Aug. 18, 2020 UPDATE
Kinshi Masamune Horino Memorial Museum- キンシ正宗 堀野記念館 -
They not only provide pamphlets in English, but also all of the museum staff can speak English. Visitors can see a video in English explaining the sake making process.
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Story & Recommendation
Taste and learn about the history of sake in English at a 240 year old brewery
Kinshi Masamune, a brewer with a 240 year long presence in Kyoto, has opened its original site as the Kinshi Masamune Horino memorial museum. Though the current brewing site has moved to Fushimi in Kyoto, visitors can purchase and taste the mild sake renowned among Kyoto chefs for its pairing with Kyo-ryori, as well as beer that was originally brewed at this site. Inside, you can learn about the history of Kinshi Masamune sake, through pictures and exhibits about the brewing equipment. All exhibits include English explanations so people from all over the world can learn about the history of Kinshi masamune. We’re certain that the Sake will taste even more delicious after learning about its history. This memorial museum offers a rare opportunity to explore all of the nooks and crannies of "Machiya" (traditional Japanese house). You cannot help but appreciate the ingenuity of the people, who lived without the technology of today, and what creative ways they managed to come up with to improve the brewing process. Kinshi Masamune would be delighted to have you come and sample the history of Kyoto sake made at this Kyoto machiya.
This sakagura (cellar) was used roughly 200 years ago until the brewery moved to Fushimi. The storehouse remains as it was built during the Edo Period (1603-1868), allowing you to slip through time while viewing the faded floorboards and ceilings. The exhibition inside the storehouse contains a map of the surrounding neighborhood at the time of its establishment as well as an authentic permit from the national government, a document which is hard even for present-day Japanese to read. Now it can be appreciated more as a piece of art than as an official document.
The former residence of the Horino family
See the interior of the Kyoto machiya. A precious space preserved for over a hundred years ago is great for taking pictures. On the second floor there is a room that once hosted numerous banquets. The sliding fusuma in this room are not decorated with paintings, so as not to distract from the beauty of the maiko and geiko during their performances. Even now it feels as if a banquet is about to begin here. This simple Kyoto machiya offers a simple, historic space, bringing on a feeling of relaxation you might have when visiting a temple or shrine.
Momonoi (a well)
A well that has existed since the founding of the company 240 years ago. This water was used to make the sake before the brewery was moved to Fushimi. The water gushing from this well remains at 16 degrees Celsius throughout the year. Even now, the water is of the finest quality and visitors can feel free to taste it. The water is currently being used as an ingredient in an original beer. Beers (330ml for 540 yen) can be purchased at the specialty products corner; feel free to take some back to the hotel!
Kyoto specialty products corner
There is a souvenir corner where visitors can buy Kinshi masamune original sake, beer, and snacks. You can try four sake of the day samples, which the staff recommend with a variety of sake and beer, so you can try different products and get the one with just the right taste and aroma. The sake we recommend is Matsuya Kyube (180ml 1404 yen), named after the founder of Kinshimasamune. Because of its light flavor that comes from the umami of the condensed rice, it’s easy to drink even for those who don’t have much experience with sake. There are three varieties of beer (all 330ml 540 yen): the sour "Karuosu", the mild "Mattari", and the refined "kuroosu". Why not grab all three!
- Manner & Tips -
As the warehouse has been designated a National Cultural Property, visitors are advised to view the exhibits with care and to not touch exhibited items.
Though it is not necessary to remove footwear when entering the warehouse, please be sure to remove footwear when entering the Kyoto machiya.