The Sankei West site reports on sake being aged underwater, on the bed of a dammed lake.
120 bottles of sake were lowered to a depth of 25 metres in Kawachinago, Osaka, where the concrete Takihata Dam, the largest in Osaka Prefecture, blocks the Class A Yamato river as it flows from Nara Prefecture towards Osaka Bay. (Class A rivers are deemed important to the national economy or environment.)
Kawachinago city, the long-established local Saijō brewery, and dam management came up with the idea as a way to have sake breweries contribute to local tourism and ran a pilot project to lay sake down from December 2016 through to May 2017. After the location was confirmed as suitable, more bottles were set down in December 2017, to be retrieved in May 2018 when the flavours of the sake will have become stronger and richer.
Yōzō Saijō, owner of the Saijō brewery brought 120 720 ml bottles of freshly made sake to be sunk to a depth of 25 metres on 18 December 2017. 100 bottles will be used as thank-you gifts by Kawachinago city hall for people who contribute JPY 10,000 or more through the “hometown donation” tax diversion program (where taxpayers can send some of their residential tax to a local government of their choice).
- Original article (Japanese, Sankei West, 21 December 2017)
- Wikipedia article on the “hometown donation” tax system
- Saijō brewery (Japanese)