5 Best Sake Tour in Kyoto You Cannot Miss

Welcome to the World of Sake!

Sake is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice. In Japanese, it is usually called ‘nihonshu’(日本酒), because in Japanese, generally, sake can also refer to alcohol itself. In Japan, the habit of drinking sake is widespread and available in most types of restaurants and eateries. And as interest in Japanese cuisine has grown internationally, sake has begun to become a popular drink throughout the world.

The basis for delicious sake is fine rice, clean water, koji mold and yeast. They are combined and fermented in an accurate process that has been refined for centuries.

kyoto fushimi canal

Why You should Join a Sake Tour in Fushimi Kyoto?

The Fushimi District of Kyoto has prospered as a prominent area of sake brewing since the latter half of the 16th century. It was when the area was a renowned castle town within Japan. People know the area of Fushimi originally as “伏流水”, or ‘underground water’ in English. The area has good quality ‘underground water’ flows freely and citizens like royals and samurai, as well as the Emperor himself had loved it for over periods. In such a place, so significant in the history of Japan, Fushimi sake was born. Any attempt to understand Kyoto’s incredibly rich culture is best accompanied by a taste of Fushimi’s sake – something which will bring history a little closer.

Check Before You Book a Tour

– Is Your Guide an Expert? If you are joining a wine tasting tour, would you choose a general city tour guide to have a specialized experience of wine tasting? You would look for a wine expert if you want to really learn about wine. It would work just the same way for sake. Tour guides without an expert knowledge of sake would not be able to provide the any better information than the superficial knowledge. Finding an expert guide specialized on sake is the best way to start learning sake as well as deepen your knowledge.

– Is Your Guide Based in Kyoto? With the operators based in Fushimi Sake District, you would be able to experience something different – such as trying sake that can only be tasted locally. On the other hand, if it is a sake tour with few connections in Fushimi Sake District, you may not be able to have a deep experience.

What Kind of Sake Tour is Available in Kyoto?

Kyoto Insider Sake Experience – Tour Option : 3 hours (8500 JPY) or 1.5 hours (6000 JPY)

– Includes carefully selected 10 sake tasting and food for ‘food pairing’ with sake

– Tour is available everyday except Tuesday

– Specializes in sake tours

– Only Company Based in Fushimi Sake District, Kyoto

Arigato Food Tours – Tour Option : 3 hours ( 131 USD)

– Includes several sake tasting and lunch – General food tour operator

– Based in Tokyo

WAK JAPAN – Tour Option : Fushimi Inari and Sake Brewery Tour ( 3.5 hours, 20,088 JPY) or Sake Tasting (45 minutes / 8208 JPY )

*Price for solo participation *Kinds of sake is not mentioned in the website

– Comprehensive tour operator – Based in Kyoto

Kampai Sake Tours – Tour Option : 3 hours (10000 JPY)

– Includes over 25 cups of sake – Specializes in sake tours

– Based in Osaka

Magical Trip – Tour Option : 3 hours (9600 JPY)

– Includes 22 kinds of sake

– Comprehensive tour operator – Based in Tokyo

Let’s Find Out What You will Experience in the Sake Tour in Kyoto

Kyoto Insider Sake Experience specializes only in the tours of sake in Kyoto and has partnership with local sake breweries in Fushimi District. Sake tastes good without having knowledge but it tastes much better if you have a better understanding of sake varieties and sake-making process.

Tour Information

Tour & Price : 3 hours – 8500 JPY 1.5 hours – 6000 JPY *1.5 hours tour does not include brewery visit
Available Date & Start Time : Everyday except Tuesday Starts at 10:00, 13:00, 15:00, 18:30 Please see booking page for the real-time availabilities.
Venue : Fushimi District in south Kyoto – 13 min from JR Kyoto Station – 16 min from Gion-Shijo Station

Here’s what you can do by joining the Kyoto Insider Sake Experience.

Insider Sake Brewery Tour

You will visit sake museum/brewery with an English speaking guide and discover the history of sake and the Fushimi Sake District of Kyoto whilst touring a traditional brewer and come to understand the differences in flavour and smell and how these are produced. You’ll focus on the secret methods of sake brewing which have been passed down for generations.

