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

WORLD SAKAGURA RANKING

2019

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: 654 /
Number of Award-winning Sakes: 1,917

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 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

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.

1st Place
2nd Place
3rd Place
4th Place
5th Place
6th Place
7th Place
  • ★★★★★
    Location: Fukushima Prefecture
  • 560 Points
8th Place
9th Place
10th Place
  1. 11th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Kyoto Prefecture
    490 Points
  2. 12th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Hyogo Prefecture
    470 Points
  3. 13th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Miyagi Prefecture
    460 Points
  4. 14th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Iwate Prefecture
    455 Points
  5. 15th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Miyagi Prefecture
    440 Points
  6. 15th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Akita Prefecture
    440 Points
  7. 15th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Gunma Prefecture
    440 Points
  8. 15th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Wakayama Prefecture
    440 Points
  9. 19th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Hiroshima Prefecture
    430 Points
  10. 20th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Aichi Prefecture
    420 Points
  11. 20th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Hyogo Prefecture
    420 Points
  1. 22nd
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Miyagi Prefecture
    415 Points
  2. 23rd
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Aomori Prefecture
    410 Points
  3. 23rd
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Ibaraki Prefecture
    410 Points
  4. 23rd
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Shizuoka Prefecture
    410 Points
  5. 23rd
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Shizuoka Prefecture
    410 Points
  6. 23rd
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Mie Prefecture
    410 Points
  7. 23rd
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Hyogo Prefecture
    410 Points
  8. 29th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Hyogo Prefecture
    405 Points
  9. 30th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Yamagata Prefecture
    400 Points
  10. 30th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Tochigi Prefecture
    400 Points
  1. 32nd
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Akita Prefecture
    390 Points
  2. 32nd
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Yamanashi Prefecture
    390 Points
  3. 34th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Akita Prefecture
    380 Points
  4. 34th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Yamagata Prefecture
    380 Points
  5. 34th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Nagano Prefecture
    380 Points
  6. 34th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Nagano Prefecture
    380 Points
  7. 38th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Nagano Prefecture
    370 Points
  8. 39th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Iwate Prefecture
    360 Points
  9. 39th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Miyagi Prefecture
    360 Points
  10. 39th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Fukushima Prefecture
    360 Points
  11. 39th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Okayama Prefecture
    360 Points
  1. 43rd
    Place
    Location: Akita Prefecture
    350 Points
  2. 43rd
    Place
    Location: Fukushima Prefecture
    350 Points
  3. 43rd
    Place
    Location: Niigata Prefecture
    350 Points
  4. 46th
    Place
    Location: Oita Prefecture
    345 Points
  5. 47th
    Place
    Location: Tochigi Prefecture
    340 Points
  6. 47th
    Place
    Location: Gifu Prefecture
    340 Points
  7. 49th
    Place
    Location: Miyagi Prefecture
    330 Points
  8. 49th
    Place
    Location: Akita Prefecture
    330 Points
  9. 49th
    Place
    Location: Nara Prefecture
    330 Points
  10. 49th
    Place
    Location: Shimane Prefecture
    330 Points
  11. 49th
    Place
    Location: Kochi Prefecture
    330 Points
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