Toma local sake "Ryu no Izumi", aged in limestone cave

"Yoishire Tai" members loading "Ryu no Izumi" cases into Toma Limestone Cave

On February 20 at the Toma Limestone Cave, located in the Northern Hokkaido Kamikawa region town of Toma, Junmai Daiginjo “Ryu no Izumi” sake made with Toma-sourced sake rice was loaded into cave interior. The sake will age to a mellow flavor, nestled until spring in the cave, which maintains an even temperature. It will then be sold as a Toma specialty item. Out of the desire for sake to finally return to enjoying a higher level of popularity this year amidst the continuance of decreased Japanese sake consumption starting two years ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteer townspeople loaded sake into the cave, repeatedly chanting, “Please become delicious.”

“Ryu no Izumi” is made from 100% Toma-sourced sake brewing rice “Suisei”. The Takasago Shuzo brewery (Asahikawa) brewed a limited run of 1,100 bottles. The brewery reports that the cave interior maintains a temperature of 8–9 degrees Celsius even during winter, and aging sake at a stable temperature gives it a mellow flavor.

Loading was assisted by about 30 members from town volunteer group “Ryu no Izumi Yoishire Tai” (a play on words that means “The Ryu no Izumi Want-to-Get-Inebriated Squad”) and the town Chamber of Commerce. Amidst torrential snowfall, they formed a line and passed along approximately 90 cases loaded with twelve 720 milliliter bottles each.

The sake will be removed on April 17, and after undergoing heat sterilization at the Takasago Shuzo brewery, it will be sold in Toma only from April 23 onward. The price will be 3,080 yen per bottle. “Yoishire Tai” Captain Kikukawa Teppei expressed his anticipations, “Along with the sake, we also instilled our desire for the sake to mature into a delicious beverage. My hope is that everyone enjoys this sake again this year.”


Toma Limestone Cave