Located 80km north of Tokyo, in the small town of Itako, Aiyu Shuzo is brewing sake for peace and satisfaction. For centuries their motto has been: “Four seas are all your bothers”. In the words of the brewery this means to “open your heart, spend time together. All the people in the world are able to be harmonized like brothers”. Quite a lovely sentiment to think on when you share a bottle of their world-class sake. Originally a facility for malting rice, Aiyu Shuzo began producing sake in 1804, and today put a special focus on Ginjo grade sakes, which make up the bulk of their offerings. Rice is sourced locally, and spring water is sourced from ground springs once used for royalty. The areas surrounding Itako for centuries have been renowned for their canal systems, which Aiyu Shuzo used to distribute their sake in olden times. Itako is home to a nationally recognized iris festival, and almost the entire municipality lies within a national park.