JAPANESE
Ranking the most highly rated
sake breweries by global contest results.

WORLD SAKAGURA RANKING

2020

About the World Sakagura Ranking

World Sakagura Ranking Concept

This system assigns points to awards from international sake contests, and ranks the winners accordingly. There are over 1,500 sakagura around the world now, and this ranking only applies to the top 50 scorers. As this system makes it difficult to achieve ranking without a high level of resolve to develop a sakagura’s business, as well as investing in equipment, skills, ingredients, and staff, we find it strongly represents real quality.

Naturally, readers should understand that since the ranking is based on contest results, any sakagura that doesn't submit to the contests will not be ranked.

All of the contests including in the scoring are judged through blind tasting evaluation by professionals, rather than a popular vote. The ranking is all the more trustworthy because the number of submissions, number of awards, judges, and judging method are all public.

Recently, sake contests are no longer limited to Japan alone, but have been happening all over the world. These international venues offer excellent opportunities to understand local tastes, to teach ambassadors who will help spread interest in sake, and create new fans. We hope to support the accurate and fair evaluation of sake as these continue.

Now, one does also wonder why sakagura submit to contests in the first place. After interviewing many kuramoto, or brewery owners, who do so, we've found the three biggest reasons are:

  1. Contest Submission allows an objective assessment of their sake.
  2. Awards can build confidence within the sakagura and increase motivation.
  3. An award can help promote business.

One could say that the active pursuit of contest submissions is a sign that the kuramoto is dedicated to growth and development.

This ranking is presented to offer a guide to those who are unsure of how to choose a sake. The awards are given to individual products, and it's not uncommon for a product that receives a big award to sell out almost immediately. However, buyers also often find that shelves might be empty of an award winning label, but still hold others from the same sakagura. In that situation, this sakagura ranking can offer an objective guide to choosing sake made by award winning sakagura. By focusing on products from sakagura that earn a lot of points can make it easier to choose, and is likely to help increase the chances at finding delicious sake.

Point Tallying Method

Points are figured based on awards from eligible contests, and total points are calculated for each sakagura. Each sakagura is then awarded an additional score for awards in the Annual Japan Sake Awards (Zenkoku Shinshu Kanpyokai) before ranking.

Number of Sakagura: 659 /
Number of Award-winning Sakes: 1,835

Eligible Contest Awards & Point Tallies

The Annual Japan Sake Awards

This is the longest-running sake competition in Japan, and is sponsored by the National Research Institute of Brewing and Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association. By evaluating all of the year's new sake, this competition helps to clarify the current level of manufacturing technique, sake quality, and modern trends all over Japan, which can help support the further improvement of sake brewing.

Note: When a single brewery submits products from multiple facilities, only the single highest award is added to point totals.

Point Tallies:

  • GOLD
    70 Points
  • SILVER
    50 Points

Kan Sake Award

This award is intended to recognize the unique way that drinking sake warmed, called kanzake, can help to increase the perception of umami while softening mouthfeel.

Point Tallies:

  • GRAND GOLD
    50 Points
  • GOLD
    30 Points

The Fine Sake Award, Japan

This contest was established to spread the practice drinking sake from wine glasses for increased consumption at non-Japanese restaurants, in foreign markets, and among younger drinkers.

Point Tallies:

  • GRAND GOLD
    50 Points
  • GOLD
    30 Points

Kura Master

This sake competition is run by French sponsors for French customers, and the judges include professional sommeliers working in France. One goal of this competition is to help increase the acceptance of sake as an accompaniment to French cuisine, in consideration of how well it matches gourmet cuisine of all sorts.

Point Tallies:

  • PLATINUM MEDAL
    50 Points
  • GOLD MEDAL
    30 Points
  • Special Points
    President's Prize
    20 Points
  •  
    Jury Prize (Highest Category Award)
    10 Points
  •  
    Top 5 Rank Any Category
    5 Points

International Wine Challenge (IWC)

The IWC is the world's largest wine competition. The sake category was established to help increase awareness and drinking of sake abroad. It was introduced in 2007, and the World Sakagura Ranking now includes all sakes that have been recognized since then.

