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Namion Sake Brewery

[Visiting a sake brewery in Shiga ②] [Naminoon Sake Brewery] / Katata

Shiga has a plain centered on Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, and the subsoil water from the surrounding mountains still serves as the brewing water for many sake breweries. We will focus on sake breweries with rich individuality and their passion for sake brewing. The second installment of this series focuses on Nami-no-one Sake Brewery in Kata, Otsu City, a lakeside sake brewery that has been in business for more than 200 years. We visited the family-run brewery.

1.Mitsuya made the decision to take over the brewery by watching the backs of his three brothers.

When I saw the three of them making sake, they looked like they were having a lot of fun. I wanted to brew sake with them," said Mitsuya Nakai, who will join the brewery this fall. He is the eldest son of Takashi Nakai, the 10th generation head brewer of Nami-no-one Brewery (Nami-no-one), which has a history of over 200 years in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture.

Namion Sake Brewery

Right / Mitsuya Nakai, born in Otsu City in 1994, started playing soccer in the third grade of elementary school. After graduating from high school, he lived abroad to gain experience. 2017 he started training at [Akebono Sake Brewery] in Fukushima Prefecture. Left / Chisa Nakai, born in Saitama in 1989. She met Mitsuya in New Zealand and got married in 2017. Moved to Fukushima together. From this year, she supports the sake brewing process as a PR person for Naminode Sake Brewery.

Naminon is said to have been founded in 1805. We have it on record that we received the name 'Nami-no-one' from the monk Lu on Mount Hiei in that year, so we date the founding of the brewery to 1805. I think they were probably making sake before that," says Takashi.

Namion Sake Brewery

Nami-no-one is located near Ukimido, which is depicted in the "Eight Scenic Views of Omi: Falling Geese in Kata. The brewery has a long history of brewing sake while listening to the rippling waves of Lake Biwa. The "three people" that Mitsuya saw were his father, Takashi, and his brothers. For the past 20 years, the three brothers have been brewing sake together at Nami-no-one.
After I took over, the famous Noto Touji, Taiichi Kanai, came to our brewery in 1995 and studied sake brewing from the very beginning. At the time, Mr. Kanai was 70 years old. Because of his advanced age, he asked us three brothers to learn the skills in five years to ensure that we would inherit Toji Kanai's knowledge and techniques, which is how we started working together. It ended up taking seven years," says Takashi. The Naminoto sake brewed by the three brothers has a clean, clean taste with a hint of elegant sweetness, which they have inherited from Tôji Kanai. Mitsuya, who will be joining the brewery this year, says, "I have been looking forward to finally joining Naminode, but I am a little anxious because of the Corona disaster. I am now ready to step up to the plate.

2.Fusion of what we have learned in Fukushima, an advanced sake prefecture

After graduating from high school, Mitsuya experienced life overseas in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. He then spent four years training at a sake brewing company in Aizusaka-machi, Kawanuma-gun, Fukushima Prefecture, in order to take over Namino Sound.
Fukushima is an advanced sake prefecture. I am very happy to have been able to learn there. Not only the sake brewing, but also the management of the sake after it is made was very thorough. I am now looking forward to fusing the good things that Naminode has to offer with what I learned in Fukushima," he said.

Namion Sake Brewery

Since high school, Mitsuya had been getting up at 4:30 a.m. in the fall to work part-time at Naminode and had seen the sake brewing process in action, but some of his thoughts changed when he went to Fukushima for his apprenticeship. Before I went to Fukushima, I was thinking that if I could join Naminode and maintain the status quo, I would be a good candidate for ....... But the moment I got involved in sake brewing in Fukushima and saw the sake being squeezed out, I was very happy. I felt that sake brewing is fun! I felt that sake brewing was fun!
Just before going to Fukushima, he married Chisa, whom he met while overseas. Chisa also worked at a sake store in Fukushima to prepare for the future.
The experience of living in a foreign country prior to his training is also likely to bring changes to NAMINOON. Japanese cuisine is very popular abroad," he says. But sake is not so popular. Knowing this, I went to sell sake myself when I was in Canada. I learned a lot from that too. I want to raise the awareness of sake overseas and spread it around the world.

3.Thinking and Discussing to Create a New "Style

Namion Sake Brewery

Nami-no-One preserves the traditional method of making koji using a wooden tray called a koji lid. The monthly event of selling koji by weight at the store is also very popular.
When I asked Takashi, who is now trying to pass on to the next generation the system that the three brothers have devised, "Is there anything you absolutely want them to inherit or protect? He replied, "There is no such thing. It's freedom. My father died suddenly when I was 19, so I couldn't talk much about alcohol. So I thought about it on my own and did it. In the same way, you should think for yourself and do as you please. From now on, I may develop overseas sales channels or focus on online sales. There is no right answer. However, you need a reason to change. One by one, we will discuss it slowly."

Namion Sake Brewery

In the words of his father, "I never want to go back and make things worse. I don't want to go back and make things worse," said Mitsuya. "Even if I can't make sake that everyone will enjoy, I want to make sake that someone else will enjoy.
Chisa's support is also a part of the challenge that is about to begin after four years in Fukushima. I feel that the local people in Kata are very warmly connected. I would like to support the challenge here as a public relations person.
Sake brewing has been practiced along the lakeside since the Edo period. This autumn, a new page will be added to the history of the brewery, and will mark a new "Nami-no-Oto-ness" to the history of the brewery.

