The Akenobe Mine is an abandoned mine in Yabu, Hyogo.
It is said to have been prospected as early as the Asuka period, and old records say that large amounts of copper from Akenobe were used in the casting of the Buddha statue at the great “Todaiji Temple” of Nara.
After that, it prospered as the “top tin mine in Japan”, but was closed down in 1987 as competition from abroad intensified.
Currently, it is being utilized as an educational facility for mine exploration.
Our company’s “Meiju Cellar” is located in one of the sections explored in Akenobe Mine. It is the only rice wine cellar inside a mine in Kansai.
The name comes from the fact that it was found near the “Daiju shaft” inside the mine, while the “Ake” in Akenobe is also read as “Mei”. And so, “Meiju Cellar” was born.
Rice wine was originally called “Kotohogi” in Japan, as it was essential in Kotohogi (words of celebration for festivities) during rituals and festivals, and also carries the meaning of “Kotobuki” (Long Life).
A part of the blend in the “Banshu Ikkon” sake is aged in the “Meiju Cellar”.
As the mine is an excellent natural shade, the temperature stays constant at around 12 degrees Celsius regardless of the season, and this stable environment reduces the stress on the rice wine.
It is the perfect environment to age rice wine long-term.
However, longer aging doesn’t necessarily make better wine.
By slowly and gently fermenting our carefully designed age-worthy Japanese sake in the “Meiju Cellar”, it creates a wine that is very pleasant on the tongue and has a complex and well-rounded taste.
Aged sake and long-term aged sake expand the potentials of Japanese sake and are our precious treasures.