Who We Are - Shirataki Sake
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Who We Are

Our History

Shirataki founder Minatoya Tosuke embarked on sake production in 1855 using pristine meltwater in the lowlands of Echigo Yuzawa. Lying in the foothills of a mountain range linking Kanto (Tokyo) with the Sea of Japan side, the area flourished with inns offering travelers the treat of a hot-spring bath. Sake brewed at Shirataki healed the fatigue of countless visitors and gained a following as early as then.

Echigo Yuzawa Map

Of the nearly 1,000 sake breweries in business throughout Japan, some 100 are based in Niigata. The prefecture is the largest producer of sake and long celebrated for the fine quality of the products.

Echigo Yuzawa, the “snow country”

Mountains reaching heights of more than 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) surround Echigo Yuzawa. The town is known throughout Japan for heavy snowfall. In autumn, tourists flock to see the stunning mountain foliage. The snow season between December and April attracts crowds to the hot springs and ski resorts. For the residents of Echigo Yuzawa, snow means a dramatic change of life. For the sake brewery, the moderate humidity and cold of winter are ideal for controlling bacteria growth and slowing fermentation. The onset of winter brings the peak of the brewing process.

Shirataki Sake Team

Our Philosophy

Like water flowing in nature, we wish to share tranquility with people and the lives they lead. Like water following the ebb and flow, we seek to reflect the voice of our community in humble efforts to nurture the sake culture. Like water essential to society, we hope to establish a presence and infuse our lives and times with energy. Through the production of fine premium sake, we at Shirataki Sake Brewery aspire to be like water that nourishes the heart.

Uonuma, the largest rice producing district in Japan

Rice is as important as water for sake production. The town of Echigo Yuzawa lies in the district of Uonuma, which produces the esteemed brand of table rice Uonuma Koshihikari. As a great producer of Japan’s staple crop, Niigata Prefecture brings to mind the image of rice as well as sake. Fertile land, sharp difference in temperature between seasons, and meltwater rich in minerals—these blessings of nature have long enriched the lives of people in Niigata. The residents draw on nature to grow rice and produce sake. Yuzawa, Uonuma, Niigata The people of Uonuma continue to uphold the ideals of coexistence with nature today.