In this report, we reviewed the differences in the ecosystem services of coastal and inland areas surrounding 39 Sake breweries in Chiba Prefecture by investigating environmental variables (e.g., location, altitude, soil, and hardness of preparation water). The Sake breweries were located in three distinct environments: the coastal vicinity, the river plains region, and the plateau/ mountainous region. The hardness of the preparation water and the soil types in the coastal vicinity were compared with those of the river plains and the plateau/mountainous region. Strong hard and hard water sources were observed in 70% or more of the breweries in the coastal vicinity, and sand dune regosol, coarse particle brown lowland soil, and coarse particle grey soil were more prevalent along the coast than inland. Most of the Sake brewery wells in the coastal vicinity were approximately 5 - 10 munderground, and there were no great differences in the number of Sake breweries in each well depth class in the river plains and the plateau/mountains region. We analysed environmental factors (distance from the sea, soil type, water hardness and preparation water collection depth) using a principal component analysis. This analysis revealed the existence of three main environments: the coastal vicinity, the river plains and the plateau/mountainous region. We conclude that the decrease in altitude between the inland Sake breweries and those along the coast is accompanied by a corresponding increase in the hardness of preparation water (from soft water to strong hard or hard water) and shifts in soil composition from gley soil, grey lowland soil, brown forest soil, and andosol to sand dune regosol, coarse particle brown lowland soil, and coarse particle grey soil.
In Chiba Prefecture, Japan, during the Edo period (1603-1867), the development of waterway traffic by ships and the management of ports, highways and post towns around the ports progressed with the prosperity of the Edo (present-day Tokyo), which became heavily populated and the center of politics. We estimated that the demand of Japanese sake, which is luxury grocery item, was high. The freshwater layer that is abundant in mineral water to a depth of approximately 10 m is formed in coastal sand dunes. The fresh water layer is hard water, in which the concentrations of minerals such as calcium and magnesium are high. When the fresh water layer is used as the preparation water, the working rice malt and yeast in the sake brewing process become active. Japanese sake trends to be dry with a full-bodied taste. In addition, the main ingredients of local cuisines are fish and shellfish; many local cuisines are seasoned using soy sauce, miso and salt, and these local cuisines pair well with the type of Japanese sake described above. The local cuisines have been nurtured in harmony with the region’s rich nature and heritage. In the future, we need to conserve the rich natural environment of the tidal flat, coast, seaweed beds, and marine, which have been producing the main local cuisine in Chiba Prefecture, and the water source area (a successive environment on the plateau from the coast, which was previously called the coastal dune area) of the preparation water for making Japanese sake. We also need to proactively develop local production for local consumption activities. Thus, we hypothesize that if the Japanese food life is secured and the traditional food culture is continued, the region will become revitalized by the development of the exchanges in the region.