Shiga Sake: Dokan Wataribune Junmai Nama Genshu Sake

Greetings from Kyoto

I am a fan of Japanese sake from Shiga prefecture, which is just over the mountain from Kyoto. The ward of Kyoto called Fushimi, in the south of the city, is the second largest sake producing region in Japan. While Fushimi has the perfect water and Kyoto’s millennia culinary culture, it ought to be producing really great sake, but I am perpetually underwhelmed by it. Shiga, on the other hand, has some of my favorite breweries, including my all time favorite: Furosen. Another brewery that I have been impressed with is Dokan. However, I have had a difficult time getting ‘namazake‘, fresh, unpasteurized sake from Dokan in Kyoto. Today though, I found it and snapped up the last bottle in the refrigerated case. (Real sake, fresh sake, must be refrigerated!) The sake is called, ‘Dokan Wataribune Junmai Nama Genshu’ (道灌 純米生原酒 渡船).

This sake is pleasantly fruity on both the nose and tongue. Perhaps a bit more sweet than dry, but, a nicely balanced palate. Being nama (fresh) and genshu (undiluted) sake, Dokan’s Junmai Nama Genshu packs a punch — nearly 18%, yet is delicate, fruity and fresh with solid acidity. This was a really delightful sake. Thank you Dokan!

What does the name mean?
Dokan (道灌): brand name
Wataribune (渡船): rice variety (this grown in Shiga)
Junmai (純米): unfortified sake
Nama (生): unpasteurized
Genshu (原酒): undiluted
Sake: Japanese rice wine


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2 Responses to “Shiga Sake: Dokan Wataribune Junmai Nama Genshu Sake”

  1. philipmarkwart says:

    I lived in Kansai, years ago, and spent a lot of time in Kyoto.
    I liked your comments enough to put your Dokan Wataribune Junmai Nama Genshu on my “to look for list”
    visiting next may, and interested to know where you did find it, if you found a consistent source, and if you know if the Ota Shuzo is still functioning in Kusatsu?
    Your help in any way would be nice…..

  2. Michael says:

    Hello Philip,

    Thank you for your comment and question.

    Ota Shuzo is still in business, in Kusatsu.

    I think I got this bottle at a little liquor store in Demachiyanagi. It is across the street and up to the north a bit from Kaishintei. (See article and Google Map location below)

    I also have found it at Kunitaya and some other liquor stores around town. It isn’t too uncommon, but not too common either. You might not be able to find it. (Check the link below for other stores that sell quality sake.)

    If you can’t find it, don’t worry about it. Ask for something similar or go to one of the sake bars and try some Furosen, Kazenomori, etc.

    Kyoto Sake Bars:


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