The taste and quality of sake depends on the rice and water used in production. Hakkaisan has worked hard over many years to secure the best possible rice for sake production. Obtaining excellent water, on the other hand, has required no such effort, because the region is blessed with an abundance of good groundwater. Hakkaisan uses water from a source renowned in the region for its particular deliciousness. Local residents treasure it as "a gift of pure water from the God of thunder." Hakkaisan also honors a particular God, the God of sake-making. A corner of each Hakkaisan brewery houses a shrine at which candles and foodstuffs are regularly dedicated to the God.
Muikamachi is a small town located at the heart of this snowy country. The town is now linked to Tokyo by a highway and the bullet train. Along with traditional agriculture, tourism has become a major industry, and winter sports and spas attract many visitors. Uonuma's cooking rice is widely known as the tastiest in Japan. It is also the most expensive.
If you take a bullet train from Tokyo bound for Niigata, you will notice after you pass through a long tunnel that the landscape has changed dramatically, particularly if you make the trip in winter. Tokyo is fairly dry, dusty, and harsh in winter. But, on exiting the tunnel, you are greeted by a new world blanketed in soft snow. Nobel-Prize-winning novelist Yasunari Kawabata expressed the surprise and beauty of the transition in his novel "Snow Country." When he visited the region, it was by steam locomotive.
When you come to Japan, you may find Kyoto and Nara interesting places to visit. However, this beautiful, snowy country will also give you an unforgettable impression of your trip to Japan.

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Hakkaisan Brewery owns only three sakagura, sake breweries. The company is not particularly large, and it employs only about 40 people. The brewing tanks are also much smaller than those of the large-scale brewers. Modern techniques enable some companies to produce the same volume as Hakkaisan with fewer people by using larger tanks and computer control. However, this approach does not fit Hakkaisan's philosophy. Hakkaisan firmly believes that a computer system is no substitute for the brewer's knowledge and experience.


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