Fukuoka sake, in general, hovers just below the surface of mass attention. You don't hear about it too much, and it doesn't have an image of overall style in the minds of most folks. But this belies its historical significance and, more importantly, ignores the fact that great sake can be found in Fukuoka.

Currently, there are about 80 sakagura in Fukuoka. Many of them are concentrated in the region of Jojima, known as the "Nada of Kyushu," in reference to Japan's largest sake brewing town, Nada, Kobe.

One reason that Fukuoka has always been a source of great sake is that the climate is conducive to growing great rice. Sitting on the northern part of Kyushu, it does not bear the brunt of most typhoons and tropical storms that spin through each summer and fall. Thus, it is a relatively safe place to grow the tall, lanky, top-heavy rice that makes fine sake. In fact, after Hyogo Prefecture, Fukuoka is one of the main sources for Yamada Nishiki rice.