• Kyodo

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Major sake brewer Kizakura Co. said on Thursday that it will provide free guided tours to foreign tourists at a new factory it plans to open next week to raise its brand recognition abroad and promote exports.

The Fushimigura factory will open in Kyoto’s Fushimi Ward next Thursday, allowing visitors to observe the whole brewing and bottling process. It will also release a smartphone app by fall to provide guidance in English and Chinese, the company said.

Kyoto-based Kizakura is expecting 200,000 visitors to take its tours each year, after booking in advance.

“We hope visitors become fans of our products,” Kizakura President Shinji Matsumoto said.

The brewer, which has been exporting the rice wine to Asia, Europe and the United States, has introduced heat sterilization technology into its beer production to enable the suds to be exported with longer expiration dates.

The five-story facility, which includes a restaurant, has about 5,000 sq. meters of floor space and a maximum annual production capacity of 180 kl of sake and 4,000 kl of beer.

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