WORKING TOWARDS A BETTER FUTURE
From the ripe golden sheaves of rice that bow in the wind before harvest in autumn to the first thaw of spring enriching the soil with melted snow, good sake is dependent on its environment. Because we work through the elements and are bound by its whims, we strive to give back some of our abundance both to our local community and the natural landscapes that surround us.
CONNECTED TO NATURE BY DESIGN
We believe that one cannot separate our business from the nature we rely on to make our products. While there is an increasing interest in businesses to work towards SDGs, for us the heart and soul of taking care of the environment has always been an integral part of our business model.
The Firefly Village Project was established to help promote the return of greater numbers of fireflies to the Koshiji area. Fireflies are one of nature’s indicators of clean waters and a cared for environment, and by working closely together with the locals, we have seen the numbers increase drastically over the last few years. Visitors can see them in June across the region. The closest spot to the brewery is behind Sara no Sato Asahiyama, which houses the brewery shop and restaurant. Further afield, about a 15-minute ride away, visitors will find Tsukanoyama Ushi no Kubi Chiku — a famous firefly location with stunning backdrops of rice fields and mountains. There are no street lights here, so visibility is excellent. However, that also means it can be difficult to navigate on foot.
The Maple Tree Project was started to foster an understanding of the local flora and fauna around the brewery and beyond. The renovation of the traditional buildings and restoration of the grounds at Koshiji Momiji Garden are just two of the community efforts we have started and continue to assist with in the area. The property was originally built as a villa and garden for the Takahashi family, wealthy landowners in the Koshiji-Kamiya region in the late 1800s. They brought over the first maple trees from Kyoto Prefecture and have thrived here since then. However, as time passed, the villa and its grounds were all but abandoned. In honor of Asahi-Shuzo’s 70th anniversary celebrations, the company joined members of the Koshiji community to revive the garden into a splendorous space to be enjoyed in all seasons. Around the same time, an initiative was started to distribute maple saplings to students at local schools, to continue the tradition of creating and protecting beautiful natural environments. Maple Tree Project members grow the saplings at home, before they are moved to the nearby Asahi Momiji Garden and then finally given to the children once they have grown tall enough. Since 1993, an estimated 4,000 saplings have been grown in this manner. As for Koshiji Momiji Garden, volunteers from Asahi-Shuzo and Momiji-no-kai help with seasonal weeding and general care. Come see the stunning area for yourself — our Momiji Festival in Autumn is not to be missed.
STRENGTHENING TIES WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
We have opened our space to the community, inviting visitors to enter the doors beyond brewery tours. Our grand entrance hall serves as an event space for concerts, private parties — including weddings —and other community-oriented experiences.
By supporting community projects like the Firefly Village, environmental studies and the maintenance of Koshiji Momiji Garden, we hope to encourage locals to further treasure their town as much as we do — and realize their own power to create positive change.
We also make efforts to retain local craftspeople — our washi bottle labels are one example — to protect our shared cultural heritage and inject important new influences into the region, while sharing our excess to limit waste. We sell leftover sake lees created during the sake brewing process to local businesses for use to make new products.
WALKING WITH THE COMMUNITY TOWARDS THE FUTURE
Our commitment to quality assurance and sustainable development goals ensures our products and process are safe and maintain the highest standards — both now and in the future.
We strive to be a company that grows together with the community around us. Our activities include educating and encouraging a balanced and healthy lifestyle, nature conservation projects, using sustainable energy solutions and more.