1. Hiroshima: Sake Town Tour in Saijo Hiroshima
Discover the neighborhood of Saijo in Hiroshima, the perfect destination for Sake fans due to its concentration of breweries along the waterfront. Find out how the water or, 'shikomi mizu', is essential for producing this local alcohol due to its medium hardness that is well suited for the brewing process. Discover the subtle differences in the water’s components which impact the taste of the sake at each brewery’s location. Begin the tour with a tasting and sake explanation at Kamotsuru brewery, representative of Hiroshima sake. See how Kamotsuru boasts an impressive line up of 12 unique bottles. Witness many artifacts and learn about the brewing process. Please note that watching the sake brewing process is not available to the public in Japan due to sanitary and health inspection regulations. Next, head off to try a local specialty hot-pot dish made with premium sake called Bishu Nabe, and other tasting plates made with Saijo ingredients. Learn about the history of this tasty dish at a local lunch spot. Please note that Bishu Nabe must be ordered in advance so last minute bookings may require an alternate lunch menu. After lunch, stroll through the picturesque streets and go brewery hopping. Sample many kinds of sake and sake based products in unique tasting rooms. Visit a local cafe and enjoy sweets and a snack break inspired by Japanese rice wine. At each brewery, sample different kinds of sake. If you find a type you like, the brewery shops carry a huge variety for you to purchase and take home. Finish the tour with a new perspective on Saijo and an incredible knowledge of how sake is produced.