Translated by Lester Somera
Buy Fresh Sake at Nihon Sakari in Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi Station, Hyogo
Written by Naoyo Kishimoto
Nishinomiya city in Hyogo is a famous sake producer, and you can buy bottles of its rare, deliciously fresh sake without even leaving the station. Here's how.
Nishinomiya city in Hyogo is home to the perfect rice and spring water for sake brewing, and it has a convenient bay to transport them by boat. As such, so it has flourished as a site for breweries, and it is famous for its sake production.
This article will introduce you to a shop inside Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi Station on the Hankyu Railway line, where you can easily purchase fresh sake, something that can only be bought near a brewery.
Hankyu Railway’s Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi Station
Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi Station is located in the middle of the Hankyu Kobe Line, which links Osaka (Umeda) and Kobe (Sannomiya). The station is serviced by limited express trains, and many passengers pass through it every day.
In one corner of the station interior, you will find the Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi branch of Nihon Sakari. From the Carillon Plaza in the center of the second floor concourse, head toward the north exit and you will find Nihon Sakari next to the descending staircase on your right.
What Is Fresh Sake?
Typically, the sake found in supermarkets and wholesalers has been pasteurized then diluted with water to regulate the alcohol content before being shipped.
In contrast to regular sake, the fresh variety is unprocessed; it has not been pasteurized and contains no added water, so you can enjoy its natural flavors. However, since it is not exposed to heat, fresh sake only keeps for a short period of time. Fresh sake must be stored at a low temperature, so it can only be sampled at certain places.
In olden times, fresh sake was so precious that only sake brewers themselves were able to drink it. The fresh sake here, from Nihon Sakari, is directly shipped from the brewery in Nishinomiya City, so you can purchase the freshest sake possible.
Unparalleled Freshness! Bottled At The Store
The staff at Nihon Sakari will bottle the sake for you right after you place your order, so you can enjoy the taste and aroma of freshly brewed sake! When poured from the tap, it looks just like beer. The bottle pictured is the 720ml size.
The Menu And How To Order
You can buy two kinds of unprocessed sake here: the original flavor, fresh-brewed sake, and Ginjo fresh sake, a fruity variety that has been slowly fermented at a low temperature.
Both sake varieties have a sharp taste that lacks sweetness. You can choose from 300ml or 720ml bottle sizes.
There are also English and Chinese menus. As you can see in the picture, each product is tagged with a number to make it easy to order. Be aware of the following points when you choose your bottle.
- Fresh sake should be refrigerated, and will last for a week after purchase. The taste will steadily change as the days pass, so we recommend drinking it as quickly as possible.
- This shop only sells bottles for carryout. Drinking is prohibited inside the station, so there is no taste-testing.
- The staff will put cooling packs in the bag for you to keep the bottles cold. If you need to refrigerate them for longer than two to three hours, you can buy extra packs for 100 yen.
Staff Suggestions For How To Drink Your Fresh Sake
Just like fresh sashimi, fresh sake should be chilled before drinking.
The alcohol content is very high, so drinking it on the rocks is encouraged. We tried it immediately after we got home. The ice diluted the sake with just the right amount of water, so it was very easy to drink. Sharp, refreshing and not sweet, sake goes perfectly with food.
Nihon Sakari also sells snacks and other alcohol besides fresh sake. You can easily stop by the station concourse to visit the store, so next time you take the Hankyu Railway, pick up some precious fresh sake to taste its flavor for yourself!
Nihon Sakari, Hankyu Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi Branch
Address: Hyogo, Nishinomiya City, Takamatsu-cho 6-20
Hours: 11:00-22:00 (Mon-Fri), 10:00-20:00 (Sat-Sun, public holidays)
Credit cards: No (PiTaPa accepted)
Foreign language pamphlets: English, Chinese
Closest station: Hankyu Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi Station, 2F Concourse
Price range: Starting at 300ml for 680 yen
Homepage: Nihon Sakari