Sake Industry

Discovering the World of Sake: Exploring the Top Sake Festivals in Japan

Attending sake events, such as Craft Sake Week, Washu Fesu, Nigata Sake No Jin, and Sake Jump, offers a unique opportunity to learn about and taste the best sake from Japan's renowned breweries.

Written by

Sakura Sake Shop

February 12, 2023


min read

Japan has a rich history of sake brewing, with the traditional drink playing an important role in the country's culture and cuisine. Sake, also known as 日本酒, is a staple in traditional Japanese events and gatherings, and is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. With its growing popularity, a number of sake events have emerged in Japan, offering a unique opportunity to learn about and sample the best sake from breweries across the country.

Sake events offer much more than just the chance to taste the finest brews. They are a celebration of Japanese culture, showcasing the traditional brewing techniques, local foods and the rich history of sake making. Attending a sake festival is a great way to immerse yourself in Japanese culture, meet local brewers, and taste the best sake the country has to offer.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the top sake festivals in Japan, including Craft Sake Week, Washu Fesu, Nigata Sake No Jin, and Sake Jump. Whether you are a seasoned sake drinker or a newcomer to the world of sake, these festivals offer an unparalleled opportunity to discover the rich history and diverse range of flavors that make Japanese sake so unique and special.

Craft Sake Week

The "CRAFT SAKE WEEK 2023 at ROPPONGI HILLS" is set to take place at the Roppongi Hills Arena in Tokyo from April 21st to 30th, 2023. This event is one of the largest Japanese sake events and is organized by former soccer national team member Hidetoshi Nakata, who has a passion for Japanese culture and technology. He has traveled to numerous sake breweries, agriculture and craft regions across the 47 prefectures of Japan, which inspired him to start "CRAFT SAKE WEEK" in 2016. The event has attracted over 600,000 visitors.

At "CRAFT SAKE WEEK 2023 at ROPPONGI HILLS," 100 carefully selected sake breweries and 15 restaurants will be featured. The restaurant lineup includes world-renowned starred restaurants and popular establishments that are difficult to get reservations for. Visitors will be able to enjoy sake from each brewery along with exclusive menus prepared by top chefs. The venue will be designed by the renowned architect, Tsuyoshi Tane, who has created many impressive works, including the "Hirosaki Renga Soko Art Museum." The design concept is based on the "Masu," an ancient vessel, with approximately 3,000 Masu creating an awe-inspiring atmosphere.

In conclusion, "CRAFT SAKE WEEK 2023 at ROPPONGI HILLS" is an opportunity to learn about and enjoy the depth and potential of sake, as well as the splendor of Japanese culture and cuisine. With carefully selected sake, food, tea, and a unique venue design, visitors are sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Washu Fesu

The 21st Japanese Sake Festival “Washu Fesu” in Nakameguro is a highly anticipated event that will take place on March 25th and 26th, 2023 at the plaza in front of the Nakameguro GT Tower. The festival is a popular gathering for sake enthusiasts and connoisseurs who want to sample and compare more than 150 different types of sake from all over Japan.

Washu Fesu 和酒フェス Event March 2022 Nakameguro, Tokyo

The theme of the festival is "Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom! Let's enjoy Hanami Sake with new, unpasteurized, and premium sake!". 31 sake breweries from Japan will be present, showcasing their award-winning products including Ichinokura, Mizubasho, Kubota, and more. Visitors will have the opportunity to taste and purchase their favorite brands on the spot. In addition to the sake tasting, the festival will also feature a food zone where visitors can sample dishes from local specialties and popular restaurants that complement sake. The food can be purchased on a cash basis.

The 21st Japanese Sake Festival in Nakameguro is an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of sake, with over 150 different varieties to taste and explore. The festival will take place on March 25th and 26th, 2023 and the time slots for the sake tasting are 12:00 - 14:10 and 15:00-17:10. Each time slot has a capacity of 500 people and switching of seats is required between the two parts. The fee for the festival is 3,000 yen and tickets must be purchased in advance through the official website. Same-day tickets will be determined at a later date.

Sake No Jin

The Niigata Sake No Jin is a premier sake event and the largest of its kind in Japan and the world. Here, visitors can meet all 88 Niigata sake breweries and taste the finest sake offerings the region has to offer. This annual event, held in mid-March, was previously a major draw for up to 700,000 visitors in a couple of days, but due to COVID restrictions and other factors, the number of visitors has been limited to 70,000 over two days.

The event features not only sake tasting but also food stalls offering local specialties and dishes that pair well with sake, creating a lively and festive atmosphere. Visitors can also take home a taste of Niigata by purchasing their favorite sake and other local products at the event.

One of the highlights of Sake No Jin is the opportunity to interact with the sake brewers themselves. Many of the brewers attend the event to talk about their products, share their knowledge and passion for sake making, and offer visitors a deeper understanding of the art of sake brewing and the history of sake in Niigata.

Overall, Sake No Jin is a celebration of Niigata's rich culture and history, as well as its reputation as one of Japan's leading sake-producing regions. With a wide selection of sake to taste, delicious food to enjoy, and the chance to meet and learn from the brewers themselves, it is a must-attend event for anyone interested in sake or Japanese culture.

Sake Jump

At Sake Jump (in Japanese 若手の夜明け, literally translating into “The Dawn of Youth”), visitors will have the opportunity to taste and purchase a variety of high-quality sake from young and upcoming craft breweries, and to learn about the different brewing methods and traditions that are used to create these unique and flavorful beverages. The event will also feature a range of food and drink-related exhibits and workshops, making it a must-visit event for anyone interested in the world of sake and Japanese cuisine.

Sake Jump 若手の夜明け Event September 2022 Otemachi, Tokyo

After COVID the last event was held in September 2022. The next event will be held in March 2023 in Saitama and tickets can be purchased in advance on the official website. With a focus on promoting sake culture and showcasing the best and brightest sake producers, Sake Jump is an event that should not be missed by anyone looking to experience the best that the world of sake has to offer.


In conclusion, the Japanese Sake industry is flourishing with events like the Japanese Sake Festival in Nakameguro, Sake no jin, Sake Jump, and the Craft Sake Week offering an abundance of opportunities for sake enthusiasts and the general public to taste and learn about this traditional drink. 

Each event has its own unique focus and approach, showcasing the diverse and rich culture of sake in Japan. Whether you're looking to taste new and premium sake, or to support young and upcoming breweries, there is something for everyone in the world of sake. So why not plan a trip to Japan and experience the beauty and tradition of this iconic drink for yourself?

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