Located on the banks of the Kinokawa River, upstream of the Kinokawa River in Wakayama Castle, the local sake is called 川上清酒(Kawakami sake). Thanks to the rich natural resources of the Kinokawa, rice production flourishs. Coupled with the protective terrain between the north and south mountains, weather is stable and wind is calm throughout the year. In addition, the Kinokawa River has been an important transportation hub since ancient times. The highway to Ise and Yamato runs along the river, and many travelers come and go throughout the year.
Winemaking becomes natural and right in this land. Sake is brewed using harvested rice and water in autumn, and it is said that '仕込み唄'(harvest song) cures the fatigue of many visitors. There are also many traveler stories being shared The fame of 川上清酒(Kawakami sake) has spread throughout the country, not only in Kyoto and Osaka, but even as far as Edo.
At its peak, 33 warehouses were side by side. Kinokawa had no water transportation and the warehouses disappeared one by one. The taste of Japanese sake has changed with times, and people prefer light and refreshing sake to dry sake. As a local sake brewery, Hatsusakura(初桜) aims to retain the traditional brewing of "川上清酒(Kawakami sake)" while taking on the challenge of producing a new sake "純米川上酒(Junmai Ginjo Sake)".
It's been over half a century since we start making sakes. Since ancient times, there has been a custom of drinking sake in this area , called "般若湯(wine of wisdom)". Kishu Katsuragi is located at the foot of Mount Koya (高野山). It is said that Kobo Daishi(弘法大師) stood on top of Amabikiyama(雨引山) and then rain came. The fruit trees in the village has been growing well ever since.
So, people believe in drinking sake to overcome the cold and cure diseases, and they call it "般若湯(wine of wisdom)".
Since the Edo period, the sake brewing industry has flourished here. While retaining the traditional recipe, you can enjoy the elegant, modern tastes of "般若湯(wine of wisdom)".