to any alcoholic drink, while the beverage called sake in English is usually termed nihonshu (日本酒; meaning ‘Japanese alcoholic drink’). Under Japanese liquor laws, sake is labeled with the word seishu (清酒; ‘refined alcohol’), a synonym not commonly used in conversation.
Seishu was born in Nara Prefecture in the 15th century.
Shoryakuji Temple in Nara City, Nara Prefecture, is believed to be the first place where Seishu was made. The temple is also famous for its autumn foliage.
The Seishu was offered to the Buddha and was made in-house using rice grown in the area.
It seems that it was also called “monk’s sake” because it was made by monks.
In 1986, research discovered that the spring water from Mt. Bodai, where Shoryakuji Temple is located, contained lactic acid bacteria suitable for sake brewing.
And in 1999, a monument was erected at Shoryakuji Temple with the inscription “The birthplace of Japanese Seishu”.
Recreate the taste of those days! Sake made with the same sake mother as in the 15th century
Based on this discovered lactic acid bacteria, efforts were made to revive and carry on the sake of that time, which is now sold at several sake breweries.
It is very emotional to be able to drink a flavor that was drunk more than 500 years ago.
Here are three sake brands available on the Internet or in Nara Prefecture.
Hyakurakumon Bodaimoto Furuzake Gyoryuhenge
It has an elegant aged aroma, a mild sweetness, and a crisp acidity that finishes the taste.
When drunk at room temperature, you can taste the delicious flavor of rice and a hint of sweetness.
The unique matured aroma gives a sense of nostalgia.
Hyakurakumon Junmai Furuzake 1997
This sake has been aged in the brewery for more than 20 years. It has a deep, rich flavor and is soft and rounded on the palate. It has a nutty aroma and a deep, rich flavor.
Hyakurakumon Bodai-Moto Junmai
It has a rich umami flavor and is very drinkable. It has a slightly dry finish with a full-bodied flavor and umami spreading through it.
Image borrowed from “Momotaro,” a shop selling Nara’s sake.
Momotaro has a store in Japan and an overseas e-commerce site that delivers anywhere in the world as long as EMS is available!
MOMOTARO Shop (Nara, Japan)
Open all year round: 10:00 – 21:00
NARASAKE ONLINE SHOP