The Gekkeikan Sake company in Kyoto has a sake museum, and it’s actually quite similar to the Heineken and Guinness tours I did in Europe (right down to the fact that it’s housed in an ex-brewery).

However, it’s a lot smaller than those two, and doesn’t have quite the same element of flashy corporate spectacle.  You start in an area that goes over how Sake is made, then you proceed into a small museum that outlines the history of the Gekkeikan brand (it’s been around since 1637, so there’s some history there), then finally you get to try some sake.

The Gekkeikan Sake company Sake Museum in Kyoto, Japan

They give you two different types of sake and a plum wine to try.  The sake wasn’t bad at all — this was only my second time trying sake, and while it’s not exactly my new favourite drink, it’s pleasantly sweet and fruity.

The plum wine, on the other hand, wasn’t great.  It basically tasted like boozy sugar water.  It was way too sweet.

The Gekkeikan Sake company Sake Museum in Kyoto, Japan

All that and I was out the door about twenty minutes after I came in.  So it’s probably not worth coming too far out of your way for — but at least it’s ridiculously cheap at 300 yen (just over three bucks Canadian), which includes the sake samples, plus a small bottle of sake to take home.

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