Sake brewing firm harvests rice on rooftop of Ginza building

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Employees of Hakutsuru Sake Brewing Co. harvest rice on the rooftop of a building in the Ginza district of Tokyo on Friday.

Hakutsuru Sake Brewing Co. harvested rice for sake on the rooftop of its Tokyo branch office building in the Ginza district on Friday, bringing a scene of the harvest season to central Tokyo.

The company has been cultivating a 110-square-meter rice paddy on the rooftop, which is 30 meters above the ground, since 2007 and using the plot to grow Hakutsuru Nishiki, a sake rice variety developed by the company. In June this year, about 1,700 bunches of seedlings were planted by hand.

On Friday, some 35 people, including the company’s employees, harvested the rice and hung it to dry in the traditional manner, a practice called hasagake in which bundles of rice are hung on racks. The harvested rice will be brewed to produce sake that will be sold at department stores and other shops.