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

WORLD SAKAGURA RANKING 2021

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: 643 /
Number of Award-winning Sakes: 2,044

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 16 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
  •  
    Champion Great Value
    (Top of The Great Value)
    10 Points
  •  
    Great Value
    (Particularly good ones with a retail price of less than 1000 yen per 720 ml.)
    5 Points
  •  
    Sake Brewer of the Year
    5 Points

Sake Competition

* The contest was canceled in 2021 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
  •  
    Emerald
    (The best sake brewery of cumulative points)
    5 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

  • Mutsu Otokoyama Classic
  • Mutsu Otokoyama Chokara Junmai
  • Mutsu Hassen Hassenblage
  • Mutsu Hassen ISARIBI
  • Mutsu Hassen Pink Label
  • Mutsu Hassen Reimei40
  • Mutsu Hassen Hanafubuki40
  • Mutsu Hassen Hanaomoi40
  • Mutsu Hassen Hanaomoi50
  • Mutsu Hassen Gineboshi40
  • Mutsu Hassen Black Label
  • Mutsu Hassen Red Label
  • Mutsu Hassen Daiginjo
  • Mutsu Hassen Tokubetsu Junmai
  • Mutsu Hassen Hōjun Chokara
  • Mutsu Hassen Banrai
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • Kid Muryozan Junmai Daiginjo 35
  • Kid Muryozan Junmai Daiginjo 30
  • Kid Muryozan Junmai Daiginjo 25
  • Kid Muryozan Junmai Daiginjo 20
  • Kid Muryozan Junmai Daiginjo
  • Kid Muryozan Junmai Omachi
  • Kid Muryozan Junmai Ginjo
  • Kid Muryozan Junmai
  • Kid Tokubetsujunmai Omachi
  • Kid Daiginjo
  • Kid Junmai Daiginjo45
  • Kid Junmai Daiginjo40
  • Kid Junmai Daiginjo Sparkling
  • Kid Junmai Daiginjo
  • Kid Junmai Agarano tade sodateta Yamadanishiki 80
  • Kid Junmai
  • Kid Junmai Ginjo
  • Kid Shibata's Junma Daiginjo be ambitious!
  • Kid Seasonal Junmai Ginjo
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • Hourai Kinmon Komachisakura
  • Saikokyugokuhisyu
  • Hurai Komachisakura
  • Hourai Komachisakura Betsugakoi
  • Hourai Hida no Dobu
  • Hourai Ginjo Dentou Karakuchi
  • Hourai “Dento Karakuchi” Betsugakoi
  • Hourai tezukurijyunmai Hidahomare
  • Horai Shuzokanzsatsu Tobinsenbatsu Daiginjo
  • Hourai Jummaiginjo kadentdukuri
  • Hourai Junmadaiginjo Gokuiden
  • Hourai Jyunmaidaiginjo Irootoko
  • Hourai Junmai Daiginjokimoto Takashimaomachi
  • Hourai Josen
  • Hourai Funabajikadune Murokanamagensyu
  • Hourai Kuramoto no Kakushisake
  • Hourai Kuranotonokakusizake Bangaihin
  • Hourai ChodoS
  • Hourai Tensai Toji no Nyukonshu
  • Hourai Mushuseinosake
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • Sake Brewer of the year
  • Zaku MONAD
  • Zaku Miyabi no Tomo
  • Zaku Miyabi no Tomo Nakadori
  • 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
  • Zaku Naguwashi Tojo Yamadanishiki
  • Suzukagawa Junmai Ginjo
  • Suzukagawa Junmai Daigijo Zenryo Yamadanishiki
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • NIIZAWA
  • NIIZAWA KIZASHI
  • atagonomatsu junmaiginjo sasara
  • atagonomatsu senretsukarakuchi
  • atagonomatsu daiginjo syuppinnsyu
  • atagonomatsu tokubetsujunmai
  • atagonomatsu tokubetsujunmai hiyaoroshi
  • atagonomatsu sparkling
  • atagonomatsu hitonatsunokoi
  • atagonomatsu betsushikomi honjozo
  • zankyo
  • hakurakusei junmaiginjo
  • hakurakusei junmaiginjo omachi
  • hakurakusei junmaidaiginjo
  • hakurakusei tokubetsujunmai
  • hakurakusei tokubetsujunmai hiyaoroshi
  • muhime
  • Reikyo Absolute Zero
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • KONISHI Ginjo Hiyashibori
  • KONISHi Junmai Kokuagari
  • KONISHI Daiginjo Ice Temperature Aging
  • KONISHI Daiginjo Hiyashibori
  • Shirayuki Honjozo Itami Morohaku
  • Shirayuki Daiginjo Itami Morohaku
  • Shirayuki Sake of Edo-Genroku Era "Year 1702"
  • Shirayuki Junmai Ginjo Akafuji
  • Shirayuki Junmai Daiginjo Banzaimon
  • Shirayuki Daiginjo Fujiyama-gura
  • Shirayuki Saeuma
  • Shirayuki Junmai Daiginjo Koi Nigorizake
  • Shirayuki Daiginjo Nama Genshu Ice Temperature Aging
  • Shirayuki Daiginjo Namazake Ice Temperature Aging
  • Shirayuki Super Red
  • Shirayuki Junmai Ginjo
  • Shirayuki Junmai Daiginjo Daihouju
  • Shirayuki Taruzake Cup
  • Shirayuki Tanba Densho
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

