Nada's Sake: the secret of this rare taste/Climate

Home of sake -- embraced by the Rokko mountains

Nada sake is made by the cold winds running down the Rokko mountains

Longitudinal structures
stretchin from east to west
windows open on the northern wall

Nada in winter is exposed to freezing winds coming down the slopes of the Rokko mountains rising in the north. These winds, called Rokko-Oroshi, were indispensable to brewing high-quality sake in the days when there was no air-conditioning available. All sake brewers built longitudinal structures stretching east to west with windows open on the northern wall to take in as much of this freezing air as possible.

Rokko mountains soaring in the north of Nada district

Imazu Lighthouse built by Ozeki Brewery
Imazu Port where Nada sake was shipped from

The five renowned sake producing areas in the Nada District -- Imazu-go, Nishinomiya-go, Uozaki-go, Mikage-go, Nishi-go-- are all located on rivers running down the steep slopes of the Rokko mountains. Setting up a wheel on the river, the brewers utilized the force of water to mill rice. The traditional way of milling --- with men stepping on levers --- could peel off only eight percent of the skin of rice grains, while the yield by a water mill reached 20 percent. Moreover, the water mill was able to process far greater volumes of rice than a stepping mill.

From the breweries along the coast, sake was shipped to Edo. Transport only by sea carried meant a lot of sake could be shipped at one time, reducing costs. In addition to its advantageous location, Nada had such treasures as Miya Water, Yamada-Nishiki rice, and Toji technicians from the nearby Tamba region. Good cedar casks were also available from the Yoshino region of Nara Prefecture. With all these natural and human resources integrated, Nada sake became one of the most renowned in Japan.

(Nada's Sake: the secret of this rare taste)

C) Nadagogo Brewers Association, 2000,All Rights Reserved.