Ponshukan Sake and Rice Museum
A theme park for sake and rice, where you can try Niigata's leading brands of sake
Located in the precincts of Echigo-Yuzawa Station, on the Joetsu Shinkansen line, Ponshukan features four main attractions: the Sake-tasting Corner, where you can taste the leading brands of sake produced by all of the sake breweries in Niigata Prefecture, the Sake Bath, where you can enjoy a hot spring bath, a restaurant where you can savor meals that showcase Koshihikari rice grown in the local Minami-Uonuma district, as well as an abundance of other locally-produced ingredients, and a souvenir shop offering a range of local sake and other specialties from across the prefecture.
In addition to the leading brands of sake produced by the 95 sake breweries in Niigata, visitors can try another 22 brands that have been recommended by Ponshukan's sake sommelier, making a total of 117 different kinds of sake. As well as enjoying old favorites among the famous brands of local sake, you're bound to have a great time making new discoveries among those you've never tried before. In addition, there is a wide range of Niigata specialties, including rice crackers, sweets that feature local sake as an ingredient, rice, and pickles. Also popular is the Sake Bath, a 41 degrees Celsius lightly-alkaline hot spring bath, to which is added sake that has been specially blended for bathing purposes. Drink, eat, buy, and then bathe in the hot spring: you'll be able to enjoy Niigata Prefecture's famous sake and rice to your heart's content.
Address: 2427-3 Yuzawa, Yuzawa Town, Minamiuonuma-gun, Niigata
Hours open to visitors: 9:00-18:00 (9:00-20:00 between January and March)
Admission Fee: Free
Closed: Open all year around
Directions: Inside Echigo-Yuzawa Station (of the Joetsu Shinkansen Line, about 1 hour and 20 minutes away from Tokyo Station)
By car: About a 5-minute drive from Yuzawa Interchange on the Kanetsu Expressway (free parking up to 4 hours available)