In April 2008, sake brewer Taro Kumagai wanted to be able to offer his delicious sake directly to customers, so he opened a small shop on land shared by the historic pottery kiln Shichiemongama, under the name of Seishuya Rockonjo. Sake breweries and shops typically operate as separate businesses, but Taro was able to make his unique dream work, brewing through the winter, and managing the store through the warmer months.In 2017, Taro’s shop has since moved to its current location just a block up the road from its original home, reopening under the name, La Jomon.
Some sakes use grain—or brewing—alcohol, but all La Jomon’s sakes are produced from pure rice and natural fermentation process. And while other brewers may chase the going fad, introducing additives to manipulate the flavor or fragrance of their brews, La Jomon creates only junmaishu-grade natural sakes that let the umami-flavor of the rice speak for itself. Sake is traditionally consumed alongside food, and La Jomon sakes pair perfectly with a variety of foods, from main courses to classic Japanese drinking snacks.
Since opening shop, La Jomon has extended its philosophy of letting natural processes bring the right balance of flavor to all kinds of foods, and now carries coffee and other delicious sundries, as well as breads and sweets, such as amazake, which make use of (the lees left over from brewing production) as an ingredient. La Jomon also hosts numerous fun events to introduce its sake to customers, from food pairing parties to hosting Rakugo—traditional Japanese comic storytelling events. And since 2016, La Jomon has hosted the “National No. 6 Yeast Summit”, drawing 150-300 guests each year.
In 2019, we begin export wholesale operations, finally allowing us to take our passion for sake brewing beyond our tiny village and even overseas.
Whether you’re a sake expert or just starting out, please come by and visit!
About the Owner
Taro Kumagai, the owner of La Jomon, was born in Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture in 1970. After initially working an office job after graduating from university, he turned his attention toward sake brewing and soon entered the Tokyo University of Agriculture. After which, he worked as a brewer for eighteen years and three different breweries. Having attained through his long career such qualifications as a First-Grade Sake Brewer and Sake Expert Assessor, NRIB, Taro now produces original sake of his own. He also organizes numerous sake events including the "Nationwide No. 6 Yeast Summit", and is currently in collaboration with Shichiemongama kiln, developing vessels that better protect the delicate flavor of sake.
A Greeting from Taro
Hello. My name is Taro Kumagai, owner of La Jomon.
For a long time working as a brewer, I thought a lot about sake consumption from the point of view of sake brewing. Sake consumption had been going down, and it was a frustrating feeling. "I have to do something about sake!" I’d think to myself.
In 2008, I opened a junmaishu(additive-free, pure rice sake) specialty shop, "Seishuya Rockonjo". I’d dedicated my life and work to the craft, and wanted to express my passion to people and show them that junmaishu is what real sake tastes like. In 2017 I changed the name of my shop to "La Jomon" with an aim to convey fermentation culture from a more fundamental perspective.
From those days when I thought we might lose our great sake culture, times have thankfully changed.
To President Yusuke Sato of Aramasashuzo, President Yasuhiko Niida of Niidahonnke, President Suzuki Daisuke of Suzukishuzoten, President MitobeTomonobu of Mitobeshuzo, and President Junpei Sato of Tatenokawashuzo, these Tohoku breweries seriously stepped up their production quality, bringing essential consistency to every part of the process. From growing rice to fermentation, the proud culture of sake has come to the world.
I think that my mission is to continue to recognize the real stuff from the imitators, and introduce customers to exceptional, world class sake.