Located in the middle of rice fields and situated at the foot of Mt. Sefuri in the Itoshima area of Fukuoka is the Shiraito Sake Brewery. Founded in 1855, the company is known for their ancient technique of haneki-shibori, which applies much less pressure than machine-pressed sake and crates a more pure and mellow flavor.

To celebrate 160 years of sake making using local Itoshima rice, the company decided to design a new addition to their complex of old buildings to create a visually diverse structure that functionally connects to the rest of the factory.

Most of the existing buildings in the site were very old and traditional with the main building being over 100 years old. “The purpose,” explains architect Taketo Tashiro, “was to obtain more space and to add new facilities to enhance the quality of their product.”

The new addition is a modern, concrete structure that heavily emphasizes the texture of concrete throughout. The lack of windows in the space, other than the staff room and washing room, is intentional as exposure to sunlight can harm the product. Its triangular form was also designed to be consistent with the silhouette of the traditional building.

Shiraito Sake Brewery does allow for tours but only from mid-February to mid-April and reservations are required at least a week in advance. In the meantime, you can also order their sake online via their webshop.