Our message

Japanese sake that is close to the human heart.

Hasegawa Shuzo brews Japanese sake that complements meals without getting in the way, and that you won’t tire of drinking. We seek to create drinks you’ll share in all kinds of situations—to enjoy at parties, as a regular nightcap, or in moments when you want to take a break.

Every winter, we take soft water from the subterranean flow of the Shinano River and carefully selected sake rice, and we brew Japanese sake using techniques honed over long years. Our sake has a soft, well-rounded mouthfeel and a refreshing aftertaste with a moderate dryness, while retaining a hint of the rice’s flavor. All our artisans and employees devote their utmost to this brewing process in small tanks, which can only be made under the watchful eyes of a small regional sake brewery. That’s the Hasegawa Shuzo way.

History

  • December 15, 1842

    Jukichi applies for permission to brew sake as a sacred offering, which is granted

  • 1886

    Second-generation brewer Yakichi constructs the main building
    *Registered as tangible cultural property

  • 1919

    Third-generation brewer Yakichi builds the brewery building and koji-making room

  • 1924

    Third-generation brewer Yakichi renovates the main building

  • 1955

    Established as a corporation

  • 1984

    The trademark Echigo Sekkobai is registered (named by the late Minoru Endo, recipient of the People’s Honor Award)

  • 2004

    The Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake destroys three buildings, including the sake storehouse
    Greater focus is placed on bottle storage due to reduction in buildings

  • 2014

    Bottling facility is constructed
    Medal of Honor with Yellow Ribbon recipient and contemporary master craftsman Koichi Takahashi joins us as a master brewer and commences brewing

  • 2016

    Medal of Honor with Yellow Ribbon recipient Tadaji Sawanaka joins us as a master brewer and commences brewing

The first to settle here was an ancestor who moved from Nagano Prefecture to Niigata Prefecture during Japan’s war-torn Sengoku period. In 1842, a wealthy farmer, Jukichi, was granted permission to brew 12,600 liters (70 koku in Japanese units) of sake and also to sell whatever sake remained after the sacred dedication. This was the beginning of the Hasegawa Shuzo brewery. Subsequently, the second- and third-generation owners established a base for sake brewing, and the brewery has been brewing Japanese sake for over 170 years.

Built in 1886, the brewery building, having been recognized as a part of the scenic landscape of the Settaya area, a renowned brewing district, was designated a registered tangible cultural property in 2012. In this storehouse built over 100 years ago, our brewers are still working in the ideal atmosphere for the brewing of sake.

Niigata, where our company is located, is one of Japan’s leading sake destinations. There are several reasons why sake brewing is so widespread here.

First of all, “the environment” is ideal for sake brewing. The city of Nagaoka, where our company is located, is characterized by very short winter sunshine hours and little temperature variation between day and night. In addition, there is considerable snowfall here every year, and this climate is one of the most essential factors in brewing delicious sake.

Next is “waterwater”. The clear waters that flow from the Nagaoka Higashiyama mountain range are clear and soft, which plays a significant role in brewing clean-tasting, transparent sake. Premium Daiginjo sake, brewed during the coldest season, has a spectacular aroma and a light, sophisticated flavor—the gift of cool, clear streams fed by thawing waters.

Finally, the most essential element is “human”.
Almost all processes are performed by hand. With the skill and experience of our artisans and master brewers, we make sake with a flavor that brings out the unique characteristics of each rice variety. We wash the fragile polished rice carefully with our own hands, steam it using Japanese pots, put into small tanks, and brew only as much sake as we can while being meticulously attentive to the smallest details. Year in, year out, we continue to keep these aspects in mind as we brew our sake.

Products

Echigo Sekkobai

Hatsuhi Masamune

Junmai Ginjo

An auspicious branding designed with the first sunrise of the New Year in mind. This junmai ginjo-shu uses Koshitanrei brewer’s rice grown in Niigata to produce its characteristic full-flavored, mellow umami and rich body.

Echigo Nagaokajyo

Tokutetsu Honjozo

This sake uses carefully selected, highly polished brewer’s rice grown in Niigata. The sake has a smooth and refreshing mouthfeel and goes down easily.

Company profile

Company Name Hasegawa Shuzo Co., Ltd.
Address 2-7-28, Settaya, Nagaoka city, Niigata pref., 940-1105 Japan
Tel 81-258-32-0270
E-mail info@sekkobai.jp