Eikun, also known as Saito Shuzo Co. LTD., was founded in 1895 and is located in the Fushimi region of Kyoto Japan.
In 1905 during the Taisho period in Japanese history, the "EIKUN" sake was adopted as the company's corporate brand name. Since then, the finest quality sake has been produced by Saito Sake Brewery, known as "EIKUN." It is acknowledged today as the finest sake produced in the Fushimi district of Japan, famously known to sake lovers for its premium brewed sake. There are 30 - 40 Kura in this area.
Over the years, the company has become a leader in the sake industry and the pioneer for the development of quality premium sake in Japan.
Due to the quality of its water source, the Fushimi region is home to over 30 other breweries. The soft water plays an instrumental part in creating smooth and balanced sake. With its moderate climate and beautiful natural surrounding, Kyoto greatly contributes to the delicate and quality taste of Saito Sake and captures the essence of premium sake quality at its best.
The major sake production areas in Japan are:
Kobe – Nada-Gōgo - largest area of sake production.
Kyoto (Fushimi) – home to the big brewery and museum of Gekkeikan, plus 30 other breweries, or Kura.
Niigata – largest number of Kura - over 90.
Akita – northern sake region called Tohoku
Iwai RiceUnique to the region of Kyoto is Iwai rice which is only used by Kyoto sake producers. In fact, Eikun purchases 40% of all Iwai rice produced. This rice is used for eight products. In addition, the Kura also uses Yamada Nishiki rice.
Eikun sake uses water from a source called "Fusui", rated as one of the top 100 sources of water in Japan. This water source is located just south of Kyoto, the cultural - and former imperial - capital of Japan.
Eikun Sake isn't just known on the consumers market level, it is also very well received at traditional high end Japanese restaurants throughout Japan where people come to enjoy the traditional taste of Japanese cuisine and to enjoy the unique experience of Eikun Sake. Kyoto is home to a particular type of cuisine called Kaiseki. Kaiseki is a sequence of small and artistically arranged dishes, both beautiful in presentation and flavor. "Kaiseki" in Kyoto cuisine is all about "Dashi (broth)" and it's "Umami". The taste of the food is elegant, and does not contain a lot of soy sauce or salt. Therefore, the sake flavor is slightly gentle and soft to match with local Kyoto cuisine. The western area of Japan around Kyoto blends sake and culture into a perfect marriage.
Each year since the 1890's, there has been a competition which judges sake quality called "Shinshu Kanpyou-Kai" - National New Sake Competition (now called National Competition). Eikun has received the gold medal for their sake an unprecedented 14 years in a row. Only 20-25% of all Kura receive gold medals each year. In addition, no Kura or brewery has received the award 14 times consecutively. The National Competition is attended by 90% of all 1,300 Kura in Japan and is for Daiginjo grade (competition sake) products only.
The City of Kyoto was founded as "Heiankyo" in 794 A.D. It was laid out in a grid pattern with the Imperial Palace located at its center. It flourished as the capital of Japan for approximately 1,000 years and was the birth site of the quintessential Japanese culture and traditions one finds throughout the country today.
Even after the transfer of the capital to Tokyo during the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Kyoto maintained its position as Japan's cultural capital. It is home to various national treasures worthy of global pride, as well as many historical buildings and traditional arts and crafts. Kyoto's rich and colorful history, combined with its geographic and climatic factors have created a city with a very unique blend of tradition, culture, and industry.