Matsui Sake Brewery
Matsui Sake Brewery
4.5
Tours & experiences
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: City Center
No district of Kyoto is quite as representative of its blended nature as the City Center. By day, the covered shopping arcades along Kawaramachi and Shijo Street bring deal hunters and fashionistas out in droves to peruse the clothing, accessories, gifts, and home goods offerings. When it grows dark, the City Center is a hip spot for nightlife, alive with bars and clubs. A trendy culinary scene and an abundance of local watering holes give the Center its youthful vibrancy. In contrast, the quieter areas of the City Center seem a world away, shielded from noise by the foliage of the public gardens and zen spaces surrounding the area's shrines, castles, and the Imperial Palace. These ancient and sacred spots are seamlessly folded into the scenery, providing a respite from the energy of the city, but close enough to put you directly back onto the pulse of the city when you're ready.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles49 reviews
Excellent
36
Very good
8
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
3

Tara P
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Friends
My friends and I had the best time!! Very knowledgeable and experienced English speaking tour guide who is also one of the sake brewers. Had no idea how difficult sake is to brew and perfect, so much more respect for sake now. The sake we tried was delicious and naturally we all HAD to buy a bottle cause it was just too good. Just a short walk from the centre of Kyoto. More than worth the money!!
Written February 17, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Donut C
4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
Decent but overpriced sake. English tour is unpleasant due to tour guide whose every word spoken reeks of narcissism and arrogance. Not an experience I would recommend.

Go to another sake place instead. I recommend Nara Harushika.
Written November 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

richard oklin
Weston, FL4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Couples
I went to Japan for a 2 week trip with my family in March. I waited until I got to Kyoto to buy Sake and get it shipped back to the USA. I ordered the maximum 20 bottles that can be shipped. Total cost was close to $900, which half of it was shipping. I paid them for everything, including the shipping. They shipped by Sake into 2 boxes.

A couple weeks later, my postman came to my door and all he said "I'm sorry." It was a box soaked in Sake with broken bottles. I decided to video tape me opening the box, I was appalled when I realized how poorly wrapped the bottles were. The wrapped each bottle with a thin carboard cover and place a piece of bubble wrap sparingly between every other bottle. They way the shipped the bottles, they were doomed to break. I never received the other box, because they broke and they couldn't ship the box from JFK.

When discussing with the brewery about the refund, they said they we have to figure out how to get the money back for shipping. They shipped the Sake and put me as the sender and recipient. I explained that I was not the sender, because that is what I paid them to do.

Bottom line, I got screwed. We are spending hours upon hours fighting to get a refund. BEWARE AND DO NOT BUY FROM MATSUI SAKE BREWERY.
Written September 14, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Heather S
Chicago, IL47 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015
This place is a bit off the beaten tourist path, but worth a short visit if you have time and are looking to bring a few bottles of sake home with you. There are no tours available, and it's really more of a bottling and distribution center. Lots of local people were popping in to buy sake while we were there. The brewer offered us a flight to sample their five different sakes. All were wonderful, and we ended up bringing two bottles home.

Google Maps placed if right on the corner of an intersection, but the entrance was actually a couple of doors down from the northwest corner of the intersection. Look for the giant sake barrels outside!
Written January 23, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dee_Kiss
Melbourne, Australia130 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Couples
We walked here from our ryokan to enjoy a different experience and having picked it out of a Kyoto brochure to do. Was expecting a bigger establishment but that's ok. We asked whether there was a tour having read a previous review but were advised there wasn't one. Whether that meant just the day we went or at all I am not sure. In any case the lovely girl gave us a sake tasting trying 4/5 sakes of different kinds. It was enjoyable as I probably wouldn't order them in restaurants so trying them was a good chance. We ended up buying 3 types of smaller bottles for travel back home to Australia. She even bubble wrapped them for extra protection. It was a nice little thing to do if you're in the area.
Written August 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JayC
Melbourne, Australia113 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
5 of us did the saké tour. The owner (who is a 15th generation inherited) gave us an English guided tour of the brewery out the back, followed by a personal tasting of 5 different types with generous servings. Multiple merchandise options. You can get very tipsy at an very affordable price.
Written February 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alexky1
London, UK247 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
We had a great experience at the brewery. It's a microbrewery with only 4 people working at it. But Matsui Brewery boasts almost 300 years of history, of which almost 200 years at the current site. First, we were given a tour over the brewery by the 15th generation owner, Matsui san. Then we had a tasting session with a nice American chap, Jorge, a former Wall Street banker, who now works at the brewery. The sake was amazing and the presentation was very interesting. So overall, we enjoyed the experience very much and recommend it to anyone who wants to know anything about sake.
Written November 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gerard H
Fremantle, Australia294 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019 • Solo
This is a family fun sake brewery with over 300 years of history.
I did a short guided tour of the brewery and a tasting of five different blends that they make .
All the family and staff are very friendly and welcoming.
Our tour guide was George who is an ex Wall Street banker and now an apprentice brewer , his knowledge and explanations of the process and different types of sake depending on the rice polishing was great .
It was 1200 yen for the tour and tasting .
Well worth a visit and you can buy bottles at the brewery.
Written September 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Byngette
Woodstock, Canada4,067 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019 • Couples
This Sake brewery us run by a gentleman who is the 15th generation of sake brewers in his family in this brewery!
We booked a tour online and had to go back and forth a couple times as they were unable to accommodate us on the original day we wanted to visit due to training at another facility. The owner emailed back and forth with us to find a time that worked and was very quick to respond to my emails. He personally took us on a tour, which is short since the brewery is small. My husband had many questions and so we stood there chatting for a good 10 minutes and smelled the rice fermenting in the large containers while learning about the process of polishing rice very finely. It was so interesting!
When the tour was finished we came out to the storefront to taste 5 different kinds of sake. All were very different, some pasteurized and other unpasteurized. We found a bottle that was our favorite and bought it to bring home.
As we were halfway done our tasting, one of the gentlemen in the back came out to help us and chat and we ended up having the best conversation with him. He told us about how he worked on Wall Street in New York and ended up leaving that lifestyle to learn about brewing sake. He spent a lot of time traveling back and forth to Japan and had recently decided to stay in Japan and help Matsui with the brewery to hopefully expand and work together. We really appreciated him taking the time to talk to us and we enjoyed his stories and knowledge about sake very much. It truly made the experience for us! He told us his name, but after another 5 days of traveling to different places and meeting many people, I have unfortunately forgotten. 😓 I apologize!In the end, we left very happy that we had booked this tour and had such a great time. What an amazing operation they have here!
The tour and tasting itself was only about 1100¥ per person, which we felt was reasonable for what we experienced here.
Written September 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lanyau1012
Hong Kong, China11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016 • Couples
The sake tasting was organised by WAK Japan, which once we arrived, the guider is already waiting for us. There were only me and my boyfriend in the tour so it is like a private tour. It is very informative to know how Sake is brewed and to taste some sake. The owner is generous on his sake and it tastes very nicely. We didn't buy anything but the owner is still very polite and totally ok with it. It is overall a very good experience and I will buy some bottles next time when I have a big luggage to bring over to Japan.
Written June 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Matsui Sake Brewery - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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