Where The Rain Falls

Where The Rain Falls
Tanzawa Oyama. Even on a clear day at the foot of the mountain, the summit is often covered with fog and haze, and has been called Mt. Afuri-yama (rainy mountain) since ancient times.

Along with the Oyama-Afuri Shrine, Mt. Afuri-yama has historically been known as a place of worship (place of faith) for rain.

The raindrops that fall on the trees soak into the ground and over many years slowly stream from the summit to the foot of the mountain.

The name of the brand name "Afuri" is, of course, derived from this. The Oyama Afuri Shrine enshrines the god of sake brewing, Saketoke, and has watched over Kikkawa Jozo since its establishment.

The character for "雨降" on the label was written by a priest of the Oyama Afuri Shrine as an expression of gratitude for water.

Water is a Blessing

Water is a Blessing
The Kikkawa Jozo has been around for over100 years in Isehara city of Godo area. Godo stands for "God's door".Even if the world or the surrounding landscape changes, the sacred mountain and the blessed rain that falls there will not change.

At Kikkawa Jozo, we use high-quality water that springs abundantly from gushing wells used for washing rice and also brewing water.

With the advancement of distribution ,ordering the best rice for sake brewing from all over the country has become possible, but that is not the case with water.

That is why it is said that the water required to make sake is about 50 times the mass of rice, and that water is known as a gift in the world of sake brewing.

Water Makes Sake Dignified

Water Makes Sake Dignified
" Hard water " is water that contains a lot of minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Kikkawa brewed water is hard water with a hardness of 150-160, which is rare in Japan. It shows how long the water has been polished in the process of soaking into the ground at the foot of the mountain.

Today, it is a common theory that soft water is suitable for sake brewing, but that is not the case.

Hard water promotes yeast fermentation and can be brewed even at low temperatures, producing a refreshing and beautiful sake quality.

Today, Kikkawa Jozo's sake is highly regarded as a sake with high "Minerality", especially in foreign countries.

Our Challenge

Our Challenge
For example, the challenge of producing "unpolished " sake.

When sake is made, the rice is usually polished to a "fairly high" degree. The percentage of rice remaining after the brown rice surface is polished away is called the "rice polishing ratio". The Ginjo standard polishing ratio requires 60%, and the Daiginjo standard requires 50% or less.

Although this means that more than half of the rice is "discarded," it is not uncommon to find sake with a rice polishing ratio of 20% or less. It is said that the lighter the rice, the lighter the flavor, producing a more ginjo aroma. A widespread concept of "the lower the rice polishing ratio, the higher the quality of the sake" is not surprising.

This is because the outer shell of the rice contains many components such as amino acids and proteins that tend to give the finished sake a miscellaneous taste. By removing these components beforehand, it is easier to achieve a "clear" sake quality.

At Kikkawa Jozo, however, we have taken on the challenge of making sake that is unpolished (90% rice polishing rate).

This is because we want to bring out all the elements of the rice to deepen the flavor of the sake. It is meaningless if the sake tastes strange and bland, and experiments have shown that this blandness can be suppressed if the sake is brewed slowly at a very low temperature.

Although this process takes twice as much time and effort, all elements of the rice have been reconstructed to form a beautiful tasting sake that cannot be obtained anywhere else. We hope you will take note of the back label which expresses the thoughts of Kikkawa Jozo.