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Japanese Sake Series: Hakutsuru Sake Brewery

Brewing Hakutsuru Sake

Through the production and sale of sake, Hakutsuru Sake Brewing has, since its founding, supported the food and social culture of people everywhere.

"To friendship, for all time"

This slogan expresses the spirit that Hakutsuru embodies in their approach to making good sake from generation to generation. It is meant to express their constant devotion to the craft and to the promotion of sake in culinary culture.

Company spirit

The company has seen major advances in brewing technology in recent years that have vastly improved the quality of sake and made it possible to supply sake with consistent quality all year round. At the same time, people's lifestyles have become much more diverse, mirroring the significant changes that have taken place in society.

Hakutsuru has felt these shifts over time and has remained steadfast in their pursuit of the excellent taste and quality that their customers demand. They actively incorporate technological advances to further improve quality and build upon the trustworthiness of the brand.

They are dedicated to developing products that meet the needs of consumers and promoting a collaborative sales approach, both efforts that aim to support culinary culture and good living well into the future.


History and background

Branding around 1878

Hakutsuru has been producing sake for over 275 years, making improvements along the way as well as overcoming moments of national adversity. Starting in 1743 with a timber merchant named Jihei Kano, Hakutsuru has seen low points, such as having buildings destroyed due to earthquakes and WWII; and high points, such as taking part in exhibitions at the World’s Fair in Paris and opening new branches in the United States and the United Kingdom.

 Hakutsuru’s essential ingredients

Rich Hakutsuru Sake

Nada, Kobe, has been their home since 1743 when the founder, Jihei Kano, began making sake.

The location is exceptionally well suited for Japan’s finest sake because of the confluence of four geographic elements: locally-grown sake rice, first-rate natural spring water, cold winds from the

Rokkō mountains and a Toji brewing culture more than a thousand years strong.

Great Rice

There is no sake production technology that can take precedence over the base ingredient – great rice. We use the traditional Yamada Nishiki strain –the ‘king of sake rice’- in many of their sake such as the Sho-Une. 

This century, they set about creating their own even more exceptional rice by crossbreeding Yamada with Tankan-Wataribune. It took eight years to create Hakutsuru Nishiki rice, which gained official registration from Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 2007.

WWhen this rice is made into sake,  it has a slightly sweet flavour and a delicate fullness.

Hakutsuru’s own rice

Special Water

Their best Sake contains Nada spring water, considered to be the finest water for making sake. This heavenly natural wonder comes from the rains that percolate from the Rokkō mountains.

Nada spring water

Cold Winds

A cold climate is needed to efficiently cool the hot steamed rice during sake production. Hakutsuru benefits from a natural cool breeze that blows down from the towering Rokkō Mountains towards the sea. Nada sake breweries are traditionally oriented so that wind enters the fermentation room directly from the north.

Hakutsuru's current branding

Hakutsuru has become one of Japan’s top sake producers and is now proud to be a leading sake exporter, with an exceptional product range that reaches 55 countries and regions.

With pride in their history, which spans more than 275 years, they continue to refine their production to deliver drinks loved by people around the world.



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