Akashi Sake Brewery is proud to call it's home Akashi-city. Perfect condition for growing rice and ideal water and climate. Akashi-city has everything to produce perfect artisinal Akashi-Tai Sake.
Akashi is a city rich in historical tradition as well as a place of great scenic beauty. Located at 135˚E longitude, the marker for Japan standard time, Akashi looks out over the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge. The coastal city enjoys a mild climate. Akashi is an ideal place to savor freshly caught seafood, including the local delicacy of Akashi sea bream.
Under the orders of the second shogun in the Tokugawa Shogunate, Tokugawa Hidetada, the daimyo lord Ogasawara Tadazane completed Akashi Castle in 1619. The two castle towers that remain today have been designated National Important Cultural Assets. Akashi Castle has also been selected as one of Japan’s top 100 castles, and is renowned as an especially lovely place to enjoy springtime cherry blossoms.
The city of Akashi has a long and proud cultural history. It is an important setting in The Tale Of Genji, the world’s earliest example of a novel. Scenic Akashi also makes numerous appearances in ancient collections of poetry such as the Manyosyu (8th cent.) and the Kokinwakasyu (10th cent.). Kakinomoto no Hitomaro(lived ca. 660-720), a poet renowned for his elegant style, had particularly close ties to Akashi. In fact, both Kakinomoto Shrine and Gesshoji Temple are dedicated to the poet. Even today, so many years later, Kakinomoto Shrine still offers a breathtaking view of the sea below.
Akashi also offers plenty of opportunity to explore the world of The Tale Of Genji. This saga, the world’s first novel, was written by Lady Murasakai Shikibu (lived ca. 978-1016?). Akashi’s Muryokoji Temple is said to be the temple where Hikaru Genji, the eponymous hero, enjoyed viewing the full moon. Visitors can see the site of the hillside mansion where Hikaru Genji’s Akashi lover lived. They can stroll along the narrow pathway he walked to visit her.
With such a storied past — both in fiction and non-fiction — Akashi is a city with great historical charm.
History holds that legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi drafted a city plan for Akashi in 1618, and that the city was redeveloped based on his plan.
A famed swordsman who is counted among the greatest of all Japanese samurai, Miyamoto Musashi had fought in more than 60 duels by the time he was 29, without suffering defeat once. But Miyamoto Musashi was much more than a skilled warrior. He is also remembered as an accomplished philosopher and artist. Japanese today still have great respect for Miyamoto Musashi as the epitome of the samurai spirit and as one who devoted himself to scholarship, the martial arts, philosophy, and Zen Buddhism.
Akashi is situated at exactly 135˚ east longitude, which is the meridian for Japan Standard Time. And quite appropriately for this town on the meridian, Akashi is home to the Akashi Municipal Planetarium. The planetarium’s 54-meter high clock tower keeps perfect time.
One food item for which Akashi is known is its Akashi-yaki octopus balls. The scrumptious dumplings are locally known as tamago-yaki (cooked eggs). Nearby Osaka is deservedly famous for its own version of octopus balls, served liberally topped with a thick, sweet soy-based sauce. But Akashi-yaki, which are much lighter fare, are known as the original version of octopus balls. Instead of the thick sauce, Akashi-yaki are served with a broth-like dipping sauce. The use of starch as well as flour in the Akashi-yaki batter makes for light and delicate dumplings.
Today there are more than 100 Akashi-yaki (tamago-yaki) restaurants in Akashi, each with its own special take on the traditional local dish.
From Kansai International Airport, take an airport limousine bus to Kobe Sannomiya (approx. 90 mins.). Then take a train on the JR Kobe Line to Akashi Station (approx. 20 mins.).
From Kobe Airport, take the Portliner to JR Sannomiya Station, and transfer to a train on the JR Kobe Line to Akashi Station (approx. 40 mins. in all).
From Osaka, take a special rapid-service train on the JR Kobe Line from Osaka Station to Akashi Station (regular fare, approx. 35 mins.)
From Tokyo, first take a JR Shinkansen Nozomi train to Shin-Osaka Station (approx. 2 hrs. 30 mins.). Then either transfer to a JR Shinkansen Kodama train to Nishi-Akashi Station (approx. 25 mins.), or transfer to a special rapid-service train on the JR Kyoto Line (which becomes the JR Kobe Line) to Akashi Station (approx. 40 mins.).