November 25, 2022

Employees Experience Rice Harvesting – Original Japanese Sake Brewing Project

Employees Experience Rice Harvesting – Original Japanese Sake Brewing Project

In the spring of 2022, we started the Shimadzu Original Japanese Sake Brewing Project. Since being planted in June, the rice has grown well and was harvested on October 8. With the taste profile and direction decided, the project continues to move toward completion of the first sake in early 2023!


Original Sake for Customers and Local Industry

The Shimadzu Original Japanese Sake Brewing Project is promoted in collaboration with the Kyoto Municipal Institute of Industrial Technology and Culture, and Shoutoku Shuzo brewery. In addition to providing hospitality to our customers, we aim to revitalize the local sake industry and create new value through cross-industrial exchange.

On June 4, 2022, employees enjoyed the experience of planting rice at Tanba Nishiyama, a rice farmer in Ayabe City, Kyoto Prefecture, and the event was featured in “SHIMADZU TODAY.

Employees Experience Rice Harvesting

On October 8, employees harvested rice in the rich natural environment of Ayabe, where the rice fields were tinted gold all over.

Rice growing well 

On the same day, they also toured Tanba Nishiyama’s facilities and had the opportunity to learn about rice quality control and distribution.

Tour of Tamba Nishiyama's facilities 

A plan to offer a souvenir set of sake and pickles has also been launched, and a new workshop to make Nukazuke (vegetables pickled in rice bran) was held for employees at the Sanjo branch of the Kyo Tsukemono Mori Japanese pickle store near the Shimadzu Head Office, broadening the harmonious relationships.

A Two-Way Approach from both a Sensory and Scientific Standpoint

The taste profile and direction of the original sake were also determined through tastings by the parties involved in the project. The sake will be made with rice grown in Kyoto and yeast produced by the Kyoto Municipal Institute of Industrial Technology and Culture to create a Junmai Ginjo class sake. The aim is to create a well-balanced sake with a beautiful aroma, suitable for use as an aperitif.

The sakes we tasted were analyzed using a Shimadzu liquid chromatograph mass spectrometer to detect and evaluate 153 components, such as amino acids, organic acids, and sugars, that determine taste. The scientific data will also be used for future brewing.

Thoughts of the Employee in Charge of the Project

Here are some comments from the person in the General Administration Department who is in charge of this project.

The participants shared their delight over the growth of the plants when they saw how well the rice plants had grown. The members shared responsibility for harvesting the rice, showing their good teamwork as “Team Shimadzu.”

President Nishiyama of Tanba Nishiyama, who was born and raised in Ayabe City, introduced the region and showed his passion for rice farming. We could feel his personality and sense of mission to protect the community. I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to experience growing rice here.

Now, it’s time to make sake! The rice is polished and shipped from Ayabe to Fushimi.

Thank you, Tanba Nishiyama! And thank you, too, Shoutoku Shuzo for your wonderful sake brewing!

Rice harvesting by employees 

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