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

Award Winning Sake

  • Garyubai Sparkling Sake
  • Garyubai Sparkling Clear
  • Garyubai Junmaiginjo Sanmiwajo
  • Garyubai Junmaiginjo Yamadanishiki
  • Garyubai Junmaiginjo Miyamanishiki
  • Garyubai Junmaiginjo Ukiyoegara
  • Garyubai Junmaiginjo Homarehuji
  • Garyubai Junmaishu
  • Garyubai Junmaidaiginjo Kaibinjuurinikaoru
  • Garyubai junmaidaiginjo Yamadanishiki 35
  • Garyubai Junmaidaiginjo Bizenomachi
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • Chotokusen Hakutsuru Tenku Fukurotsuri Junmaidaiginjo Yamadanishiki
  • Hakutsuru Maru
  • Hakutsuru Junmaidaiginjo
  • Hakutsuru Junmai Ginjo SHOUN
  • Hakutsuru Junmai Daiginjo SHOUN
  • Hakutsuru Junmai Daiginjo TENKU Yamada Nishiki
  • Hakutsuru Josen Yamada Nishiki
  • Hakutsuru Josen Namachozozhu
  • Hakutsuru Daiginjo
  • Hakutsuru Daiginjo SWEET EDITION
  • Hakutsuru Awayuki Sparkling
  • Hakutsuru Tenku Junmaidaiginjo Awane
  • Hakutsuru Tenku Junmaidaiginjo Yamadanishiki
  • Hakutsuru Tenku Junmaidaiginjo Hakutsurunishiki
  • Hakutsuru Tojikan
  • Hakutsuru Tokubatsujunmaishu Yamadanishiki
  • Hakutsuru Ukiyoelabel Junmaidaiginjo
  • Hakutsuru Ukiyoelabel Daiginjo
  • Hakutsuru Shoun Junmaiginjo Hakuturunishiki
  • Hakutsuru Shoun Junmaidaiginjo Jisyasaibai Hakuturunishiki
☆Rank_th☆ Place

