UK’s first Sake brewery at Fordham Abbey is blessed before building gets underway

His Excellency Ambassador Koji Tsuruoka, Shinto Priest and Lucy Frazer MP,

His Excellency Ambassador Koji Tsuruoka, Shinto Priest and Lucy Frazer MP, - Credit: Archant

A ground-breaking ceremony has been held at the construction site of the UK’s first sake brewery.

The construction site is blessed.

The construction site is blessed. - Credit: Archant

Japanese company Dojima is to begin building the brewery on the Fordham Abbey Estate, creating 100 jobs, and invited guests to a traditional ‘Jinchinsai’ ceremony to purify the building site on Friday October 28.

The ceremony was laid on to purify the construction site, and prayers were said for the safety of all those involved with the build.

The build is expected to take nine months to complete, with the first production of sake available in October 2017. Once finished, the Dojima sake brewery aim to make 10,000 bottles in their first trading year.

His Excellency, Ambassador Koji Tsuruoka attended the event and said: “Although this is a ceremony that happens in Japan when a new building is being constructed, it has never happened in the UK and I was very happy to be a part of it.

“The ceremony showed the respect that the two countries have for the tradition and it is through appreciation of these historical and cultural treasures that the two countries are bound very strongly together.”

The ceremony was also attended by councillors and MPs, including Lucy Frazer. She said: “The ceremony was fascinating and shows what a diverse area we are in. It’s great to have a new and interesting business establishing itself in the region and it will bring a great deal to the constituency in financial terms, as well as culturally.”

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Yoshihide Hashimoto, owner of the Dojima Sake Brewery UK & Co said: “We were pleased to be joined by so many people for our Jichinsai ceremony. This traditional ceremony is fundamental in the build and we were very happy to share this moment with many of the local people who have been involved in the process so far.”

The project was given unanimous planning approval by East Cambridgeshire District Council and the construction of the building will see £9m invested over a period of five years.