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Tsukasabotan Brewery

This large brewery in Sakawa is preserving the traditional sake of Kochi.

Tsukasabotan Brewery

Kochi sake has traditionally been known for a dry and light character that enhances the enjoyment of seafood. However, even in Kochi, more fruity, flowery and fragrant sake with umami richness is recently becoming popular, winning prizes in sake competitions. But Tsukasabotan aims to preserve the traditional sake of Kochi and continues to brew dry sake that matches food. The brewery has lobbied to ensure that competitions in Kochi are divided into traditional and other categories so that the old style of sake is still appreciated.

Tsukasabotan_old_tools

Tsukasabotan is based in the town of Sakawa on a tributary of the beautiful Niyodo River to the east of Kochi city. It’s Kochi’s oldest brewery. There used to be several breweries in Sakawa, due to the abundant water and rice of the region, but they gradually amalgamated into Tsukasabotan. The brewery has a remarkably long storehouse where the sake is matured. In the old days, the containers were made of wood, but in 1955 when the brewery decided to use taller metal tanks, the entire storehouse was cranked up so that a new concrete footing could be added underneath the walls.

Tsukasabotan_continuous_rice_steamer

The old parts of the brewery are carefully preserved as part of Shikoku’s cultural heritage. Today the sake is brewed in a newer facility using modern equipment. Since Tsukasabotan brews large quantities, instead of steaming rice in batches in vats, they use a rare continuous steamer, a gigantic and complex machine which tends to remind people of Howl’s Moving Castle.

Tsukasabotan_souvenir

The brewery has an attractive shop where you can try the products and purchase sake and souvenirs.

Information

Name in Japanese: 司牡丹

Pronunciation: tsukasabotan

Address: 1299 Ko, Sakawa, Takaoka District, Kochi 789-1201

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