“If you want to be the best sake expert, sommelier, or importer in your field, you really need to know the nuances and personality of the region.”

Welcome to the Sake Scholar Course, a new course dedicated to exploring the many sake regions of Japan. This advanced course is the next level in sake education and is geared for sake experts and professionals. It will tell sake’s story through a variety of narratives, notably through curated tastings of hard to find sakes and shochu from all 47 Japanese prefectures. Students will feel like they have travelled the sake world by the end of the course and have a solid understanding of Japan’s fascinating sake corners.

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The full-colour study manual contains more than 300 pages of information on all 47 prefecture that make up Japan. All of the questions for the exam are derived from the content within its pages.

The study manual consists of full coverage of not only Japan’s key sake making regions, but also explores the lesser known sake producing corners of Japan, including a cursory examination of Honkaku Shochu. The study manual covers:

  • History and culture of each region that has shaped sake making in its prefectural home or throughout Japan.

  • The unique geography and topography and its impact on sake making and style.

  • Sake rice, water hardness and yeast strains and how they can shape a sake’s profile.

  • Sake making practices and trends.

  • The influence of wine making traditions on sake.

  • An introduction to the regionality of sake.

Regions covered: Hokkaido and Tohoku, Chubu, Kanto, Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu.

Plus: Topographical maps of each prefecture, identification of influential breweries and techniques. Infographics highlighting sake rice, sake yeast, and water hardness, etc.

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The primary goal of the course is to arm students, already comfortable with the sake grades and classifications, a deeper exploration into Japan’s geography as well as a better understanding of how regional differences help shape sake. The major outcome of the course is for students to be able to identify the location of prefectures and their major topographical features, be aware of key differences in sake making ingredients and techniques that exist. In other words, students will gain a deeper understanding of what makes each sake region unique. In addition, a series of curated tastings, many of which have been hand-picked in Japan, will acquaint students with key brewers and highlight regional differences.

Brooklyn Course Registration October 21-23

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The Sake Scholar Course presents each sake making region as an integrated whole by explaining the impact and effect of history, geography, topography, climate, sake making techniques, and the ingredients in the glass. Each element is discussed in context to one another, and to the overarching trends that make up Japan’s sake making culture.