Sake in Nikko — Tradition and Taste

Sake, Japan's national tipple, is a treasured craft in Nikko. The secret to great sake is pristine natural water, which Nikko has in abundance. Immerse yourself in the city’s culture and beauty while enjoying locally made, traditional sake.


Nikko's local sake

Sake has been brewed in Nikko and the surrounding area for centuries. In the Imaichi area in particular, the history of sake brewing culture runs as deep as the groundwater used in its creation. Fed from the Daiya River that runs down from the Nikko mountains, the cool climate and pure water used in every bottle of sake brings out a refreshing taste unique to the area.

Many foods pair excellently with Nikko’s sake, including other local delicacies like yuba, tamarizuke (pickled vegetables) and beef dishes such as sukiyaki. There are many places to find and enjoy sake in Nikko, including ryokan, izakaya and bars found around town, and even the breweries themselves.


Sake brewery tours

Nikko’s sake breweries have a rich history, in business for generations. These breweries offer tours and tastings to all sake lovers, ensuring visitors can learn about the process and try many varieties before choosing their favorite to take home.

Katayama Brewery and Watanabe-Sahei Brewery in Imaichi have welcoming atmospheres and a wide range of sake options. Both breweries sell their signature sakes as well as sweets made with the brew. The tours are free and are offered in English, but advance reservations are required.

Areas of Nikko