Dassai Store at the Brewery, Asahi Shuzo, Iwakuni, Yamaguchi

Asahi Shuzo is a sake brewery located in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, that produces Dassai, a pure rice daiginjo sake. Dassai is characterized by a rice polishing ratio of less than 50% and the use of no brewing alcohol or other secondary ingredients. Dassai is named after Masaoka Shiki’s pen name for haiku. Asahi Shuzo is currently building another sake brewery in New York State. (March 2023)

Available : Tasting, Shop
Founded : 1948
Representative brand : Dassai
Tel : 0827-86-0800
Access : 15 min drive from JR Suo-Takamori Station
Business hours : 9:00~17:00
Online shop (International shipping may not be available.)

By Jim Rion
Published on 2022-11-22

This book is the first of its kind, a deep-dive into a single sake-producing region to highlight its delicious brews as well as the people, land, and culture behind them. Brewing in Yamaguchi — in southern Honshu, Japan — reflects the whole history of sake in Japan, from boom to bust to resurgence, and many of its brands, including the fabled Dassai, are now at izakaya and fine restaurants around the world. Expert Jim Rion takes us on a tour of all 23 Yamaguchi breweries to introduce the character of each and its brewmasters’ best picks. Along the way he provides background on such topics as rice farmers, drinkware, brewing methods, and the controversy over sake “terroir” (does it exist?). An added bonus for travelers is a mini sightseeing guide to the region and its many delights. Illustrated with photographs and quick-reference sake labels.