The Flyteam aviation community site reports on an inbound tourism event hosted by Kansai International Airport (KIX) to promote the legendary sake brewing area of Nada Gogō (灘五郷, Five Villages of Nada).
The event took place on 17 October 2018 from noon until 6:00 pm in the airport’s first floor promotional area and was aimed at incoming tourists to Japan.
The five villages in questions are all concentrated in modern-day Kobe: Nishigō, Mikagegō, Uozakigō, Nishinomiyagō in Nishinomiya City, and Imazugō. The area boasts a source of hard water [for Japan, where the water is almost universally extremely soft] known as miyamizu (宮水) which is particularly suited to brewing sake.
That’s not its only advantage – being in Hyōgo Prefecture it’s on the doorstep of the most renowned growing area for the “king” of sake rice, Yamada Nishiki. This combination of factors has led to Nada being considered the most important sake brewing area in the country. The area has 27 breweries producing sake and mirin (cooking sake) and produces an overwhelming 25% by volume of Japan’s total sake output.
The promotional event featured a kagami-biraki (breaking open a ceremonial sake barrel), sake tastings, a prize draw for travellers who answered a survey and an area for taking photos, all designed to increase awareness of sake and Nada Gogō. The event was also part of a tourism revival plan for the Kansai region, and coincided with the airport’s recovery from damage inflicted by typhoon 21.
The event was a joint promotion by the Nada Gogō Brewers Association, Kobe City, Nishinomiya City and Hanshin Electric Railway, with the support of Kansai Airport, the Kobe Tourist Bureau and the Mt. Rokko Cable Car & Tourism Company.
Nada also received its own geographical indication earlier this year. (Geographical Indication for Nada)