Sakagura is the grouping of breweries in a particular district. The word sake by itself is a generic term for alcohol and Japanese call the clear alcohol unique drink brewed in Japan nihonshu, which has played a central role in Japanese life and culture for 2,000 years. The town of Saijo is one of the premier sake-producing regions in Japan; this tour is a delightful stroll through the district and includes tasting at the breweries.
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At Saijo Station
A light stroll though the Saijo sakagura. While visiting breweries, sampling their fine Japanese sake.
lunch in a local inn with the speciality hot pot dish
Finish the tour with after lunch coffee or preferred beverage and dessert.
We will meet at Saijo Station and set out for a leisurely stroll visiting at least four of the major breweries tasting the clear brew and engaging with locals while learning about Japanese sake brewing in the region and finishing off the tour with a delicious traditional brewer's hot pot in a small hideaway inn nearby followed by coffee and dessert at a local landmark boutique cafe.
guide fee, the complimentary sake available at each brewery + 2 x beverages per guest, lunch, dessert.
fares to and from Saijo (if not travelling on a JR Pass ¥580), additional drinks ~¥300 per taster glass
Strolling a total of approximately 2 km at an easy pace, but comfortable walking shoes recommended. All drinks and meals included. I can meet you either at Hiroshima station approximately forty minutes before the tour start time, or you can make the approximately 35-minute train journey to Saijo on the Sanyo line to commence the tour. I will escort you back to Hiroshima.
I was initially conflicted while considering various tour guides and debated if it will be worth choosing a guide who is not Japanese but I am so happy that my concerns were unfounded. Hugh has a warm and friendly demeanor, great sense of humor and he is a walking encyclopedia. We enjoyed our conversations with him while he guided us around. We felt that our day was filled with special experiences, may it be food, or a temple or a shrine or just a deer walking by. Our children, 3 and 6 year-old had equally good time with him. We highly recommend him.
Hello Hina! Thanks for the glowing review. It was a pleasure. Wishing you all a wonderful year ahead. Best, Hugh .
Hugh was a superb guide with lots of information and understanding of the events that shook Japan and the world on August 6, 1945. This is a must-see place for solemn reflection on the horrors of war and the peace that has followed. The sights of the temple on Miyajima Island were also a very enjoyable to visit and hear Hugh's stories on the history. I would recommend Hugh to any traveller to this area. You'll get a lot more appreciation for this area with a guide than you would without one.
Hello James! It was a pleasure spending the day with you. Thanks so much for the glowing review. Best regards, Hugh
Our November 2019 guided tour in Hiroshima was a truly unique and memorable experience. We were on a Viking ocean cruise and used the standard ship’s tour on the first port day to visit the typical tourist sites (the Peace Park, etc.). We then had Hugh as a private guide on the second day. Unlike other native Japanese tour guides, communication was a breeze as Hugh is a native Australian. But Hugh also was fluent in Japanese. What was especially delightful was that Hugh first took us to a fabulous shrine complex that was well off of the beaten path. In fact, Hugh was just a bit upset that there were a handful of other tourist as he thought of the site as more his private respite. A standard feature of the entire day was Hugh’s ability to inform us about both the history of the sites we visited and, perhaps more importantly, Japanese cultural aspects. We left the tour with an enhanced and very insight understanding of how the Japanese think and act. And I would be remiss if not mentioning our lunch. We ask Hugh to pick a restaurant for a more traditional meal. We ended up a local establishment where, after passing through an outdoor seating area with a waterfall view and locals cooking their food, we sat down inside on stools. Speaking Japanese, Hugh was able to explain the dishes and order for all of us. This was truly a memorable meal! In case it is not obvious from the above, we highly recommend selecting Hugh on a future tour.
We had one day in Hiroshima and Hugh did a great job showing us the places.. it was a very informative but not tiring trip. Thanks Hugh