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

  •   Highly recommend this tour. Kotaro was the perfect guide and incredibly knowledgeable. A great opportunity to learn the complexities of the sake varieties and brewing process.

    thumb Coastal02482194200
    10/13/2019
  •   Thanks for the nice Sake Experience. We really liked the setup to find the right sake for you and how to recognise it in the shop or on a menu. We tasted sake in combination with food, which brought a nice extra layer to the...More

    thumb Martijnv1135
    10/12/2019
  •   This was definitely a worthwhile experience to both learn about and enjoy sake. I came away knowing much better about my sake preferences and how to find them!

    thumb TS7521
    10/12/2019
  •   This is an excellent way to learn about sake. We can now read a sale label and understand what we are looking at plus we know what type of sake we like. Well worth the money.

    thumb PamelaBM1959
    10/12/2019
  •   A very informative experience. I learned a lot about how sake is produced, how the taste varies, and how to choose which sake to purchase. The best part was obviously the sake tasting, which included some quite unique varieties. The guide was very well-informed and...More

    thumb Courtney C
    10/11/2019
  •   Kotaro and Marika were fantastic guides on this interesting and informative tour. Had a great time learning more about the Nihonshu-making process (sake just means alcohol in Japanese), the history of it in Fushimi, the different types of Nihonshu, and how to pair food with...More

    thumb alexaroundworld
    10/09/2019
  •   This was the most educational tour I think I have ever been on! Not only did I learn so much about Sake and Japanese culture and history, but it was also great value for money. I highly recommend the 3 hour tour, we almost went...More

    thumb kjonsson2015
    10/08/2019
  •   We booked last minute onto this tasting and only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner on our trip around Japan. Kotaro was a great host. We learnt about “mouth seasoning” , how best to drink sake and how its taste also changes with...More

    thumb KerryQ24
    10/08/2019
  •   We visited the Kyoto Insider Sake Experience (KISE) as a large group of 6 people (two couples and grown children - drinking age in Japan is 20, so this isn't for kids or teens). We were all eager to learn a bit more about a...More

    thumb PKRead26
    10/07/2019
  •   We had initially been unable to attend, but Kotaro was so kind, and we had been able to reschedule for another day, and we're so happy for it!!! It was so much fun tasting all the sake, and figuring out how to read the labels,...More

    thumb thisisnichie
    10/07/2019

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