Consumption of Nada sake in Edo 

Consumption of Nada sake in Edo 

Nada ward first emerged in historical documentation as “Nadame, Ports of the Nada Region,” a supplier of sake to Edo (the capital, modern-day Tokyo) in the “Examination of the Records of Vendors Handling Sake to Edo City” from 1724. Afterwards, the vendors grew into an organization that shipped sake from twelve nearby regions to Edo by the late 18th century. After a law was promulgated to encourage the purchase of sake rice as a measure to ease the drop in the price of rice was promulgated in 1806, the vendors played an even greater role in the distribution of sake afterwards.      

The volume of sake transported to Edo reached 665,000 barrels by 1822. 

The top reason why “Nada sake” surpassed sake from Itami city and Ikeda city and dominated the Edo market due to the high quality of Nada sake. In addition, efforts focused on cold weather brewing to produce sake that suited the palate of Edo consumers was another reason, followed by consistent efforts made to improve sake brewing techniques.    

The discovery of Miyamizu 

Tazaemon Yamamura, founder of the distinguished sake brewery “Sakura-masamune,” said to be the mainstream (top sake brand) among sake produced in Nada ward in 1840, drew water from the “plum tree well” in Nishinomiya region. This water was transported to Uozaki Sake Breweries and used as brewing water. Due to the quality sake that resulted from this water, “miyamizu” - quality water suitable to brew sake - became highly valued among sake brewers of Nada ward, who competed against others to use miyamizu as brewing water. Miyamizu is high in phosphate and potassium, aids the growth of yeast and malt, and vigorous fermentation.          


江戸積酒産地として灘郷が登場したのは、享保9年(1724)の「江戸下り問屋調査」にある「灘目(なだめ)」が最初。以後18世紀後半には「江戸積摂泉十二郷」(えどづみせっせんじゅうにごう)の中心となるまでに発展し、文化3年(1806) の米価の下落を緩和する措置として酒造家に対して酒造米の買い上げを奨励した「勝手造り令」公布以降はさらに大きな飛躍をとげた。

文政5年(1822) には江戸入津(にゅうしん)量は、実に66万5千樽(230,000石)にも達した。



天保11年(1840) 灘の本流といわれる名門蔵「櫻正宗」の祖、山邑太左衛門(やまむらたざえもん)が、西宮の「梅の木井戸」の水を魚崎の蔵に運び仕込み水として用い,優秀な酒を醸造したことから「宮水」(みやみず)の評価が高まり、灘の酒造家は競って仕込水に「宮水」を使用した。宮水とは、酒造りに適した上質な水のこと。この宮水にはリン酸塩やカリウムが多く含まれており、酵母や麹の繁殖を助けて発酵を盛んにする働きがある。