Ichishima Sake Brewery
President Kenji Ichishima
ICHISHIMA SHUZO was founded in the present place by the first owner Hidematsu Ichishima, who set up a branch family after moving out from our head family in 1790s. The first head of the new family, Hidematsu and the second head, Ken, interested in learning from their childhood, studied under a scholar Seigan Yanagawa. They later established a private school, Genshisya, where they educated young people to contribute to the development of local culture.
The history of this traditional brewery has been currently taken over by the 7th head.
The brewery is open to public and receives a lot of visitors from many places.
New Arrival Information & Event Information
October 12, 2018
Sake Brewery Located in Shibata City, Niigata Prefecture
ICHISHIMA SHUZO has a long history of over 200 years. It was founded in 1790s when the founder moved out from the head family.
Tradition ICHISHIMA SHUZO Cherishes
We are happy to introduce the history of ICHISHIMA SHUZO and what it has accomplished.
What we value is harmony. Our tradition says that “Harmony produces good sake”. It is said that good and tasteful sake can be produced only in a good environment.
Taste of ICHISHIMA SHUZO
You can enjoy a close look at the long-established Kura, brewery producing quality sake.
History of ICHISHIMA SHUZO
Stored items showing the history of sake production and the ICHISHIMA family are exhibited.
Maintained Passion for Sake Production
History of the traditional brewery has been taken over to this date. The tools having been actively used for each stage of the process of sake production since the old days are exhibited.
Historical Materials of the ICHISHIMA Family
You can feel the historical culture and tradition at the ICHISHIMA Museum.
Documents and Materials Retained Since the First Head, Hidematsu
Items and materials related to the ICHISHIMA family are displayed as well as wedding dresses the brides of the family wore at their weddings in late Edo, Meiji, and Taisho periods.
Nostalgic View Welcomes You
Sake production tools of the old days when sake was sold by measure and wares such as vases, tokkuri (sake server), sake barrels for celebration are also on exhibition.
Tasteful Japanese Café, “Ochadokoro Ichishima”
At “Ochadokoro Ichishima” you can enjoy meals, ICHISHIMA SHUZO’s brand sake and Japanese tea in a beautiful Japanese garden.
Beauty of Japanese Garden
You can enjoy watching the beautifully maintained Japanese garden, which offers different appearances each season.
Relaxation in a Traditional Japanese Room
Our traditional Japanese-style architecture will make you feel nostalgic.
Warmest and Heartful Welcome
Well-prepared delicious meals will warmly welcome you.
Fully Enjoy the ICHISHIMA SHUZO’s Sake
You can taste seven or eight kinds of ICHISHIMA SHUZO’s sake at any time for free, such as the popular Daiginjo, Junmaiginjo, flesh Ume-shu made of Japanese sake, and occasionally seasonal limited sake. You can buy any that suits your taste.
The ICHISHIMA family moved in Shibata in 1598 accompanying the lord of the Shibata Clan, Sir Mizoguchi. While operating a pharmaceutical company, sake brewery, financing business, and shipping agency, the ICHISHIMA family proceeded to undertake land reclamation and became one of the 5 biggest land owners in Japan at their peak when they owned nearly 7,000 acres of land.
In 1790, Hidematsu Ichishima moved out from the main family and while operating wood and candle business, he started sake production on the premises of Suwa shrine in present Shibata city.
In 1873, Tokujiro Ichishima established Daishi National Bank, present Daishi Bank, and acted as the first president of the bank.
ICHISHIMA SHUZO’s first sake had a sweetish and mild taste and was labelled “SUWA-MORI”, a lucky brand name, after Suwa shrine. The 4th head, Nagamatsu Ichishima additionally created the “OMON” label in the style of European royal family crests, which he had been impressed by during his study trip to Europe. Taken in an element of Western culture, ICHISHIMA brand has come to express a wider view of the world.
Today, “OMON” is widely appreciated not only in local Shibata city but outside of Niigata prefecture, and has become one of the most famous Japanese sake brands.
While maintaining our tradition, we continue to innovate sake production.
The remarkable advancement of sake production technology after the World WarⅡ provided us with better rice polishers, better tools and tanks easier to use, and yeast of better quality.
These favorable conditions have enabled us to produce high quality Daiginjo.
Sake production is often referred to as nurturing people.
While we put our energy to improve our workers’ techniques, we emphasize on nurturing them so that they have Japanese harmonious heart to be considerate to co-workers and to our customers. We would be most happy if you feel their heart and technique though our sake.
We will continue to produce excellent quality sake and hope people throughout the world will enjoy it.
We would also appreciate it if you would come to Shibata city away from your daily life and could enjoy our sake and share the time passing slowly in our place rich in Japanese culture.
We look forward to welcoming you and enjoying our sake together.
Information for Kura Visit
Opening Hours for Kura Visit
Admission fee : Free
Tasting sake : Free
※Reservation is not necessary.
Please come to YUME-KURA (ICHISHIMA SHUZO's shop) for signing up.
※Reservation is requested for a group visit of over 10 people. Please contact us by 1 week to 3 months before your visit.
Outline of the company
|Company||Ichishima Sake Brewery|
Suwa 3-1-17 Shibata City, Niigata
Other Recommended Kura (Breweries)
Founded in 1781, KOSHITSUKANO SHUZO has a charm of the traditional brewery which lasted for about 240 years.
Founded in 1873, UONUMA SHUZO has a history of 130 years. “TENJINBAYASHI” is UONUMA SHUZO’s brand sake which is made by Uonuma locals from water and rice obtained in Uonuma. Tenjinbayashi is a cerebration song which has been handed down since the old days in the Tsumari area (Tokamachi city and Tsunan town in Niigata prefecture). It is said to have been originally a Shinto song to pray for rich rice harvest.
This area used to be a town which had many inns for travelers to stay for rest on their way to their destinations. The first head of the SASAGUCHI family used to run an Ocha-ya, Japanese old café, where sake was sold like hot cakes. Then they thought of producing sake themselves and started it. The brewery started with the name, “SASAGUCHI SHUZOTEN” after the family name of the founder.
We have a history of 118 years since the foundation. SASAIWAI SHUZO has developed and is still developing with the local culture. While producing sake, we make a part of our brewery open to the public to act as a storyteller of the local history.
SASAIWAI SHUZO makes it a rule to pray for good and safe sake production on a lucky day on the Japanese calendar in the middle of October each year. In principle, we should have a Shinto priest pray for us. But as our Buddhist denomination, Shingon-shu, which Kukai spread, admits the fusion of Shinto and Buddhism, our temple priest can handle Shinto exercises. Therefore, we ask him to pray for safety at our brewery’s Shinto altar before we start sake production each year.