Point Tallies:

  • GOLD
    50 Points
  • SILVER
    40 Points
  • BRONZE
    30 Points
  • COMMENDED
    10 Points
  • Special Points
    Champion Trophy (Top Prize)
    20 Points
  •  
    Trophy (Top Category Prize)
    10 Points
  •  
    Regional Trophy
    (Second Highest Category Prize)
    5 Points

Sake Competition

* The contest was canceled in 2020 due to the growing infection of "Covid-19".

The aim of this competition is to determine the most delicious commercially available sake in Japan, and to create standards to help show that sake is a great choice for meals all over the world to promote its adoption as a meal standard. It has the largest submission numbers of any competition.

Point Tallies:

  • GOLD
    50 Points
  • SILVER
    40 Points
  • BRONZE
    30 Points
  • Special Points
    Top Sake
    in any Individual Category
    10 Points

U.S. National Sake Appraisal

The U.S. National Sake Appraisal has been held annually since 2001 and is the oldest sake appraisal conducted outside Japan. Eleven judges -usually nine from Japan and two from the U.S.- evaluate approximately 500 sake entries over three days following traditional Japanese judging procedures. Following the Appraisal all entries are presented for public tasting at The Joy of Sake in New York and Honolulu.

Point Tallies:

  • GOLD
    50 Points
  • SILVER
    30 Points
  • Special Points
    Grand Prix
    20 Points
  •  
    Second Grand Prix
    10 Points

Star (★) Ranking

All breweries from 1st to 50th place are awarded a star ranking. The star rankings are divided by range, as follows.

★★★★★
1st to 10th Place
★★★★
11th to 20th Place
★★★
21st to 30th Place
★★
31st to 40th Place
41st to 50th Place

Winning Sakagura Ranking WORLD SAKAGURA RANKING

These Sakagura Rankings are based on results earned at the year's sake contests, so the more awards won the more points awarded.
To recognize breweries that can consistently offer high quality sake, we list here the top 50 winners.

☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • Komachizakura
  • Komachizakura Betsugakoi
  • Hourai Kinmon Komachisakura
  • Hourai “Owarai-pawaer-sikomi” Ginjo
  • Hourai “Dento Karakuchi” Ginjo
  • Hourai “Tezukuri Junmai Hidahomare”
  • Hourai “Kaden Tezukuri” Junmai Ginjo
  • Hourai Junmadaiginjo Gokuiden
  • Hourai Junmadaiginjo Irootoko
  • Hourai Josen
  • Hourai “Akaiwa 7 Kahodenshoshu”
  • Hourai Kuramoto no Kakushisake
  • Hourai Tensaitoji no Nyukonshu
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • Mutsuotokoyama"Classic"
  • Mutsuhassen “Isaribi”
  • Mutsu Hassen Dry Sparkling
  • Mutsuhassen “Pink Label”
  • Mutsuhassen “Reimei 40”
  • Mutsu Hassen Hanaomoi40
  • Mutsuhassen “Hanaomoi 50”
  • Mutsu Hassen Gin-eboshi40
  • Mutsuhassen “Black Label”
  • Mutsu Hassen Red-label
  • Mutsu Hassen ”Daiginjo"
  • Mutsuhassen “Tokubetsu Junmai”
  • Mutsuhassen “Hojun Chokara”
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • Zaku “Miyabi no Tomo”
  • Zaku “Miyabi no Tomo Nakadori”
  • ZAKU Miyabi-no-Tomo Omachi
  • Zaku “Megumi no Tomo”
  • Zaku “Gen no Tomo”
  • Zaku “Kanade no Tomo” 
  • Zaku “Satori” Junmai Daiginjo Shizukudori
  • Zaku “Ho no Tomo” 
  • Zaku “Yozan Ittekisui”
  • Zaku “Kaizan Ittekisui”
  • Suzukagawa Junmai Daiginjo
  • Suzukagawa Junmai Daiginjo Zenryo Yamadanishiki
  • Suzukagawa Junmai Daiginjo Migaki Yonwari
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • Dewazakura Sparkling AWA SAKE
  • Dewazakura “Kahou”
  • Dewazakura “Oka”
  • Dewazakura “Oka Yamadanishiki”
  • Dewazakura “Dewanosato”
  • Dewazakura “Omachi”
  • Dewazakura “Tsuyahime” Junmai Ginjoshu
  • Dewazakura “Junmai Daiginjo Genshu”
  • Dewazakura Junmai Daiginjo “Yukimegami Sanwarigobu”
  • Dewazakura “Daiginjo”
  • Dewazakura Tokubetsu Junmai Yamahai
  • Dewazakura Honjozo
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • KONISHI Ginjo Hiyashibori
  • KONISHI Junmai Kokuagari
  • KONISHI Daiginjo Hiyashibori
  • KONISHI Aosae no Sumikiri Junmai
  • Shirayuki Daiginjo Itami Morohaku
  • Shirayuki Sake of Edo-Genroku Era "Year 1702"
  • Shirayuki Junmai Ginjo Akafuji
  • Shirayuki Junmai Daiginjo Banzaimon
  • Chotokusen Shirayuki “Daiginjo Fujiyamagura”
  • Shirayuki Junmai Daiginjo Daihoju
  • Shirayuki Daiginjo Nama Genshu Ice Temperature Aging
  • Shirayuki Daiginjo Namazake Ice Temperature Aging
  • Shirayuki Taruzake Cup
  • Shirayuki Tanba Densho
  • Shirayuki Honjozo Itami Morohaku
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • Born Premium Sparkring
  • Born Tokusen Junmai Daiginjo
  • Born "Dreams Come True"
  • Born “Gold”
  • Born “Tokishirazu”
  • Born “Kichibee”
  • Born"Gokuhidukuri Daiginjo
  • Born “Ginsen”
  • Born “Junmai 55”
  • Born “A Wakening Of The Angel”
  • Born “Wing of Japan”
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • Mizubasho “Ginjo”
  • MIZUBASHO PURE
  • THE MIZUBASHO PURE 2009
  • MIZUBASHO DESSERT SAKE
  • MIZUBASHO JUNMAIGINJO
  • Mizubasho Junmaidaiginjo
  • Mizubasyo Junmaidaiginjo (US)
  • Mizubasho Junmaidaiginjo VINTAGE2008
  • MIZUBASHO JUNMAIDAIGINJO PREMIUM
  • MIZUBASHO JUNMAIDAIGINJO SUI
  • MIZUBASHO YUKIHOTAKA AWA SAKE
  • Tanigawadake Kokoro
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • Gahoujin Junmai Ginjo
  • Gahoujin Junmai Daiginjo
  • Josen Kunizakari Karakuchi
  • Josen Kunizakari Handago Junmai Karakuchi
  • Chotokusen Kunizakari “Nakano” Junmai Daiginjo
  • Chotokusen Kunizakari Daiginjo
  • Tokusen Kunizakari Saika Junmai Daiginjo
  • Tokusen Kunizakari Saika Daiginjo
  • Tokusen Kunizakari Junmaiginjo Handago 1801
  • Tokusen Kunizakari Hizo Ginjo Koshu
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • Imanishiki “Junmai Ginjo Kinmonnishiki”
  • Imanishiki “Junmai Ginjo Miyamanishiki”
  • Imanishiki “Junmai”
  • Imanishiki “Junmai Daiginjo”
  • Imanishiki Nakagawamura no Tamako Tokubetsu Junmai
  • Imanishiki “Tokubetsu Junmaishu”
  • Imanishiki “Nenrin S” Junmai Daiginjo
  • Imanishiki “Nenrin” Junmai Daiginjo
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • Kid “Seasonal Junmai Daiginjo”
  • Kid “Junmai Ginjo”
  • Kid “Junmai Daiginjo Seimaibuai 40”
  • Kid “Daiginjo”
  • KID Muryozan Junmai ginjo
  • Kid “Muryozan” Junmaishu
  • KID Muryozan Junmai Omachi
  • KID Muryozan Junmai Daiginjo
  • KID Muryozan Junmai Daiginjo Seimaibuai25
