Yokkaichi, the town of Banko ware and sake made with the rich underflow water of the Suzuka mountains!
Yokkaichi, in Mie, hardly ever sees drought and is extremely blessed in terms of its source of water which comes from the rich underflow water of the Suzuka mountains. In particular, Chishaku Yosui has excellent water that has been selected as one of the 100 Exquisite and Well-Conserved Waters by the Ministry of the Environment. Currently, there are six sake breweries within the city that make sake using this rich underflow water, with all the sake characterized by a clarity which is unique to this region. People drink this clear sake from sake cups that constitute a part of Yokkaichi's traditional craft, Banko ware. Banko ware is a type of pottery started by Runami Rozan in around 1740. The name derives from the Banko or Banko Trading mark stamped on the products. Banko ware cups, which were used in a toast by world leaders at the Ise-Shima Summit held recently are very refined, genuine pieces of pottery. They are also a must-have to further enjoy the flavors of local sake.
Banko ware sake cups
Yokkaichi Banko ware cups actually used by the world leaders at the Ise-Shima Summit held in May 2016. (Made by Shimizu Suigetsu / Kishiyo.) The purple-clay Banko ware cup brings out the taste of Yokkaichi's local sake to the full!
Ise-Shima Summit working lunch
Excerpt from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website
Sake breweries in this region
Miyazaki HontenYokkaichi-shi, Mie059-397-3111