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Western-style Reinforced-Concrete Air-Conditioned Sake Brewery Completed
Old Photos of Showagura Brewery

Western-style Ferro-Concrete Air-Conditioned Sake Brewery Completed Old Photos of Showagura Brewery

  • Period: 1927
  • Western-style Ferro-Concrete Air-Conditioned Sake Brewery Completed Old Photos of Showagura Brewery
  • Western-style Ferro-Concrete Air-Conditioned Sake Brewery Completed Old Photos of Showagura Brewery
  • Western-style Ferro-Concrete Air-Conditioned Sake Brewery Completed Old Photos of Showagura Brewery

On about 33,000 m2 of a former samurai residence from the Edo period (Fushimi residence of the Kishu Clan) in Katahara-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Gekkeikan enlarged a sake brewery belonging to an affiliate and joint producer (which we would later merge with) in 1921. In one part of this site, we completed the Showagura Brewery, a two-storied structure made of ferro-concrete and air-conditioned, which was highly unusual for the time. It was at this brewery, on January 21, 1928, that we brewed the sake used for the Emperor Showa's enthronement rites, letting it mature until autumn before presenting it at the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

The biggest feature of this brewery is that the air-conditioning allowed us to manage the interior temperature. We imported air conditioners made by York, in the United States. At a time when there were only one or two air conditioners anywhere in Japan, we imported ones made by the American company York, and installed air-conditioning ducts in our second-floor fermenting chamber. In the middle of the brewery, we installed a freight elevator made by the German company Schmitt to carry large containers and others. The total cost at the time was 160,000 yen. This sake brewery, which was built at the start of the Showa period, is still used to make winter-brewed sake to this day.

The office we built next door to the brewery in 1929 features a Western-style external design that is reminiscent of Art Nouveau or Secession. Together with the sake brewery, this was registered by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as part of the Heritage of Industrial Modernization in November 2007.

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