Since 2008, Nakazen Shuzo started cultivating its own rice (the “Sankeinishiki” rice brand, suited for sake brewing) in Agematsu, a town adjacent to its location, and succeeded in brewing sake using “locally produced homegrown rice,” which was the purpose of this endeavor. Since sunshine duration in Kiso is short, it is not really an ideal location for cultivating rice. However, even in Kiso, the Yoshino district in Agematsu Town thrives with agriculture as clear, snowmelted water from Mt. Kiso Komagatake is abundant and available for the rice paddies.
Rice from Contracted Farmers – Farm Ichimaru in Matsukawa Village, Kita Azumi-gun
The Miyamanishiki rice grown by representative Maruyama of Farm Ichimaru in Azumino, which is known as one of the best areas for the production of Miyamanishiki in Nagano Prefecture, uses snow-melted water from the Japan Alps, and has been studied and cultivated using an original blend of fertilizers. Using the large and evenly grained Miyamanishiki rice, grown by farmers with much care and effort, Nakazen Shuzo brews sake that utilizes and maximizes the best qualities of this brand of rice.
During the Edo period, woodcutters cut trees in the deep Kiso Mountains and it is said that the logs were transported to the Owari Domain by floating them one by one, down the narrow and fast running Kiso River. The person riding on top of the log to control it as it flowed was called “Nakanorisan.” They risked their lives in this dangerous ride down the Kiso River and were considered the supermen of their time.