Places to visit in Yamate

[Beer Street on Yamate/Spring Valley Brewery]

Well of Spring Valley Brewery

There is a street called Bier-Sake Dori, or Beer Street on Yamate. There used to be a brewery, which was originally built and run by a Norway-born American Mr. William Copeland(1834- 1902). He had acquired technique of brewing beer in Norway. He arrived in Japan in 1864. In 1870, he started a brewery called Spring Valley Brewery at Kitagata village near Yamate street, where there was an ample supply of well water. The beer made there was shipped across the country but he could not make ends meet and his brewery was taken over by the Japan Brewery Company in 1885. The company launched sale of beer under the brand of "Kirin" in 1888. (The Japan Brewery Company was taken over by Kirin Brewery Co.,LTD. in 1907.) The Factory in Kitagata was used until 1923 when the Great Kanto Earthquake hit and devastated the area and it ceased operation. There is now an elementary school on the site the factory once stood. Now few would know there was the first brewery in the nation and a birth place of the brand "Kirin" if there were not a giant stone monument and the unique name of the street. There are a few wells used at the time. You can see one of them on the ground of the school near the street, which was used from 1885 to 1901. Mr. Copeland is resting on the ground of the Foreign Cemetery with his wife. There is Bluff garden, a garden cafe just across the Foreign Cemetery on Yamate street. Every year around this time, it becomes Beer garden. It may not be a bad idea to drink a glass of draft beer thanking Mr.Copeland for his dedication to the brewery, which leads to the great brand.

Kitagata Elementary School

The Brewery existed on the site now Kitagata Elementary school stands.

Beerstreet The street along the school is named Bier Sake Dori, or Beer street after the brewery.

monument There is a large stone monument to commemorate the brewery, and debris of the brewery on Kirin park next to the school.

Debris of Spring Valley Brewery

There is Bier Sake Dori down the slop on the left at Bluff Clinic near Ehrismann Residence if you go down Yamate bluff street from Harbor view park toward Yamate Catholic church. Bluff Garden is open as a beer garden restaurant from June 19 until around September this year.

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