Sake Tasting with an Expert

All sake tastings you get in Kyoto Insider Sake Experience are carefully selected to help better understanding when learning sake. Through our expert-lead tasting session you’ll get the chance to learn the unique characteristics of different varieties of sake. Also discover which type you most prefer and how to identify your favourites on menus and bottle labels. A guide will help you notice the difference in taste between ‘junmai’ sake (which has no added alcohol or sugar) and alcohol-added sake. Guide will also explain the effects of polishing rice on scent and flavour. Pure sake, refined sake, cloudy sake, aged sake – we’ll help you discover the distinguishing characteristics of each type. You will get a ‘cheatsheet’ in the tour, which helps you to remember what you learn and to buy a bottle at the sake shop on your own.

Food Pairing

Many of participants surprise how much food can lift sake – find the way the taste of sake can completely change when paired with different dishes. We hope that the food pairing section of our tour will also allow you to find a little about Japan’s food culture, as well as sake.

How to Reserve Sake Tour in Kyoto?

If you would like to join Kyoto Insider Sake Experience, simple book from official website. First choose a date that you want to join then online booking system will show you the available tour. Next select the tour time and number of members then continue to submit booking details. Once payment is completed, you will receive the confirmation Email. If you do not receive it, contact from here.

We are Sharing What We Love

Kyoto Insider Sake Experience is everyday pursuing what the best way is to get more people to learn basic knowledge of sake in a short tour and become fans of sake. Not to mention getting guests satisfied, what we value in particular is having a good relationship with local shops and sake breweries in the Fushimi area. We believe what the most important thing for tour hosts is to love the local area than anyone else and be an insider of what you do. Eventually, the love you have is transmitted to the guests who visit the area. We hope that our love in sake and Fushimi Kyoto would help creating more opportunities for many people being fans of Fushimi as well as sake from Kyoto. Thank you for reading and hope you get a wonderful sake experience in Kyoto! Photo credit @archela

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Our Sake Tour Reviews

  •   My husband and I did the sake experience in late January with Kotaro. We had a great time! It was educational, memorable, and truly unique. We got to learn how sake is made, what sake means to Japanese culture, and more importantly, we got to...More

    thumb Tesstastic
    2/17/2020
  •   Kotaro was our passionate, informed guide. Great balance of education, history and local knowledge, all culminating in a generous sake tasting at the brewery and matched with food in the family home. Make the time to do the 3 hour tour - well worthwhile!

    thumb gregostravels
    2/14/2020
  •   I’ve done beer and whiskey tours before but always wanted to find out more about nihonshu (Japanese sake). Kotaro San was very friendly and informative with a good sense of humor. Definitely would recommend this to anyone coming to Kyoto. We chose this over the...More

    thumb michaellW6020JR
    2/13/2020
  •   My friend and I had an amazing night with Kotaro as our guide. The tour was incredibly informative and interesting. The sake and food pairing was both delicious and enlightening. I highly recommend this experience. My only complaint is that I didn't take the time...More

    thumb ccuellar25
    2/10/2020
  •   This was my girlfriend and I’s first tasting tour and we can only hope that out others in the future will be as professional and well organized as this. Our group was a perfect size and the afterwards sake tasting and food paring was super...More

    thumb ndifel20
    2/10/2020
  •   I am not usually one to go on tours while on holiday, but I am so glad I tried this Kyoto Insider Sake Experience! It was very interesting and insightful, and both Kotaru and Marika (they have a very clever way of remembering their name...More

    thumb sn5
    2/09/2020
  •   My wife and I found a brochure in our hotel in Kyoto and this sake experience sounded interesting, when we got to the start location and meet Kotaro he was most welcoming to all the guests. During our experience he showed us how passionate/knowledgeable he...More

    thumb thomascT7727KP
    2/08/2020
  •   If you are visiting Kyoto, a town well known for sake, you have to join this experience. The tour has a good balance of being informative and interesting, my tour leader (Kotaro) is very professional and explains all I want but not too much (while...More

    thumb lancelotcym
    2/05/2020
  •   Kotaro-san was our guide and he is very meticulous in explaining the process and the different types of Sake. He shared many tips and it was very educating for us. We learnt so much, not only about sake, also about culture, location and history! Highly...More

    thumb momojellies
    2/03/2020
  •   Such an amazing tour- my husband I learned so much about sake and the Kyoto/fushimi area. This was by far the highlight of our Kyoto trip. Would recommend for anyone visiting the area!!

    thumb annabfoley
    2/03/2020

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