Otokoyama Sake Museum

Otokoyama Sake Museum

Travel Guide

Otokoyama Sake Museum is a museum of Otokoyama Sake Brewery. Museum portrays historical scrolls, ukiyo-e, and sake-brewing tools. You can have sake tasting for free and purchase special editions of Otokoyama. The museum is exceptionally tourist friendly, with brochures, and some signs written in English, Korean, and Chinese, and with English speaking staff available to assist with tasting and inquiries.

The sake tasting room and gift shop are beautifully presented and allow visitors to sample some of the most famous sake in the world, as well as the opportunity to purchase magnificent sake sets, and cups amongst others.

Otokoyama is an award-winning and the most famous sake brewery in Asahikaw-shi. It is amongst the most famous sakes in Japan and in the world. In 1977, Otokoyama won the gold medal in The Overseas Wine and Spirit Competition, the first time for Nihon-Shu, and has since continued to win gold successively for 36 years. By participating in global events such as The International Wine and Spirit Competition, The World Selection of Wines, Spirits and Liquors, The International Gold Medal for Quality to Wine and Spirits, etc, Otokoyama products have achieved high appreciation throughout the world as exhibited by the awards received.

Otokoyama is comprehensive in covering all facets of Otokoyama's rich sake brewing heritage, including ancient sake-related literature and art. In fact, one of Japan’s most famous Ukiyoe painters, Utamaro, portrayed Otokoyama sake in a few of his works, forever affording Otokoyama a place in both the sake brewing and art histories of Japan.

The brewery is well known for several of its brands. It has a rich history of over 340 years and boasts of a sake museum that is rather popular with tourists to this region. The brand uses spring water from Hokkaido’s Mt Taisetsu and the water is known as The Water of Long Life. Locals and tourists drink it so they can have a long and healthy life. Experts claim that the water used in fermenting and brewing the sake play a crucial role in the quality of alcohol produced. Otokoyama offers Junmai Daiginjo, Natorisake and Nihonshu. Subtle and delicate, this Otokoyama Daiginjo is beautifully balanced by its smooth texture & refreshing acidity.

Otokoyama Sake Museum - Morgue in the Edo period Otokoyama Sake Museum - Exhibition of Sake-brewing tool in old times Otokoyama Sake Museum - Brewery area
Morgue in the Edo period Exhibition of Sake-brewing tool in old times Brewery area

Travel Advice

Sake Brewery

Sake is made in the depths of winter, when the frozen air is at its most pure, and the water is barely flowing. Many sake breweries are situated in locations expressly designed to capitalize on the pristine qualities that winter can bring to the sake brewing process.

It's no wonder, then, that there is some darn fine sake being made on the island of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. Here the snows blow in from the Sea of Japan, and fall heavy and deep after a short, brilliant Autumn. Temperatures regularly drop below zero, and like many places in the extreme north, the seas often freeze solid for extended periods of time. Hokkaido also has rugged, mountainous terrain springing up inland from its coastal plains which captures and holds the snowfall, channeling it deep underground where it is naturally filtered, and from where it often emerges as natural mountain springs.

One of the most famous of these springs is the Shikomimizo spring that emerges from Mt. Taisetsu near the town of Asahikawa. And from this spring water, a sake brewery named Otokoyama (literally translated as Man's Mountain) has been making sake for more than 340 years. Apparently it was the drink of choice for the Shoguns of the Tokugawa family in Japan's Edo period. It is certainly old enough and famous enough to have been featured in several of the ancient woodblock paintings by artist Utamaro who showed a dual affinity for beautiful women and alcoholic beverages, especially sake.



Address 2-7 Nagayama, Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido
Phone 0166-47-7080
Admission Free Please contact in advance if groups
Hours 09:00 to 17:00 Entry until 30 minntes before closing
Closed December 31 to January 3
Duration 30 minutes
Getting There By Train
5 minute walk from JR Asahikawa Station, take the Dohoku Bus No.67, 68, 70, 71, 667 or 669 at Ichijo Hacchome bus stop and get off at the Nagayama Nijo Rokuchome bus stop, then walk 2 minutes.

By Car
Take Hokkaido Expressway to Asahikawa Takasu exit and take National Highway route 12, 39. It is approximately 8 kilometers 15 minutes from exit.
Parking Free parking available

Attractions in Japan