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Become a Sake Brewer with Kurabito Stay in Saku, Nagano
KURABITO STAY Co., Ltd. • Nagano
"A once-in-a-lifetime experience awaits in the sake-brewing region of Saku, Nagano. Step into the shoes of a sake brewer during 2-3 days of sake making, tasting, and tours."
Far from your average sake brewery tour, Kurabito Stay invites you to don the uniform of a sake brewer, roll up your sleeves, and get in on the action. This 2-3 day sake brewing experience in Nagano offers the opportunity to stay at a guesthouse adjacent to a sake brewery. Helping with tasks around the brewery, you’ll see firsthand how a mixture of rice, water, and koji is transformed into Japanese sake.

The sake brewery village in Saku is home to 13 different breweries, with some buildings that date back 300 years. Here, guests will get a chance to tour sake breweries, learn about sake production, and enjoy several tastings. A multi-course meal at a local restaurant with specialty cow and goat’s milk cheeses is also included, along with several glasses of Nagano sake.

In preparation for the sake brewing experience, guests will join a purification ritual conducted by a local priest, a common practice that reflects sake’s deep ties to Japanese Shintoism. With the body and mind ready, the brewing process will begin. Guests can participate in tasks such as washing the rice–a process that's like a precisely-timed dance–and massaging koji mold into the cooked rice.

During typical sake brewery tours, visitors are generally not allowed into the koji room, which has a strictly controlled environment. Kurabito Stay, however, offers a rare opportunity to enter through the doors of the koji vault and see the mysterious mold–a key component of sake–at work.

Highlights

  • Stay at a warm and inviting guesthouse with a window into the sake brewery next door
  • Enjoy several sake tastings and a tour of local breweries
  • Join the sake-brewing action, taking part in various tasks
  • Enjoy a meal at a local restaurant that celebrates locally-made cheeses and sake

Inclusions

  • Overnight accommodation at a guesthouse next to the sake brewery
  • Hands-on sake brewing experiences
  • Nagano sake brewery tours and tastings
  • Meal at a local restaurant with specialty cheeses and Nagano sake