Do you like Japanese sake? If you are interested in Japanese sake, I recommend visiting Niigata prefecture.
Niigata is a snowy district and it is famous for Japanese sake. Japanese sake is made from fermented rice, and Niigata is also famous for rice.
Comparing tastes of different sake is called “Kikizake”, and you can try it at the Ponshukan.
Source of photo: ぽんしゅ館
The Ponshukan is located in the Niigata station and Echigo-yuzawa station. You pay 500 yen at the front desk, and you receive 5 coins and an ochoko. Ochoko is a small cup to drink sake from.
There are about 90 kinds of Japanese sake, and you can choose 5 out of the 90.
If you’re not sure which ones to choose, you can check the popularity ranking and recommendations on the wall. It may help you a lot when you’re indecisive.
On top of that, you can eat bomb rice balls in Ponshukan. As the name suggests, they are massive size rice balls that look like bombs. Their appearance is very striking. The name of the shop is Yukinto.
The bomb rice balls are made from Koshihikari rice from south Uonuma in Niigata. It is said that Koshihikari from Uonuma is the best local rice in Japan. There is a national ranking of rice based on the evaluation of taste and scent, and Koshihikari has maintained the highest ranking of Special A. You can choose one rice ball filling from 18 kinds of fillings, and it comes with miso soup.
In addition to Japanese sake, there is sakeburo in the Echigo-yuzawa station. Sakeburo is a hot bath mixed with sake. It makes your skin silky smooth and promotes better blood circulation.
Niigata prefecture becomes very cold in winter but you can warm up by drinking Japanese sake and take a nice sake bath at Ponshukan.