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Japanese Sake Series: Nakashima Sake Brewery

Nakashima brewery

Nakashima brewery’s adaptability and willingness to try new sake brewing methods has been instrumental in its fast international expansion.

Nakashima, a Japanese sake brewery, is located in the beautiful and mountainous Gifu prefecture, in the centre of Japan’s main island Honshu.

In 1702, the 1st generation head, Nakashima Kozaemon, started brewing sake by making use of the annual tribute rice. Later, in 1953, the 12th generation head of the family, Nakashima Kozaemon, established a corporation, which started brewing sake in 1997. They set out a plan to increase the ratio of ‘tokutei meishou’ (special premium sake).

Brewing process

In the year 2000, Nakashima launched a new signature brand: "Kozaemon". They released a total of 7 types of sake, mainly pure-rice and 3-year-old sake.

Two years later, Nakashima asked farmers to grow and harvest sake rice in Mizunami for  their sake. Using this locally-produced rice, named Mizunami rice, Nakashima started producing two types of "Kozaemon Junmai Ginjo". Not much later, they also started creating more aged sake, and entered competitions in the ‘pure rice’ category (e.g. 80% rice polishing rate). In 2009, Nakashima started using the traditional ‘Kimoto’ style of brewing using various types of rice, and from 2010, they also began using the famous ‘Yamada Nishiki’ rice.

Rice used by Nakashima

The year 2007 saw the start of Nakashima’s overseas export. By 2013, its overseas market had expanded to include deals with 24 countries such as France, Germany, Sweden, Taiwan, South Korea, USA, Australia, Singapore, and Thailand.

Nakashima’s products


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