Nada; the “Five Gō” of Nada

The character for Nada (灘) originally signifies a hard-to-navigate stretch of rough (open) sea, but in the sake industry generally indicates a coastal region on Osaka Bay, stretching from the eastern part of Kobe City to the Imazu area of Nishinomiya City, which area is the main region of production for seishu.

With the Rokko (long second “o”) mountain range behind it to the north, and overlooking Osaka Bay to the south, it is a long ribbon-like strip of land. In the winter, it sees strong, cold winds, like the westerlies that blow from the Akashi Straits and the Rokko-oroshi (the strong winds that blow at the foot of Mt. Rokko), and it is thought that it is this climate that gave the area its name.

The climate and topography created by this landscape are superbly suited for sake making, but the ideal brewing water , Miyamizu, which passes through the region’s special strata is also a major factor. Furthermore, the large-grained rice varieties ( sakamai ) used in brewing are grown in the area north of the Rokko range, and Nada’s coastal location enabled the large-scale transportation of Miyamizu and sake. These and other advantages for brewers made for a flourishing home for the industry long ago.

The combination of well-endowed natural surroundings and a great tradition of brewing skill gave rise to rich, mellow Nada sake, and the area became renowned as the home of Nada no Ki-ippon. Nada-go-go indicates the production areas for Nada sake, namely, from the west, Nishi-go, Mikage-go, Uozaki-go, Nishinomiya-go, and Imazu-go. The word go (long o) indicates an administrative group of villages.

These twelve kilometres of coast reaching from the Shinzaike area of Kobe’s East Ward to Imazu in Nishinomiya City are the birthplace of Nada sake.