Chitosetsuru is prepared at the Nipponseishu brewery called Tanchokura using underground water of the Toyohira River that is known as "another Toyohira River flowing underground."
Spokeswoman Kushibiki Haruka says, "We cannot leave this place.” This abundant, clean water is a hard-to-replace asset.
As new urban development proceeded in Sapporo when the Hokkaido Development Agency was established in 1869, the population of the village increased. Shibata Yojiuemon, who had migrated from Ishikari in 1870, began selling home-brewed sake in 1872.
Yojiuemon's home-brewed sake was sold to workers on rafts that went up and down the Sosei River. It developed a good reputation even among officials of the development commission and Yojiuemon set up a sake brewery. This was the beginning of full-fledged sake brewing in Sapporo.
Yojiuemon and other brewers came together in 1897 to establish the Sapporo Brewing Unlimited Partnership (a predecessor of Nippon Seishu) near Minaim 3-jo Higashi 5-Chome. Local sake has continued to be produced in that spot ever since.
Every year from late November to March, white water vapor rises from a tall chimney at Tanchokura.
Water that has flowed underground for a long time becomes new sake at this brewery that has carved out a history on the banks of the river.
Chitosetsuru Sake Museum
At this museum next to the Nipponseishu brewery Tanchokura, posters and other precious materials that tell the history of Nipponseishu are on display. Visitors can sample many products on sale and the water used at the brewery.
1 Minami 3-jo Higashi 5-chome, Chuo-ku Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Hours: 10:00 to 18:00
Closed: Year-end and New Year holidays