Japan // Hokkaido //

Asahikawa’s sake breweries

The pure waters flowing off Daisetsu-zan are one reason that Asahikawa has long had a flourishing sake industry. To sample some of the local product, head to the Takasago Sake Brewery (高砂酒造; Mon–Sat 9am–5.30pm, Sun 9am–5pm; w www.takasago-sake.co.jp), set in a traditional wooden building around ten minutes’ walk east of Asahikawa Station. They’ve been making sake here since 1899 and from late January to early March they have a tradition of building an ice dome in which some of their sakes are fermented. If you have more time, head 6km north of the city centre to the Otokoyama Sake Brewery and Museum (酒造り資料館; daily 9am–5pm; w www.otokoyama.com), where you can also taste the award-winning rice wines for free. Buses #67, #70, #71 and #667 from platform 18 in front of the JR station will get you here.

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