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Blessed with abundant nature, Niseko has some of the best water in Hokkaido, so much so that people come from afar to get it. Many local sakes made with this water are attracting a lot of attention not just from Japanese, but also overseas visitors, and their popularity is increasing year on year. They make great souvenirs indeed. But first, try some in Niseko.

Where can I get it?

The sake is sold at hotel shops, gift shops, liquor stores in Kutchan and Niseko, supermarkets and drugstores. Available brands may vary by season, but local sake is fairly easy to obtain in Kutchan and Niseko. Some is served in restaurants in the area, so why not try some with great appetizers made with local ingredients?

Niseko (Niseko Shuzo)

Niseko Shuzo (translation: Niseko Brewery) is a historical brewery established in 1916, about five minutes' drive from Kutchan station. The brewery produces local brands including Niseko, Kutchan and Kyogoku. The especially popular brand Niseko comes in many varieties such as daiginjo-grade raw sake, pure raw rice sake, ginjo-grade pure rice sake, and special pure raw rice sake - all carefully made with Hokkaido rice.

Ezo no Homare (Niseko Shuzo)

Niseko Shuzo's Ezo no Homare is a hand-filled, non-heated raw sake, very popular because it's available only in winter. Live yeast in the sake generates gas, giving a slightly fizzy sensation, yet it retains the delightful sweetness of rice. It's a good sake to try if you've never thought sake was your thing.

Kurabitoshuu (Niseko Kurabitoshuu Rice Producers' Union, Niseko Resort Tourist Association)

Rice might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Niseko. So you might be surprised to hear that Niseko actually grows suisei, a variety of rice especially for sake. Kurabitoshuu is a sake made 100% with this rice from Niseko, designed and produced by the town's group of rice producers. It's only available locally in limited quantities, so grab it when you spot it!

Satsudora Niseko Hirafu branch

Satsudora is the major drugstore chain in Hokkaido. The Niseko Hirafu branch opened last season and sells liquor, including local sake and, if you're lucky, even premium shochu. Non-Japanese visitors can enjoy hassle-free shopping because in winter there will always be staff who speak English or Chinese.
It's also easy to get to, half way up the Hirafu Zaka slope.

Lucky Kutchan branch

A popular supermarket in Kutchan, with many long-stay overseas visitors during the snowsport season.
The supermarket has a huge variety of sake, a paradise for those who enjoy all kinds of drinks! You'll find local sake from Kutchan, plus local vegetables and seafood caught in nearby areas, as well as fresh ingredients to make your own appetizers. The supermarket also sells imported foods for overseas visitors.
photo & text: Natsuko Matsumura

Facility Information

Satsudora Niseko Hirafu branch

1F Hirafu 188, 188-9 Aza Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 044-0088
Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
Open every day during the winter season

Lucky Kuchan branch

1-1-11 Minami 2-jo Nishi, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 044-0032
Hours: 9:30 - 21:00
Open daily


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