Just over an hour by train from Shinjuku, the Godo area of Isehara, Kanagawa Prefecture, lives up to its name, which means “gate of the gods.” The mists rising from nearby Sagami Bay often shroud the peak in mysterious clouds, leading to the nickname Afuri-yama (Mount Rainfall). And tucked away in the lush foothills is Kikkawa Jozo, a century-old sake brewery that is gaining international acclaim. Founded in 1912 the AFURI Rainfall Pink gains its name from the nearby mountain, nicknamed “Afuriyama” or “Mt Rainfall” due to frequent precipitation.
This new style of sake is created by combining traditional processes with innovation, experimenting to find new flavours that delight. The brewery places sustainability at its core reducing waste by only polishing away 10% of the rice.
Kikkawa brewed water is hard water with a hardness of 150-160, which is rare in Japan and leads to its beautifully balanced crisp and complex taste as the yeasts can develop gently over many days.
TYPE: Speciality Junmai Ginjo Sake
COLOUR: Pale Salmon rose pink.
OUR TASTING NOTES: Light fragrance of flowers and rice flour with lemongrass and sugarcane sweetness this is such an exciting a new taste for Sake!
FOOD PAIRING: Seafood paella, Chicken pizza, Vegetarian and Vegan cuisines, Tempura and summer platters.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve chilled (8-12 ºC)
STORAGE: Store in a dry and cool place. Avoid direct sunlight.
SPECS: Brewery: Since 1912, six generations of the Kikkawa family combined the clear groundwater of Mt Oyama and carefully selected rice to create their sake, Kikuyu. But over the years tastes and demographics changed, and in 2020 they faced the very real danger of having to close the brewery, due to facing the lack of a koukeisha, or successor. It seemed like the sake brewery’s proud tradition was at an end.
Former architect Norimichi Goto was headhunted to take on the challenge of reinvigorating the brewery, “The brewery was on the brink of closing,” he recalls. “They hadn’t even ordered rice for the next season, which in the sake world is a clear sign of how desperate the situation was.”
A new direction has meant leaving behind the old unsustainable oil powered steamers and switching to newer more planet friendly technologies and this new mindset spills into their Sake making, Goto shared:
“We want to push the boundaries of sake, creating new varieties and bringing our products to new markets, to share the culture of sake with as many people as possible,”
Size: 720 ml
Rice polishing rate: 70%
Ingredients: water, rice, koji, yeast