We love Nagano. It’s just north of Tokyo, easy to access by train, and here you’ll find delicious food and great sake. Suwa is a city that is accessible from Tokyo by train, about two hours from Tokyo on the express train, Azusa. Not the shinkansen, but it passes many stations along the way.
Here is some information on Suwa, a city that sits between a lake and the mountains. There are five sake breweries all within walking distance of the city center, and all conveniently located near each other. You’ll see the breweries in the map below around C2 and D2.
In the city of Suwa, we like to stay at a ryokan with an onsen (hot spring bath). In the city there are a few sake breweries where visitors can come in for a tasting. Our favorite sake brewery in Suwa is Masumi. Masumi’s rich history dates back over 300 years.
The tasting room is beautiful. The sake is oishii. The portfolio is big, including some fruit sakes like yuzu and ume (apricot).
The sake tasting room is spacious and there are several sakes to taste through. If the sake is too heavy to carry, it can always be shipped to your home or hotel. The staff are friendly. Masumi is exported, so this is good news if you come across a sake that you like. There is a good chance you can also buy it overseas.
Masumi Miyasaka Brewing Company 真澄 宮坂酒造
Nagano-ken, Suwa-shi, Motomachi 1-16 長野県諏訪市元町1-16
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My wife’s family is originally from Suwa, so we go up there a few times a year. Masumi is a great brewery—all of their Nihonshu is excellent. I especially like their namazake. If you’re looking for a good lunch spot next time you’re there I recommend Tomiya. It’s a soba shop just on the south side of the train tracks. Hook a left out of Kami Suwa stn., walk to the end of the building, go left under the underpass and its on your left. Great place! Very friendly owner and tasty food–especially the horse bacon!
I’ve been! It is an upcoming post. 🙂
I didn’t know they have horse bacon. I am a big fan of basashi. Shinji’s dad is from Kumamoto so we get spoiled with horse sashimi when we visit his family in Kumamoto. 🙂
Suwa is a lovely city! Lucky you to go so often. Maybe our paths will cross there!
Jason, we used your quote in our Tomiya posting. Arigato!