Rice, water, koji,
and human spirit.
the best sake since 1673.

Tamanohikari, born in 1673.

For 340 years, with care and dedication,
we have continued to brew the finest sake,
striving each year to make it better than the last.

We take great care in selecting not only the type of rice we use,
but also how it is planted.
Tamanohikari led the industry in reviving junmai,
sake made without added alcohol or sugar.

Our sake is made from rice, water, and koji.
And the simple wish to make delicious, timeless sake.


Putting true sake flavor over profit.
The first to revive junmai in 1964.

Junmai is a term for pure sake made only with rice and rice koji. For years, adding alcohol to sake to increase volume was the mainstream. During World War II, it was done because of rice shortages. After the war, sake makers did it to increase profits. Today 80% of sake on the market has added alcohol.

In 1964, Tamanohikari revived junmai for the first time in the industry. Because junmai takes up to 1.8 times the rice that added-alcohol sake requires, this practice was done at considerable cost to the brewery. Yet it could not raise the price of its products in fear that sales would plummet. What is more, few people in those days had a true appreciation for junmai. For Tamanohikari, it was one hardship after another.

Still, we believe this centuries-long tradition of making sake only with rice is the way to achieve the true flavor of sake. That’s why to this day, Tamanohikari brews only junmai.

Carefully selecting not just
types of rice,
but also the way it is planted.

Because Tamanohikari is made only with rice, water, and koji, our commitment to rice is extraordinary. Today only 5% of the sake on the market in Japan is made using shuzo kotekimai, rice that is suitable for brewing sake. Tamanohikari uses bizen-omachi, a rare variety regarded as the best rice for making sake, and yamadanishiki, praised as the “yokozuna” (master) of sake rice, as well as premium-quality iwai sake rice from Kyoto.

Each spring we visit the locations where our rice is produced. Our employees put on long boots and stand next to the riceplanting farmers. As planting seedlings too closely causes quality to suffer, the farmers take care to leave sufficient space in between. The harvested rice from each producer is inspected to determine the ratios of protein and moisture content. We only use rice that meets our one-of-a-kind strict standards. Nothin’else.

Tamanohikari and the flat milling process

We also polish our own rice.

The more rice is polished, the more the harshness disappears, resulting in sake with a refined flavor. We polish the rice as much as possible on our own. Using special rollers, we slowly scrape off the fat and protein. It’s precision work that takes anywhere from 30 to 48 hours.

Sake made with rice from which 40% of the outer covering has been polished is called ginjo. When over 50% is removed, it’s called dai-ginjo. Tamanohikari makes only junmai ginjo and dai-ginjo. It’s hardly an efficient method, and only 5% of the sake on the market is junmai ginjo. Still, we are confident that this is the true way to make sake.

Brewed with the finest water and
the blessings of the Earth.

The Fushimi ward of Kyoto is blessed with excellent groundwater. At Tamanohikari, the water we use for all steps, from washing the sake rice, steaming, and creating the moto yeast starter and the moromi mash, all comes from a source in Momoyama Hills. Centuries ago, legendary warrior Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598) pumped the same water for use in his tea ceremonies.

Today the source is recognized by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment as one of the country’s 100 finest waters. Tamanohikari is adamant about selecting only the finest rice and koji. But when it comes to water, we simply give thanks to the blessings of the Earth.

Koji is a living thing.
That’s why it is lovingly crafted
by human hands.

The sprinkling of koji mold to make koji rice is one of the most important processes in sake making. At Tamanohikari, this process is entirely done by hand.

The way the koji mold is sprinkled on the steamed rice is determined by the many years of experience and the intuition of the toji chief brewers. Held in their hands and kept at a temperature that makes growing the koji mold easier, it is gently massaged to activate it.

Koji is, in fact, a living thing. Around the clock, it is lovingly nurtured and grown.
Then after about two days it develops a sweet chestnut-like aroma in the koji cultivating room (seikikushitsu), signaling that Tamanohikari koji rice is ready.

The Junmai Ginjo Brewery
Kyoto, Japan

Half a century has passed since Tamanohikari revived the tradition of junmai pure rice sake. Today more and more people appreciate the quality of junmai and ginjo pure sake. But still, you could look all over Japan and you will find only a handful of breweries dedicated to the making of junmai ginjyo and junmai dai-ginjo. As one of Japan’s only junmai ginjo breweries, we will continue to uphold the traditions of years past here in Fushimi, Kyoto, and simply make the best possible sake.

