Kagura Brewing


Kamogawa Brewery, which brews the Kagura brand, is located in a place surrounded by the 36 peaks of the Higashiyama mountain range and is rich in nature. Nearby are the Yoshida Shrine, the Shimogamo Shrine (a World Heritage Site), and the Kyoto Imperial Palace. You can feel the breath of history here.
At the same time, educational facilities such as Kyoto University and Doshisha University are in the immediate vicinity,
Kyoto is also a renowned cultural and active city with consulates and art centers.
The Kamogawa River, which is just a short walk from the brewery, has undergone various changes over the years and is now a place of relaxation.

Matsui Sake Brewery has not always brewed sake in Kyoto.
During the mid-Edo period (1603-1867), there are records that indicate our sake was brewed in what is currently known as Kami City in Hyogo Prefecture. At that time, the family prospered not only brewing sake but also in the shipping business out of the port of Kasumi. The brewery was subsequently moved to Kyoto in the latter half of the Edo period.
There were both good and bad times.
However, this long history of continuous brewing has led to the current Matsui Sake Brewery.
We think that this history is also at the root of the taste of our sake.

There was a time from the end of the Showa era (1926-1989) to the late Heisei era (1989-2019) when brewing sake had to be suspended due to location issues.
In 2009, however, the Kamogawa Brewery was revived at our current location. Although it may look like a new brewery with the latest equipment, it is, in fact, very traditional.
Starting with the washing of the rice, the brewing process is done entirely by hand.
However, we do employ modern methods such as temperature and hygiene control to improve the quality and taste of the sake.
Lastly, about 60% of our electricity is provided by environmentally-friendly solar power.

We believe that the maturation process of sake is a barometer of how much the brewery loves its sake.
In order to make high quality sake, it is indispensable to prepare an environment where microorganisms such as aspergillus and yeast can properly grow. To make this possible, Kamogawa Brewery utilizes thermal tanks that can be used to ferment at low temperatures enabling the sake after pressing to mature slowly and reasonably.
Our sake is stored in a refrigerator kept at -5℃ all year round.
In addition, LED lights are used in the brewery and in our shop to prevent deterioration due to ultraviolet rays.
Sake is brewed with the help of microorganisms and aged over time.
"Become a beloved sake!" "Become a delightful sake!" We humbly undertake sake brewing so that you can sense the feelings of the maker in a sake blessed by nature.


Kamogawa Brewery brews with "rice suitable for sake brewing".
With local production for local consumption as our first priority, we mainly use Kyoto-produced "Iwai" and "Gohyakumangoku" rice varietals.
Although all of the rice grains may look similar, as you proceed with the preparation, you will find that each rice variety has its own individuality. We flexibly adjust the rice polishing rate, rice washing / soaking time, water temperature, koji making, fermentation temperature and period according to that individuality.
That is an indicator of the depth of sake brewing.
If there are interesting varieties, not only from Kyoto, we are always eager to learn.

Making sake in urban areas can be difficult.
Matsui Sake Brewery has not been immune to the wave of urbanization and there was a time when it affected production. However, with the support of the community, we are particular about rice and strive to make a sincere sake.
The current brewery that was revived in 2009 has been gradually bearing fruit and the number of contract farmers who support us is increasing.

Water Well

It is said that the amount of groundwater stored under Kyoto is comparable to that of Lake Biwa, the largest in Japan. Over the years, the rain that falls on Mt. Hiei is filtered to remove impurities. It is also said that the Miyamizu of the Kyoto Imperial Palace and Naosumimizu of Shimogamo Shrine have the same water veins.
Our water is pumped from 50 meters underground.

Water defines the individuality of the brewery.
Hard water or soft water - what is the content of minerals and iron?
Matsui's well water has an average hardness of 35mg/l, and is an ultra-soft water with a very low mineral content (for example, Evian has 304mg/l.)
Sake made from this water can be soft and gentle but the fermentation tends to be weaker. This is where the maker's skill is revealed.
We strive to provide safe and secure products without failing to inspect water quality.
In fact, a founder of Matsui Sake Brewery, Jiemon Matsui, once dug a well to save the village during a water drought.
We consider the well in front of the brewery to be local property available for everyone to use freely.

Brewery Staff

At the beginning of the revival of Kamogawa Brewery in 2009, we studied under Mr. Ryozo Michitaka, a well known brewmaster (Toji) of the Noto guild.
At first, sake brewing started with only two people, Mr. Michitaka and the managing director, but the number of brewers has gradually increased and now number five people. The managing director eventually become the President and also leads Kamogawa Brewery as Toji. During busy periods, local student part-timers also play an active role.
Every year, some students report that their part-time job experience in sake brewing was helpful for job hunting and interviewing.
That is always a happy moment for us. A brewery is where you can truly feel the sake making craft.

You can experience the daily life of the brewers here.