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Key Points Regarding GEKKEIKAN Sake
Sake & Culture
Making Sake
Sake Varieties
Enjoying Sake
Sake Barrel Ceremony "Kagami-Biraki"
Sake & Health
Plum Wine and Culture
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Commonly Misunderstood Facts about Sake
Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum

Plum Wine and Culture

Hana mo mi mo aruJapanese proverb

According to legend, the plum tree was introduced to Japan in the 6th century by a Chinese envoy who wanted to make a distinguished gift to the Imperial capital. The elegant blossoms found instant favor by the court and were prized for their loveliness and rarity. In later years, as information on Chinese medicine and the use of the plum fruit became known throughout Japan, the plum came to be prized not only for the beauty of its flowers but also for the usefulness of its fruit.


Blossoming plums in Kyoto (Kitano Tenmangu shrine)

The plum was believed to be good for preserving health and was attributed as having beneficial digestive and cleansing properties. By the 17th century, the plum had become an important part of Japanese cuisine and was widely cultivated. It is during this time period that plum wine first began to be produced and enjoyed for its slightly sweet and refreshing quality.


White plum blossoms


Plum fruit

Today, plum wine continues to maintain the healthy aura of the plum and is a highly popular beverage. Whether served chilled as an aperitif, over ice as a summertime refreshment, or mixed with sparking soda as a light cocktail, plum wine holds a special place in the Japanese culinary lifestyle.


Plum wine

Gekkeikan Plum Wine is different from standard umeshu (plum liqueur) which is typically made by adding plum fruit to shochu or other white liquor. Gekkeikan Plum Wine is made by a unique recipe utilizing select fermented plums which produce a refreshingly fruity fragrance and delicate taste.


Pink plum blossoms