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Company Profile


Founded 1673 (first year of the Enpo era)
Company name TAMANOHIKARI Sake Brewing Co., Ltd.
Representative Officer Tsuneo Maruyama, President
Capitalization 65.4 million yen
Main Banks Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Shiga Bank, Bank of Kyoto
Number of Employees 110 (including affiliated companies)
Headquarters 545-2 Higashisakaimachi, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto-shi 612-8066  MAP
KeihanRailway Tambabashi Station, Kintetsu Tambabashi Station 15 minute walk heading west on Shimoitabashi Street from West Exit
Tokyo Branch 2-6-32 Minami-machida, Machida-shi, Tokyo-to 194-0005  MAP
Sapporo Office Higashi-kanDai-ichi Sapporo Building, 4-chome Kita 7 Jonishi, Kita-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido 060-0807  MAP
Business Details Production and sales of sake, shochu, and sake lees
Brewery Tours Brewery tours are not offered.

List of Executives

President Tsuneo Maruyama
Director Chiyoko Azuma
Director Wataru Ishii
Auditor Yoshinori Fujita
Executive Director Tsuneo Maruyama
Chiyoko Azuma
Yoshio Maegaki
Tsuyoshi Hirata
Yasuyuki Matsushima


1673 Founder NakayaRokuzaemon opened his business under license from Tokugawa Mitsusada (grandson of Ieyasu), the second lord of the Kishudomain, in Yoriai-cho, Wakayama. The legend behind the name TAMANOHIKARI states that for generations Rokuzaemon was devoted to the Hayatama Shrine in Kumano, Kishu, and the sake was named with the meaning that it reflects the spirit of the shrine’s chief gods Izanagi-no-mikoto and Izanami-no-mikoto. The current president is the company's 13th.
1949 TAMANOHIKARI Sake Brewing Co., Ltd. is established. After World War II (from 1952 to the late 1960s) it was moved to Fushimi in Kyoto.
1964 TAMANOHIKARI leads the industry in developing its exclusive 100% junmaipure rice sake. It has since worked to improve the quality of its JunmaiGinjo sake to this day.
The ultimate goal is to create fragrant sake that’s always refreshing, finding the balance between natural acidity and sweetness.
The Tokyo branch is opened in Machida City, Tokyo.
1966 Chotokkyu Tamanohikari no-additive sake is released.
1969 TAMANOHIKARI casual Japanese restaurant is opened in Tokyo to promote TAMANOHIKARI Junmairefined sake. It would later open in Nagoya and Osaka.Sapporo Mutenkakaievent begins.
1970 Junmai Ginjo paper pack (450 ml) is released.
1977 Production and sales of rice shochu begin.
1979 Tamanohikari cask used in traditional cask-breaking ceremony at start of Prime Minister Ohira's term.
1980 All Junmai pure sake is elevated in quality to Junmai-Ginjo.
Junmai Ginjo Shukon is released.
Ujita’s Saketsuunyuumon (Introduction to Sake-making) is published.
1983 KyotoMutenkakai event begins.
1985 Exports ofJunmai-Ginjo begin.
1987 Omachi rice is revived and special grade sake Chotokusen Bizen-Omachi is released.
1988 Ide Brewery is established in the town of Ide in Kyoto.
1994 Junmai Dai-ginjo Kokoro-no-kyo is released, using Kyoto-produced rice ideal for sake brewing, celebrating 1200 years since the relocation of Japan's capital to ancient Kyoto.
1996 Junmai Ginjo paper pack (300 ml) is released.
1997 Pour and Freeze Mizore-sake Freezer," which achieves a supercooling effect, is developed.
1999 Ujita’sZoku-saketsuunyuumon (a sequel to his Introduction to Sake-making) shikonshousai is published.
2003 Junmai Ginjo Yamahai is released.
2005 Umeshu is released.
2006 100th Kyoto Mutenkakai event is held at Karasuma Kyoto Hotel.
Mr. Hiroshi Ujita is appointed President.
2008 Junmai Ginjo Hiya-oroshi is released.
2009 Mr. Tsuneo Maruyama is appointed President.
2012 TAMANOHIKARI casual Japanese restaurant in Nagoya closes due to building reconstruction.
2013 March First opening of the storehouse for the Nihonshu Matsuri festival.
2013 September 100th Nagoya Mutenkakai event is held at Apa Hotel Nagoya Nishiki.
2014 February Junmai Ginjo Sasanigori is released.
2015 March Junmai Dai-ginjo Shuho is released.
Kyo-no-Umeshu and Kyo-no-Yuzushu are released.
2015 July New shochu Manekitsune and 29 are announced.