Obata Sake Brewery
Japanese sake is fostered by its mother land.
The mother land not only provides “rice” and “water” for its production but gives much influence on it with her other elements such as the climate, food and traditional culture to make it matured.
“MANOTSURU” was born and has been raised on the island of Sado.
We would like to convey the wonderfulness of Sado by promoting our sake to the local people in Sado, and to people in Japan, and further throughout the world. We would also be happy if our sake we make from treasures of Sado can bring you harmony.
New Arrival Information & Event Information
Quality Sakes Lined Up on the Counter
Brewery limited sake served only within the brewery, original sweets and home-made pickles with sake lees are available for tasting and for sale.
Sake Production Rich in Nature and Culture
The first owner, Yososaku Obata was given over a good sake brewery which had lasted since Edo period from the Yamamoto family and founded his own Obata Sake Brewery (OBATA SHUZO) in 1892. It attained the 120th anniversary in 2012.
First Brewery Open to the Public in Niigata Prefecture
The gallery reformed from a Shikomi-gura, a warehouse used for sake production, has pictures of Toki, Japanese crested ibis, on display, providing the space you can feel the history of Sado and the brewery.
Gallery You Feel the History
In the gallery the Gold Medal winning sake, “MANOTSURU MAHO” with its certificate is displayed along with many other items telling the history of OBATA SHUZO.
Sake Produced with Delicate Care Sleeps
During the winter time, experienced brewers fully exercise their skills of producing sake. For other seasons, sake waits to get matured in large tanks containing approximately from 8,000 to 20,000 liters at a constant low temperature.
The 5th “MANOTSURU” Owner, Sake Tasting Meister
The reason for the 5th owner, the younger of the two sisters of the OBATA family, to decide to take over the OBATA SHUZO is that she realized that she wished to sit and drink her home sake in a small, dark and cool Kura, sake warehouse of her home, when she asked herself one day, “What shall I do if the world should disappear tomorrow?” Having overcome various difficulties, she now actively gets involved in promoting ”MANOTSURU” brand to the world.
“Gakko Gura” Connecting the World and Generations through Sake
Former Nishimikawa Elementary School is renowned for the most beautiful view of sunset in Japan. In the wooden school building we produce sake from ingredients and materials produced in Sado using natural renewable energy and named it “GAKKO GURA”. We accept anyone who wants to learn how to produce sake from inside and outside of Japan. The highlight of this school brewery is “a Special Class of Gakko Gura” offered once a year. The class focuses on discussing the future of the local areas on the island of Sado, which is considered as Japan in miniature. Each year it is attended by many people of various generations and backgrounds and brings about chemical reactions among them.
Sake Produced with Harmony of Rice, Water, People and Sado
The strong devotion of our Toji, a brew master for our sake ingredients, rice and water in Sado enables him to produce sake attracting the world.
“What if the world should disappear tomorrow?”
I asked myself when I was 28 years old working in the advertisement section of a film company and spending days in a gorgeous and stimulative world. My answer was that “I wished to sit and drink my home sake in the small, dark and cool Kura, sake warehouse of my home.” My action was quick after I found what I should do on the very last day of the world. At 29 years old, I returned my home brewery accompanied by a man who worked in a publishing company.
I started exporting sake overseas, which I wanted to do since I had taken over the brewery. I wanted to export our sake directly to overseas local importers. Thanks to several lucky chances, I made “MANOTSURU” across the ocean in 2003. Our export business seemed favorably expand to Korea, Taiwan and to Singapore. But none of them brought any success. The bubble economy has already collapsed. The sake industry was also on the decline. So was the travel industry in Sado. The adverse wind blowing against a small unknown brewery was severer than I had expected.
However, the difficulties led me to notice three things. They are that “we should convey our sake’s originality not its specification”, “we should grow the market not compete against others to get a slice of pie” and “we should be more anxious about the decreasing local population as well as about the future of our sake industry.” I set my mind that I would change the island I hated in my childhood into an island full of treasures.
A fateful encounter took place in 2008. We heard that Nishimikawa Elementary School, which was renounced for the most beautiful view of sunset in Japan, would be closed in 2010. I decided that OBATA SHUZO should take the charge of it and revive it as a brewery. Thereafter, “Gakko Gura”, a school brewery was born in 2014.
Gakko Gura has four pillars. The first pillar is “Sake Production”. As sake is produced in winter at the main OBATA brewery, at Gakko Gura sake is produced in summer and offered for sale with a brand name, “GAKKO GURA”. Our sales message is “100% made in Sado”. The second is “Learning”. We accept anyone who wants to experience producing sake on the condition that they commute a whole week. The third is “Coexistence”. As a sake maker we want to convey through our sake the importance of coexistence with the environment of Sado where Toki, Japanese crested ibis fly over. We installed solar panels to get energy for sake production from the sunshine in Sado. The forth is “Exchange”. We have started “a Special Class of Gakko Gura”, which is offered only once a year.
Our overseas business has changed afterward. Thanks to the first partner importer, which our business seemed not to work well with, we got a chance to meet another partner and it is going well now. We currently export our sake to 15 countries, to half of which we export directly. They not only sell our sake but come over to Sado to visit the home of the sake they sell. Sado produces sake and the sake introduces Sado to the world. Sado has been an inland of treasures since a long time ago. I did realize it only when I changed myself.
When we notice, a small challenge of a small brewery has brought about numerous links among many other industries and businesses in the world beyond the island and beyond the sake industry.
Why does a sake brewery get involved in such things?
It is because of our mind of the old brewery with a long history.
If other companies aim to develop their business in size, we will aim to do ours in maturity.
Information for Kura Visit
Opening Hours for Kura Visit
Open all year round
Admission fee : Free
Parking lot：Large parking space is available
※ For a group visit, please make a reservation in advance.
We accept your reservations by phone.
Please let us know of the date and time and number of visitors of your plan.
Outline of the company
|Company||Obata Sake Brewery|
Manoshinmachi449, Sado City, Niigata
Other Recommended Kura (Breweries)
Sado Island shows beauty of four seasons. Our TENRYOHAI’s sake made in rich nature having both changing and unchanging beauty tastes mild and would gently envelop you.
TENRYOHAI’s motto is “Make our Saka-Gura, brewery full of hospitality like Disneyland.” We strive to make your time at our place filled with smile by offering heart-warming services such as Saka-Gura visit, sake tasting, sales and send-off.
Our sake, which has been loved by local people since over 150 years ago till now, is today loved by celebrities in the world.
We keep our shochu, clear distilled liquor in wooden barrels. Each barrel has a senryu, Japanese humorous seventeen-syllable poem related to sake stuck on its surface, which shows a sense of humor of HOKUSETSU SHUZO. Kept in a wooden barrel, our shochu gets a smoky taste.
Toki, Japanese crested ibis inhabit in Sado Island. Being a small brewery, we can be so careful about the rice which we make sake of that we grow it with an environment-friendly agrochemical-free cultivation or natural organic cultivation method.
Sado islanders enjoy the privilege of easily tasting our precious sake which our excellent brew masters carefully make of organically grown rice.