The Great Yamaguchi Sakagura Project

Something that I’ve been working on sort of unofficially, that I’m actually bringing into the “official” part of work, is an exhaustive index of all of the kura in Yamaguchi prefecture, where I identify and map them, try their sakes, and eventually visit them.

The mapping part would be easier if the Hiroshima bureau of the National Tax Agency would release a map of local kura like all the other areas of Japan (available from this page (in English): Information on Liquor Administration), but alas, they appear uninterested in making my life easier.

It’s a fairly modest project, as such things go, complicated only by the fact that I have paying work to do, and a family that likes to see my face on weekends, but I’m still making some progress.

How much progress? Well, so far I have identified 26 sakagura in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

I did this by going through the list of member breweries in the Yamaguchi Sake Brewer’s Association (Japanese language only), of course, but wonder of wonders, I know for a fact that there is at least one local brewery, Otoko Jiman, that isn’t on their page. This certainly seems to suggest there may be more, so that means I have to do some digging to make sure none are missing from my list.

Of that list, I have tried sakes from 16 breweries, although to be honest some of them are fairly far in the past. Naturally, I haven’t reviewed them all here, but I’ll get around to it. There’s always more to be drunk…

I have also visited 3 of them.

Here’s a simple chart. The geographically inclined might notice that the western half of Yamaguchi, from Shimonoseki to Nagato, is not well covered except for Hagi. That’s because all those breweries are fairly small production, and don’t have good distribution on this side of the prefecture. But be at ease! On my recent trip I actually picked up sake from four of those breweries, so when I get them drunk I’ll take a big chunk off my list!

A chart of Yamaguchi sakagura.
As of July, 2018. Sakes purchased but not yet tasted are not listed.


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