Award Winning Sake

  • Gahoujin Junmai Daiginjo Y30
  • Gahoujin Junmai Daiginjo Y40
  • Kunizakari Junmai Ginjo Handago
  • Kunizakari Junmai Ginjo Handago 1801
  • Kunizakari Junmai Daiginjo Nakano
  • Kunizakari Daiginjo
  • Kunizakari Saika Junmai Daiginjo
  • Kunizakari Saika Daiginjo
  • Kunizakari Hizo Ginjo Koshu
  1. 11th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Kanagawa Prefecture
    640 Points
    Details
  2. 12th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Ibaraki Prefecture
    630 Points
    Details
  3. 13th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Gunma Prefecture
    615 Points
    Details
  4. 14th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Tochigi Prefecture
    610 Points
    Details
  5. 15th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Toyama Prefecture
    590 Points
    Details
  6. 16th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Akita Prefecture
    560 Points
    Details
  7. 17th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Yamagata Prefecture
    540 Points
    Details
  8. 18th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Nagano Prefecture
    530 Points
    Details
  9. 19th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Gunma Prefecture
    520 Points
    Details
  10. 20th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Kyoto Prefecture
    510 Points
    Details
  11. 20th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Hyogo Prefecture
    510 Points
    Details
  12. 20th
    Place
    ★★★★
    Location: Hiroshima Prefecture
    510 Points
    Details
  1. 23rd
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Aomori Prefecture
    490 Points
    Details
  2. 24th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Niigata Prefecture
    480 Points
    Details
  3. 25th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Fukushima Prefecture
    470 Points
    Details
  4. 26th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Fukushima Prefecture
    460 Points
    Details
  5. 26th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Mie Prefecture
    460 Points
    Details
  6. 28th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Yamagata Prefecture
    450 Points
    Details
  7. 28th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Fukui Prefecture
    450 Points
    Details
  8. 28th
    Place
    ★★★
    Location: Saga Prefecture
    450 Points
    Details
  1. 31st
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Miyagi Prefecture
    440 Points
    Details
  2. 31st
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Fukuoka Prefecture
    440 Points
    Details
  3. 33rd
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Miyagi Prefecture
    435 Points
    Details
  4. 34th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Akita Prefecture
    430 Points
    Details
  5. 34th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Tochigi Prefecture
    430 Points
    Details
  6. 36th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Niigata Prefecture
    420 Points
    Details
  7. 37th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Ehime Prefecture
    415 Points
    Details
  8. 38th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Akita Prefecture
    410 Points
    Details
  9. 38th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Akita Prefecture
    410 Points
    Details
  10. 38th
    Place
    ★★
    Location: Okayama Prefecture
    410 Points
    Details
  1. 41st
    Place
    Location: Iwate Prefecture
    400 Points
    Details
  2. 41st
    Place
    Location: Yamaguchi Prefecture
    400 Points
    Details
  3. 43rd
    Place
    Location: Miyagi Prefecture
    380 Points
    Details
  4. 43rd
    Place
    Location: Chiba Prefecture
    380 Points
    Details
  5. 45th
    Place
    Location: Yamagata Prefecture
    370 Points
    Details
  6. 45th
    Place
    Location: Nagano Prefecture
    370 Points
    Details
  7. 45th
    Place
    Location: Mie Prefecture
    370 Points
    Details
  8. 48th
    Place
    Location: Akita Prefecture
    350 Points
    Details
  9. 48th
    Place
    Location: Kyoto Prefecture
    350 Points
    Details
  10. 48th
    Place
    Location: Hyogo Prefecture
    350 Points
    Details

Awarding Ceremony Viewing

We held the awarding ceremony at Palace Hotel Tokyo on 6th December 2021. 24 sakagura getting award were coming and were given the certification plate from the chairmans, Yujin Yusa and Toshiaki Yamada.
Additionally, the “Oosakazuki”(big sakazuki) was awarded the first place sakagura, “Hachinohe-shuzo(「Mutsuhassen」「Mutsuotokoyama」)” this year. The name of Hachinohe-shuzo is written into the Oosakazuki, and can keep it for a year.

Getting award 24 sakaguras
The chairman Yujin Yusa
Another chairman Toshiaki Yamada
2021 Miss SAKE Miyu Matsuzaki
Modrator Ms.Yuki Aoi

5stars
★★★★★
《TOP3》

First place Hachinohe Shuzo Co.,Ltd.
Second place HEIWA SHUZOU CO.,LTD.
Third place Watanabe Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.

5stars
★★★★★
《4th~10th》

4th place Shimizu Seizaburo Shoten Ltd.
5th place Niizawa Sake Brewery Co.,Ltd.
6th place KONISHI BREWING CO., LTD.
7th place Yonezawa Sake Brewery Co.,Ltd.
8th place Sanwa Shuzou Co.,Ltd
9th place HAKUTSURU SAKE BREWING CO.,LTD
10th place Nakano Sake Brewery Co.,Ltd.

4stars
★★★★
《11th~20th》

SetoShuzo-Ten Co.Ltd
Raifuku Shuzo Co.,Ltd
Tonoikeshuzouten Co.,Ltd.
Fumigiku Sake Brewery Co.,Ltd
Ryujin Shuzo Co., Ltd.

3stars
★★★
《21st~30th》

DHC SHUZO, CO., LTD.
NINKI INC.
Rokkasen Co.,Ltd.

2stars
★★
《31st~40th》

TENJU SHUZO CO., LTD.
Utsunomiya Shuzo co., ltd.
Takanoi Shuzou Co;Ltd
Suzuki Brewing And Co.

1star

《41st~50th》

Hatsumomidi Co.,Ltd.
Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing Co., Ltd.

Breweries that have been ranked first place so far

2019 Shimizu Seizaburo Shoten Ltd.
2020 Watanabe Sake Brewery Co., Ltd.

PAST RANKING

  1. 2020
  2. 2019
Page Top