Nada-Gogou, literally the “five villages of Nada,” refers to the five sake-producing areas in the cities of Kobe and Nishinomiya. Collectively, they are nationally renowned as one of the largest, most historical sake-producing regions in Japan.
The history of Nada-Gogou‘s sake production can be traced back to the early 1700s. It originally began in Nishinomiya, and documents from the Muromachi Period (1338-1573) described the region’s sake to be among the country’s finest. In the following decades, breweries established in the Nada area – many of which still stand today – contributed to the boom of Nada sake, which can be seen to be served at the Nobel Prize Ceremony Banquet.
Most will give the credit to Mount Rokko, which is where two of the most important ingredients of Nada sake come from: the mineral-heavy Miyamizu water, and brewer’s rice made from Yamada Nishiki short-grain rice that is grown there.
In Nada-Gogou, many sake breweries operate, over a span of approximately three kilometers east to west. Some open stores feature exhibition rooms that are open to the public, and allow guests to try experience sake tasting and a brewery tour.
When you visit Kobe during the Rugby World Cup 2019, be sure to make a stop at one of these breweries and try a sake tasting, and learn about this facet of Japanese culture!