Regarding with the famous production area of sake, the first place is Hyogo prefecture, the second is Kyoto prefecture.
Hyogo prefecture and Kyoto prefecture
Because Hyogo prefecture and Kyoto prefecture are concentrating major brews, only these two prefectures produce about half the total quantity. Famous sake in Hyogo prefecture are Ozeki, Nihonsakari, Hakutsuru, they in Kyoto Prefecture are Gekkeikan, Shocikubai, Kizakura and so on.
Nada located in Kobe City of Hyogo Prefecture, has developed a sake rice suitable for sake brewing in bay area that surrounds Rokko and Osaka bays leading to Nishinomiya Imazu. Establishing rice washing waterwheel which can polish the rice in large quantities and good quality water like Miyamizu, made Hyogo prefecture as a suitable region for sake brewing.
Furthermore, having been a key point of transport also contributed a lot, because the old logistics used waterways. Fushimi in Kyoto Prefecture had full amount of underflow water from Momoyama hills, and also consumption area Kyoto city was located near, therefore Fushimi prosperous as the main point of water transport.
However, shipping to Edo has been smaller compared to Nada, so it seems to be the reason why Kyoto is 2nd in the current ranking. It can be said that not only the influence of superiority and inferiority of rice and water, but also the geographical condition has a big influence on sake producing area.
Suitable for production and easy distribution are the important conditions for being the general place with higher production volume. Niigata is the prefecture with No. 1 biggest amounts of breweries, Nagano Prefecture is No.2, Hyogo Prefecture is No.3. There are about 1,500 breweries in Japan.
As the ranking of brewing numbers, Niigata prefecture is top. Nagano prefecture which is suitable for sake brewing is the second place. On the other hand, the ranking that received gold prize in the nationwide new sake brewing appraisal is Fukushima, the second are Niigata and Yamagata at the same rate, and the fourth is Akita.
The nationwide sake brewery appraisal is that evaluates execution of liquor with respect to every brewing year on a nationwide scale. Fukushima has been awarded the top prize for three consecutive years. I think many people are surprised at the fact that Fukushima prefecture got many gold medals, although Fukushima isn’t ranked the best 3 in the brewing number and production volume.