Amasake, sweet sake, is famous for high nutritional value. Also, it is called as “drinkable intravenous.” It has been supporting public health from ancient time. Its origin is from the Tumulus period according to “the Chronicles of Japan.” In the Edo period, it was sold by peddler and also served at parlor which is similar to tea stall. Amasake was very popular and it was expressed in haiku such as “Amasake parlor is as popular as Mt. Fuji.
Amanoya is serving traditional amasake at an approach of Kanda Myojin. It was established in 1846, the last years of the Edo period. The building looked toward Old Nakasendo which was Edo-Kyoto highway in the Edo period. So, many travelers stopped by and had amasake at Amanoya.
They make amasake by hands which is generated by only rice and koji-mold. The secret of the smooth sweetness is house made malted rice generated by malt bedded on steamed rice. There is a 6- meter natural tunnel under the store. It is used as a cellar because with its temperature and humidity it is an ideal environment for mold. That is the reason the tunnel is used as cellar since Amanoya was established. Amanoya’s mold is cultivated in this cellar.
They think koji-mold made of grains like rice and wheat is the backbone of the Japanese food culture. So, they have other ferment foods used koji other than amasake. Wheat mold “Hisakatamiso,” solt koji and soy sauce koji that you easily make at home, and misoduke (miso pickles) are popular at the shop. Also, they are holding a workshop of homemade miso once a year at a hotel close to the shop to let people know how nice homemade miso is.
Recently, amasake and fermented foods are noticed because of its effects such as raising immune system and lowering blood pressure. Please try them for your daily meal.
Nov 2017 Text: Ryoko Kuraishi Photo: Yasuo Yamaguchi
Shop open: Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 18:00, Public holidays 10:00 – 17:00 Lounge open: Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 17:00, Public holidays 10:00 – 16:00 Close: Sunday, Marine Day and August 10th – 17th English menu available