Namion Sake Brewery

4.A collection of NAMINOE sake that you must try at least once

Nami-no-one Daiginjo "Kanai Tai-ichiryu" Namaishu from Nami-no-one Shuzo

Nami-no-one Daiginjyo "Kanai Yasutoryu" 720㎖ [boxed] 3,850 yenThe highest Nami-no-one sake named after the master brewer who taught it. Winner of the Gold Prize at the 2020 National New Sake Competition. (Cold sake is recommended throughout the year.)

Naminone Junmai Daiginjo "Watabune" Namaishu from Naminone Shuzo

Nami-no-one Junmai Daiginjyo "Watafune" Nama-shu 720㎖2035yenThe ancient Japanese sake rice "Watafune" which was revived in Shiga Prefecture is used. It has a gentle taste with a strong depth of rice flavor. (Recommended to drink cold all year round).

Nami-no-one Eetokodori Junmai-shu ultra-harsh, unfiltered, raw sake from Nami-no-one Shuzo

Nami-no-one Eetokodori Junmai-shu 720㎖1595 yenThe taste is not only dry, but also has a strong umami flavor. The final taste has a characteristic sharpness. (All year round, served cold or warmed).

Naminode Kabosu Sake "Kabosukkiri" from Naminode Shuzo

Naminode Kabosu Sake "Kabosukkiri" 720㎖1540yenThis liqueur is made from domestically produced kabosu juice and sake. The acidity of the kabosu blends with the mildness of the sake to create a delicious taste. (Recommended on the rocks or with soda all year round.)

Naminode Junmai Ginjyo Namaishi "Tsuki" from Naminode Shuzo

Naminone Junmai Ginjyo Nama "Tsuki" 720㎖ 1540 yen. A blend of sake made with the same 1801 yeast as the daiginjo and a little bit of 901 yeast. You can enjoy the balance of aroma and taste. (Sold until the end of November. Cold sake is recommended.)

5.[Where you can buy [Naminode Brewery] sake

■ Shiga Prefecture
[13-1 Kinoshita-cho, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
[175-4 Kido, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
[Koizumi [0748-23-2666] 228-5 Aobacho, Higashiomi-shi, Shiga Pref.
[Tokuji Sake Shop] 526-3, Shimokasa-cho, Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture, 077-565-0070
[Kitada Sake Shop] 3 Kitanakakoji, Ritto-shi, Shiga, Japan, 077-552-8070
[Ltd. 2-1-31 Hamaotsu, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
[Doi Sake Shop, Ltd. 328, Nakamomori-cho, Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
[5-10 Funamachi, Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
[Sake no Hashimotoya] 847 Kamiteru-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan 0749-62-3170
[2-11-18 Imajuku-cho, Moriyama-shi, Shiga, Japan
[8-16-14, Oiwake, Kusatsu-shi, Shiga, Japan, 077-562-0038
[1-6-17 Oji, Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
[12-27 Motohama-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan

■ Kyoto Prefecture
[Maruman Shoten] 92-4, Terada Kitayamada, Joyo City, Kyoto, 0774-52-3582, Japan
[20 Minamikata-cho, Nishikyogoku, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 075-313-0212, Japan
[Nomura Ryu Sake Shop] 075-933-2103 22 Kaedehata, Chikkanai-cho, Muko City, Kyoto, Japan
[Sagawa Sake Shop] 075-611-1188 12-318 Shinmachi, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
[AEON MALL KYOTO Sakura-Kan 1F, 1 Nishi-Kujo Toriiguchi-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
[Umeda Limited] 075-841-3595 27 Mibu Goshonouchi-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

6.Recommended by Mr. and Mrs. Nakai! Delicious Ate in the Neighborhood (1) [Uotomi Shoten

Shrimp Beans from Uotomi Shoten

Small shrimp from Lake Biwa easily soak up soy sauce and go well with sake. Shrimp beans cooked with soybeans is a local Shiga dish. Shrimp Bean 702 yen.

Uotomi Shohten

  • fish market
  • 1-16-14, Honkenda, Otsu-shi, Shiga
  • 5 minutes drive from JR Kata Station
  • Tel. 0120-105-292

7.Recommended by Mr. and Mrs. Nakai! Delicious Ate in the Neighborhood (2) [Kashiwa no Kawanaka

Kashiwano Kawanaka Omi Shamo Sukiyaki Set

The Omi Shamo Sukiyaki Set, popular in the online store, includes 450 grams of Omi Shamo, which is characterized by its muscular, chewy texture and unique sweetness, chicken broth, and six sukiyaki eggs. 2,500 yen for two to three servings, plus 1,000 yen for vegetables. Vegetables are available for an additional 1,000 yen.

in the midst of a river of oak trees

  • in the middle of a oak tree
  • 4-9-50 Mano, Otsu-shi, Shiga
  • 5 minutes drive from JR Kata Station
  • Tel. 0120-003-129

8.[More information about [NAMINOONE SAKE BUILDING

Namion Sake Brewery

Namion Sake Brewery

  • figurehead (on a wave)
  • 1-7-16, Honkenda, Otsu-shi, Shiga
  • 3 minutes walk from bus stop "Kata de Machi".

  • Tel. 077-573-0002
  • 9:00-17:00
  • Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays (open Saturdays in December)
  • Parking available
  • https://naminooto.com/jp/
  • The 4th Friday and Saturday of every month is a weigh-in event.

    PHOTO/Takahiro Takami, TEXT/Tomomi Uryu
*Please note that the information contained herein is subject to change without notice.
*Since this site uses automatic translation, the translation may differ from the original Japanese content.

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