Kunimare Sake Brewery - Hokkaido

Kuminare Sake Brewery (国稀酒造㈱), located at 1 Chome-17 Inabacho, Mashike town, Hokkaido Prefecture, is Japan's northernmost sake brewery.

Kunimare Sake Brewery

Kunimare Sake Brewery details

Kunimate Sake Brewery was founded by Taizo Honma sometime in 1890. Taizo Homna came to Mashike as a kimono dealer and being a businessman, he saw that there is a huge market for the sake of the region as most of the supply was shipped from Honshu and was mostly overpriced. 

Kunimare Sake Brewery - Mashike Town, Hokkaido Prefecture

It proved to be a wise business move as the region also experienced a boom in the herring industry which translates to a higher demand for sake. What makes Kunimare Sake Brewery unique is that it uses subsoil water from Mt. Shokanbetsu which means it has plenty of minerals that improve the overall taste of the sake

Kunimare Sake Brewery entrance

Sugi-dama of Kunimare Sake Brewery

Inside Kunimare Sake Brewery

Ken Takakura room in Kunimare Sake Brewery

You will see a lot of Ken Takakura's memorabilia here

At present, the old building of Kunimare Sake Brewery is preserved and now houses a souvenir shop and an area where they pay homage to the great actor Ken Takakura who played memorable roles in films shot in Mashike like Shin Abashiri Bangaichi - Saihate no Nagaremono (1969) and Eki-Station (1981). 

Souvenirs to buy in Kunimare Sake Brewery

Different sake

Different ingredients

Mini cakes and varieties of snacks


Ready-to-eat food

sake in smaller portions

Aside from shopping for souvenirs, visitors can also try the sake-tasting activity. Visitors can sample over 10 types of sake from the brewery. Who knows, you might find your favorite one here. 

Kunimare Sake Brewery
Taisho-era phone booth

Kunimare Sake Brewery
Free Sake Tasting - Sadly, I wasn't able to try this out because I will bike back home.

Kunimare Sake Brewery
A restored Taisho-era part of the brewery

I got to visit Kunimare Sake Brewery with the other ALTs from Rumoi

I got to visit Kunimare Sake Brewery for the first time last April 10, 2022, which was my 160th day here in Japan as an ALT under the JET Programme. The brewery was one of the places my ALT friends and I visited during our Mashike Biking Trip. What I liked about Kunimare Sake Brewery is that it is well preserved and entering it makes me feel like I was teleported to the Taisho Era. Sadly, I was not able to try out its sake as it is prohibited to drink and drive (even bike). Regardless, it only means that I have an excuse to revisit it again in the future. Hopefully with my family. 

Kunimare Sake Brewery Admission Fee

It's FREE to enter and explore Kunimare Sake Brewery. However, I highly suggest that you bring money for souvenirs.

Kunimare Sake Brewery Operating Hours

Kunimare Sake Brewery is open in all seasons. It operates 9AM - 5:00PM daily except during New Year

Why visit Kunimare Sake Brewery?

If you love history or fancy sake then this place is for you. It's like hitting two birds with one stone. Make sure to try out the sake-tasting activity. Well, unless you're driving or biking after then you shouldn't. 

Getting to Kunimare Sake Brewery

Commuting to Mashike became less convenient after the closure of the JR Mashike Line. Regardless, tourists can still ride the bus to Mashike from Rumoi City. 

Here are the timetable, fare, and bus stops of the Engan Bus that ply the Mashike route and back.




Overall rating


  1. Northernmost sake brewery! That sounds cool but what I look forward to when I visit is the free taste. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Free sake for the win!


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