About Us


about us

Established in 1849, Shimazaki Sake Brewery has a long history of brewing sake. It is well-known as The Cave Brewery in Japan. Shimazaki brewery ages their award-winning premium sake in a nearby cave, which was dug during WWII. Visitors can walk through the cave and sample their sake.


In 1849, Shimazaki Sake Brewery was founded in Nasukarasuyama, situated close to the Naka River, which begins at Mount Nasu in the northeastern part of Tochigi Prefecture. We have been brewing strong, rich sake that draws out the complex flavor of rice grown in a blessed natural environment.

Kumakichi, the second generation brewer and sumo enthusiast, named the sake “Azumai Rikishi,” meaning “Sumo of the East.” Our motto is “Azuma Rikishi, a famous sake that is unbeaten in a fight.” This is still the representative brand of our brewery.

We began a project to long-term age our sake in 1970. Since then, we have set aside a portion of each year’s Daiginjo without missing a year. By utilizing a natural cave as a warehouse for aging sake, we challenge ourselves to produce an interesting, new flavor of sake in a unique storage environment.

OUR water and rice

We use groundwater from the Nakagawa River, that flows from Mount Nasu, to brew our sake. This water produces sweet sake, ideally suited for the aging process. 100 years ago, there were as many as five breweries in the area competing for this water. 

About half of the sake rice is locally grown, and comes from within a 50 km radius of our brewery. Typical types of sake rice such as Gohyakumangoku and Yamadanishiki are grown in the prefecture. We also use specific varieties of sake rice that are grown only in Tochigi Prefecture, such as Tochigi no Hoshi, Hitogochi, and Yumesasara.

shimazaki sake brewery shop
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