Make an original square wooden masu cup for sake drinking at one of the largest masu cup producers in Japan. Learn about the role of the masu cup in Japan's modern-day sake culture. Visit a local sake brewery and taste local sake using a masu cup.
- As sake breweries close during the winter, winter visits are limited to the Miwa sake brewery shop, where you can taste sake - You must be age 20 or over to drink alcohol in Japan
A masu cup is a square wooden box, usually made of cypress wood, which was historically used to measure rice. Nowadays, however, the Japanese use masu cups primarily for drinking sake. You can often see masu cups in use at Japanese restaurants serving sake. Ogaki City, Gifu Prefecture is the source of over 80% of Japan's masu cups. In this activity, you will visit one of the largest masu cup producers in Ogaki City. Ohashi Ryoki produces various sizes using original designs and patterns. Ohashi Ryoki has collaborated with popular global brands, including Paul Smith and the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and popular international designers at Milano Design Week 2016, and the Maison et Objet design and lifestyle trade fair 2017–2019, taking the Japanese masu cup overseas. During this experience, you will have the opportunity to take a guided tour around the factory and step into the studio to make your very own masu cup with an original design. You will apply color through screen printing and inscribe your name on your masu cup using a hot foil pen. While your masu cup is drying, take another one to the nearby Miwa sake brewery to taste locally made Japanese sake. A short tour of the sake brewery will deepen your knowledge of sake production and culture, giving you a better understanding of the bond between Japanese sake and the masu cup. At the end of the tour, you will receive two masu cups (the one you made and the one you used for sake tasting) and a small bottle of local sake. This activity is a lovely way to experience both traditional and modern-day Japan.