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Mikunihare Sake Brewery

In 1887 (Meiji 20), the brewery was named Ïwase Shuzo”, however in the following era (Showa), the name was changed to “Mikunihare Shuzo”. During this era, Japan was gaining momentum as a country in the ongoing wars against China and Russia. Hence, the change in name to “Mikunihare”, which describes Japan being bright and sunny.

The brewery buildings were built in the Meiji era (1868 – 1912). They are still in use today for making sake by hand. The establishment nestled in the Hokuriku Region surrounded by bountiful scenic beauty. In Spring, there is a snowmelt waterfall called “Tsurugiootaki” deep in the Kurobe Gorge. Because it is so secluded, the people could not reach the waterfall in the olden days but could hear the sound of the waterfall. At Mikunihare Sake Brewery, the sake is brewed using the water from Tsurugiootaki, hence the brand name is called “Maboroshi no Taki” - Maboroshi means phantom and taki means waterfall.

Plenty of spring water from the Kurobe river is used and the water is acknowledged as one of the 100 best natural waters in Japan. The snowmelt water from the Northern Japan Alps, where 3000m high mountains tower over the surrounding area. The water first filters into the soil, then slowly flow towards Toyama Bay and naturally springs from a town called Ikuji. This water is called “Shozu” and the literal translation of the kanji character is “clean water”. Shozu is also acknowledged as one of the 100 best natural water sources in Japan. One of the Shozu in the Ikuji area is the Iwase family shozu and is on the property of Mikunihare Sake Brewery, At Mikunihare, this exquisite water is used liberally, along with local rice to produce sake. Mikunihare Sake Brewery is the only brewery in Jpan with natural spring water in the top 100 and recognized by the Ministry of the Environment.