Iio-jozo, the Japanese Vinegar Brewery
Iio Jozo is a brewery in Kyoto founded in 1893.
We brew SAKE from pesticide-free rice cultivated in our native Tango District, Kyoto, and use it to make vinegar. We also grow rice ourselves, to protect the environment of the paddy terrace, where our ingredients are produced.
We are the only vinegar brewery in Japan who conduct the full process of growing rice, brewing SAKE, and producing vinegar exclusively by ourselves.
Junmai Fujisu pure rice vinegar is our most popular product. Its production method remains unchanged since our foundation in 1893. In it, we use only pesticide-free rice grown in the mountainous villages of Tango District, Kyoto and fresh underground water that also comes from the mountain.
Our master brewers make moromi(SAKE) from this pesticide-free rice in our own brewery, and then brew the vinegar through static fermentation, the traditional method of brewing vinegar. This is then followed by 8 months of maturation. From the moment we start growing the rice, it takes more than 2 years to complete the production of our vinegar. Today it is rare for manufacturers to use such a long production process, but we follow the traditional method to achieve the rich taste and unique flavor of our vinegar.
We use 200g of rice for production of 1 liter of vinegar, which is 5 times the industry standard here in Japan. Using more rice produces a richer flavor and strong taste that adds depth and richness to your dishes.
We are able to achieve maximum rice flavor thanks to our uncompromising approach to ingredients and brewing methods. This vinegar is made from pesticide-free rice grown in our native Tango District, Kyoto, using as much as 320g of rice for production of 1 liter of vinegar, which is 8 times the Japanese Industrial Standard. It strictly adheres to the old method of static fermentation and a long maturation period.
Through this long process, we ensure that supreme junmaisu (rice vinegar), with its mild fragrance, smooth vinegar flavor, and rich UMAMI taste can be enjoyed to the fullest.
You can feel that this vinegar is not only sour but also works well as a bouillon with UMAMI.It provides the perfect complement to your special dishes such as vinegared food, sushi, and dressings.
Fuji Genmai-kurozu is made from only genmai (brown rice) and fresh underground water. It is created by static fermentation, the traditional method of brewing vinegar, followed by a long maturation period.
Each 100ml of vinegar contains as much as 1000mg of natural amino acids, which are required for a healthy body. It also contains essential amino acids, which cannot be created in our body, giving the vinegar a good balance that is highly rated amongst all the genmai-kurozu products currently on the market. To aid your health, please drink it every day with 7 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Its rich UMAMI taste and strong flavor are excellent not just for drinking but also for cooking.
Also, there is no need to worry about the pesticides that sometimes remain in the embryo buds of genmai, because Fuji Genmai-kurozu is made from completely pesticide-free rice.
We brew Beniimo-shu (purple sweet potato SAKE) from domestic pesticide-free beniimo which we then use to make our beniimosu (red vinegar) by way of a long period of fermentation and maturation.
This vinegar contains plenty of anthocyanin, a type of polyphenol, which is an antioxidant material. It is good for your health and an optimal vinegar for anti-aging.
You can add 8 parts of water or soda for each part of vinegar to enjoy it as healthy drink. It is good for the liver and can be enjoyed also by frequent drinkers. The vivid red color is also good for making dressings.
We make beniimo-moromi from domestic pesticide-free beniimo (purple sweet potato), and then convert them to beniimosu through fermentation and maturation. In this Honey Beniimosu, added honey makes it easier to drink. Beniimosu contains plenty of anthocyanin, a type of polyphenol, which plays an important role in protecting the body.
You can drink it by mixing one part vinegar with 4 or 5 parts of water, milk, soda, etc. Drinking it every day helps to maintain your health. If you add it to a glass of beer, you can enjoy a bright pink, bitterless cocktail.
We are the only vinegar brewery in Japan which conducts the entire process from cultivating rice, brewing sake, and brewing the vinegar completely by ourselves.
Since 1964, we have continued to make sake and vinegar from only pesticide-free rice. We haven’t used pesticides in growing our rice for more than 50 years.
Since 2001, our brewers have also been engaged in growing rice, as contracted farmers grow older and there are fewer of the younger generation to replace them, as well as for the protection of landscapes and environment of our paddy terrace.
We make rice malt and brew sake by ourselves.
Our brewers create Sumoto-moromi, (junmai-shu), the source of vinegar themselves. They make rice malt, a vital ingredient in brewing SAKE, by hand.
While many manufacturers make rice malt by machinery, we continue to make it manually under the belief that creating good rice malt is the key of making good SAKE. Even now, our master brewers stay at our SAKE brewery during the sake brewing season in winter and continue to make their best efforts to create high-quality junmai-shu.
We make vinegar using a traditional method called static fermentation.
In our brewery, we make vinegar in an old method called static fermentation. We float acetic acid bacteria on the surface of the tank and allow 80 to 120 days for fermentation.
This method requires lots of time, labor, and intuition from our master brewers, but creates both a mild and richly flavored vinegar. After fermentation, we allow 8 months for maturation, to produce the complete vinegar. During that period, we continuously move the vinegar from one tank to another, to ensure a milder taste.
We keep monitoring and improving our vinegar right up till the end of the process, in order to provide it to our customers with the very best product.
A paddy terrace where rice for Fujisu is produced
(rice planting / harvesting)
The Last Artisans of Japan: Vinegar
Our product was introduced as one of “The last artisans of Japan” in NOWNESS, the digital magazine published by LVMH (LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A.). Here, you can see the short film made in February 2015 as a part of the collaborative project “HANDRED”.
“IS JAPAN COOL?” is ANA’s website that introduces foreigners to the most appealing aspects of Japan.
We were introduced as a rice vinegar brewery in its special feature “WASHOKU (Japanese food)”.
We also featured extensively in the article “Searching Kyoto for the holy grail of Japanese rice vinegar” in The Japan Times, Japan’s oldest English language newspaper. The article offers a detailed background of the birth of Fujisu Premium.
Our Fujisu Premium was selected as one of “The best foods they ate in 2015”, in The Guardian. The newspaper’s London chief, James, who recommended it, said in the article “They gave me a litre bottle and, at first, I tried to use it sparingly, but I ended up putting it on lots of things at the restaurant. It was gone within a week.”
You are most welcome to visit. We look forward to seeing you.
You can visit our brewery and actually see how we work.
Only a few of our staff can speak English, so please send us an e-mail in advance with the following information. (Smaller groups are appreciated.)
- Date and time of your visit
- Number of visitors
- E-mail address available on the day of your visit
You can send an e-mail from the following “Reservation” button.We will reply to you within a few days.
|Company name||Iio-jozo Co., Ltd.|
|Representative ||Akihiro Iio|
|Adress || |
〒626-0052 Odashukuno, Miyazu-shi, Kyoto
|Representative ||Akihiro Iio|