  • KID Muryozan Junmai Daiginjo Seimaibuai30
  • KID Muryozan Junmai Daiginjo Seimaibuai35
  1. 11th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Kanagawa Prefecture
    590 Points
    Details
  2. 12th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Ibaraki Prefecture
    570 Points
    Details
  3. 12th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Hiroshima Prefecture
    570 Points
    Details
  4. 14th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Tochigi Prefecture
    560 Points
    Details
  5. 15th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Saga Prefecture
    550 Points
    Details
  6. 16th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Miyagi Prefecture
    535 Points
    Details
  7. 17th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Ehime Prefecture
    530 Points
    Details
  8. 18th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Iwate Prefecture
    480 Points
    Details
  9. 18th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Miyagi Prefecture
    480 Points
    Details
  10. 20th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Akita Prefecture
    470 Points
    Details
  11. 20th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Akita Prefecture
    470 Points
    Details
  1. 22nd
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Mie Prefecture
    460 Points
    Details
  2. 22nd
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Kyoto Prefecture
    460 Points
    Details
  3. 22nd
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Fukuoka Prefecture
    460 Points
    Details
  4. 25th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Akita Prefecture
    450 Points
    Details
  5. 25th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Toyama Prefecture
    450 Points
    Details
  6. 27th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Miyagi Prefecture
    440 Points
    Details
  7. 28th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Miyagi Prefecture
    430 Points
    Details
  8. 29th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Yamanashi Prefecture
    425 Points
    Details
  9. 30th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Aomori Prefecture
    420 Points
    Details
  10. 30th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Yamagata Prefecture
    420 Points
    Details
  11. 30th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Ishikawa Prefecture
    420 Points
    Details
  1. 33rd
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Shizuoka Prefecture
    405 Points
    Details
  2. 34th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Fukushima Prefecture
    400 Points
    Details
  3. 34th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Hyogo Prefecture
    400 Points
    Details
  4. 36th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Akita Prefecture
    385 Points
    Details
  5. 37th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Yamagata Prefecture
    380 Points
    Details
  6. 37th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Yamagata Prefecture
    380 Points
    Details
  7. 37th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Okayama Prefecture
    380 Points
    Details
  8. 40th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Nagano Prefecture
    370 Points
    Details
  9. 40th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Shizuoka Prefecture
    370 Points
    Details
  1. 42nd
    Place
    Location: Aomori Prefecture
    365 Points
    Details
  2. 42nd
    Place
    Location: Iwate Prefecture
    365 Points
    Details
  3. 44th
    Place
    Location: Kyoto Prefecture
    360 Points
    Details
  4. 45th
    Place
    Location: Fukushima Prefecture
    350 Points
    Details
  5. 45th
    Place
    Location: Hyogo Prefecture
    350 Points
    Details
  6. 47th
    Place
    Location: Nagano Prefecture
    340 Points
    Details
  7. 48th
    Place
    Location: Ishikawa Prefecture
    335 Points
    Details
  8. 49th
    Place
    Location: Tochigi Prefecture
    330 Points
    Details
  9. 49th
    Place
    Location: Niigata Prefecture
    330 Points
    Details
  10. 49th
    Place
    Location: Mie Prefecture
    330 Points
    Details
  11. 49th
    Place
    Location: Okayama Prefecture
    330 Points
    Details
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