From the time of the company’s inception, Hakutaka has continually strived to preserve SAKE brewing traditions and culture as one of the Nada district SAKE breweries. Subsequently, Hakutaka Rokusuien opened in 2001 as a cultural facility with the aim of passing on various SAKE-related information both inside and outside of Japan.
The building is a replication of the house of Etsuzo Tatsuuma, founder of Hakutaka, which was built on this site approximately 130 years ago. The original house was burnt to the ground by an airstrike in 1945 during World War II. However, this traditional Japanese merchant house was reproduced based on pictures and sketches from those days before the war and fitted out to function as a modern museum open to the public. The main building, in the style of TORINIWA, includes a high ceiling and an earthen floor connecting the entrance and the back yard. This was the typical design of merchant houses in the Hanshin district. During construction, efforts were made to re-use old materials. Lumber in the main building such as pillars were from old houses throughout Japan that were built more than 100 years ago. Fittings preserved from the old Tatsuuma family house were also used. The unique blend of modern and ancient architectures gives the new building a profound atmosphere.
Hakutaka Rokusuien includes a souvenir shop, restaurant, bar, multi-purpose hall and tea ceremony room. In addition, there are exhibition rooms for traditional brewing tools as well for displaying daily household goods used by the Tatsuuma family.
A special ambiance is created through a kaleidoscope of various information related to SAKE, including an introduction to the life style and culture of traditional brewers as well as how to enjoy SAKE with different foods. A range of SAKE is available for sale and taste testing.
The name of “Hukutaka” means white hawk. Hawks are considered the king of birds. This kingly distinction was combined with the “whiteness” that shows SAKE’s purity.
Hakutaka is located in Nada, a famous SAKE producing area spread out along 12 kilometers of the seacoast between Osaka and Kobe. It is divided into 5 regions called NADA-GO-GO which means 5 villages. Nada has been famous as a good SAKE producing area since long ago, but had become the best throughout the whole country in the beginning of the 19th century when it established some unique methods that fit the local climate and environment. One of them is KIMOTO-ZUKURI which is the technique first established during the Edo period in Nada, and the origin of sake production. This method dictates that no artificial ingredients are added and only the natural microorganisms are used and skillfully controlled to make SAKE.
It is said that in the late Edo period (mid 19th century), 90% of SAKE produced countrywide was consumed in Edo (now Tokyo), which was the biggest consuming city in the country.
The most remarkable characteristic of SAKE from Nada is its rich taste. Water plays an important role in deciding the taste of SAKE. We have used MIYAMIZU, which is special spring water that can be found in some parts of Nishinomiya. MIYAMIZU contains a lot of minerals that are ideal for fermenting sake, and produces the rich taste.
Hakutaka was established in 1862 by founder Etsuzo Tatsuuma in Nishinomiya, the oldest district of NADA-GO-GO. Because he was a relative new comer to Nada, he tried to make outstanding SAKE which was different from others.
Etsuzo aimed at only the best quality from the beginning. MIYAMIZU pumped up from Hakutaka’s eight wells and the traditional KIMOTO-ZUKURI method enabled Hakutaka to produce pure SAKE unique to Nada, and he made every possible effort to continually enhance the quality.
For instance, he searched for the best rice and gave financial support to rice producers in Yokawa, Hyogo for further improvement. Nowadays, Hakutaka uses rice called Yamada-Nishiki from Yokawa, the best quality brand of SAKE rice through a close relationship with producers in Yokawa that has continued for over 100 years.
Through these efforts and hard work to maintain quality, Hakutaka received a high reputation as “the best quality SAKE in Japan” in 1890, only 30 years after the foundation of the company. Hakutaka became known worldwide when it received the grand-prix award for the liqueur category at the Expo in Paris in 1900.
The high reputation of the quality led Hakutaka to receive an honor as the only official sake supplier for Ise Shrine, the head shrine of the whole country. Hakutaka SAKE delivered to Ise Shrine has been offered to the deities every morning and night since 1924.
There is an old Chinese saying which means that fragrance of peach flowers attracts people without saying anything, so that the paths leading to the peach trees are created naturally.
This was founder Etsuzo’s motto, and has been the company motto ever since. It describes that painstaking effort to produce better SAKE naturally attracts people to it.
SAKE is a representative culture of Japan, and reflects the soul of Japanese people who have lived with a reverence for nature. This has also influenced the development of Japanese cuisine, which has been passed down through the generations with traditional social customs.
It is said that SAKE is a work of art created by Japanese people. We are honored to be able to succeed the tradition and pass it to future generations.
Souvenir shop “Birokuichi"
Various seasonal SAKE and foods are available for purchase. SAKE coming directly from our brewery is also on sale here.
Foods from many areas of Japan have been selectively chosen to match SAKE. SAKE vessels are also available to enhance and liven up daily meals.
Special Offer: Seasonal SAKE set 1000 yen
Enjoy three different kinds of SAKE recommended for the season.
Three kinds of SAKE (180cc total), one small food dish
House of Hakutaka Family
Seasonal events and daily life of SAKE brewers prior to World War II are introduced through exhibitions of daily household items used by the Tatsuuma Family (family of the founder of Hakutaka) from the latter half of the 19th century to the first half of 20th century.
Etsuzo Tatsuuma, founder of Hakutaka, built his house near the brewery around 1890 and four generations of the Tatsuuma family lived there until the buildings were damaged by the war in 1945.
Some daily items and tools were kept in a storehouse that wasn’t destroyed during the war. These items and tools used by four generations of the Tatsuuma family are on display and help reproduce the old scenes of daily life from the end of Edo period until World War II.
Household items and tools have been kept in very good condition and visitors can get a glimpse at how well they cared for these items and tools used in their daily life as well as on special occasions such as seasonal events and welcoming special guests.
Exhibitions of traditional scenes are changed by season to introduce Japanese seasonal events. It is our great pleasure if visitors can understand deeply about traditions and culture of Nada Sake Breweries through this exhibition showing a brewer’s daily life and cultural favorites.
Traditional SAKE brewing tools used at Hakutaka until around 1960 are exhibited together with documents related to Shinto rituals at Ise Shrine. SAKE brewed by Hakutaka has been chosen exclusively as sacred SAKE offered to the deities. This exhibition will help visitors understand the efforts in and passion for SAKE brewing by Hakutaka since it was founded.
Visitors will also get a glimpse of how Japanese people enjoyed SAKE in olden times through the exhibition of various old SAKE vessels.
Tokyo Chikuyo-tei Nishinomiya Branch
See homepage of Chikuyo-tei restaurant for more details (http://www.chikuyotei.com/nishinomiya-en.html )
Address : 5-1, Kurakake-cho, Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo