3. Whisky Distilleries in Kanto Region

1. Hokkaido Region / 2. Tohoku Region / 4. Chubu Region / 5. Kansai Region / 6. Chugoku Region / 7. Shikoku Region / 8. Kyushu-Okinawa Region


3. Kanto Region

3-1. Kiuchi Sake Brewery Nukata Brewery / Yago Distillery

Image source: Kiuchi Shuzo official website  [/caption]

Founded in 1823 in Naka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Kiuchi Shuzo produces sake, Kikumori, as well as shochu, wine, liqueurs, and the craft beer “Hitachino Nest Beer” .

In 2016, the company began producing a whisky unique to Hitachino by utilizing Kaneko Golden, a fantastic Japanese beer wheat that was revived in the process of making Hitachino Nest Beer. After maturation, it was first offered at directly managed stores, and in April 2019, commercialized as a highball in a can.

Then, in order to further pursue Japanese whiskey making, we built the Yatsugo Distillery at the foot of Mt. Tsukuba and started operation in 2020.

Address 135-0151, Ishioka, Ibaraki, Japan
1300-8, Sugama, Ishioka-shi, Ibaraki
Access by train

35 minutes by cab from Ishioka Station on the JR Joban Line
From Joban Expressway “Tsuchiura Kita IC” , about 20 minutes via Fruit Line.
From Joban Expressway “Chiyoda Ishioka IC” , approx. 20 min. via Fruit Line
Approx. 20 min. from Joban Expressway “Ishioka-Omitama Smart IC” via Fruit Line

Start of operation 2020 Yago distillery
(Nukata Brewery will start distilling in 2016)
Official HP Kiuchi Brewery, Yago Distillery
Tours Tour
Products Products

Typical craft beer from Yago Distillery

3-2. Venture whisky Chichibu Distillery

Chichibu Distillery started operation in 2008, and in just a few years has become a whisky maker that the world has taken notice of as “Ichiro’s Malt
“Toa Shuzo” , which was run by the father of the founder “Ichiro Hido” , owned the Hanyu distillery and was producing whisky. When Mr. Akuto took over in 2001, the business was in a slump, and it was transferred to “Hinode Trading” in 2003. At that time, the decision was made to withdraw from the whisky business, and the stored whisky was in danger of being disposed of. The company scrambled to find a buyer and succeeded in obtaining cooperation from the Sasanokawa Brewery, and was able to move the whisky stored at the Hanyu distillery to a rented storage facility. Later, together with the Sasanokawa Brewery, they began selling whiskey made from the Hanyu distillery’s original sake.
In 2004, Mr. Akuto established Venture Whisky Co., Ltd. and in 2007, completed a whisky distillery in Chichibu, which is his hometown and a good environment for sake brewing.

Whisky Festival 2019 Exhibit. We were able to sample some of the products from the previous releases. The booths were always lined up, showing the popularity of Ichiro’s Malt.

Location 49 Midorigaoka, Chichibu, Saitama 368-0067
49 Midorigaoka, Chichibu-shi, Saitama

15 minutes by cab from Minano Station on the Chichibu Railway Line
20 minutes by cab from Seibu-Chichibu Station on the Seibu Line.
<By Car>
From the Hanazono Interchange on the Kanetsu Expressway, drive straight on the Minano Yorii Toll Road toward Chichibu.
Pass through the toll booth, exit at the second exit, go straight at the intersection Otsuka, turn right at the next intersection, and proceed after checking the signboard for Midorigaoka Industrial Park.

Start of operation 2007
Official HP Chichibu Distillery Facebook page
Tours For professionals only. No public tours.
Products Ichiro’s Malt Quercus Wood Reserve, Ichiro’s Malt Double Distilleries, Ichiro’s Malt & Grain, etc.

Chichibu Distillery’s representative whiskey

3-3. Venture whisky Chichibu No. 2 Distillery

In 2018, the Chichibu Second Distillery operated about 400 meters away from the Chichibu Distillery.
At the second distillery, the fermentation tanks were changed from Quercus crispula to French oak. In addition, the pot stills were changed from indirect heating by steam to direct heating by gas.
The first distillery produces 160 liters of alcohol equivalent per day, while the second distillery produces 800 liters per day, approximately five times the amount.
Ichiro’s Malt is currently difficult to obtain, but with the start of operations at the second distillery, the production volume is expected to increase significantly and the distribution volume of products will also increase.

3-4. Toa Shuzo Hanyu Distillery

Image Exhibit: Toa Shuzo | Facebook

Dong-A Sake Brewery suspended whiskey production in 2000 due to the slump in the whiskey market. Although the company temporarily suspended operations due to poor management, it decided to rebuild its whiskey business because its mainstay sake had gained a high reputation both in Japan and overseas in the past few years and its management base had gradually stabilized.
Since there were still handwritten drawings of pot stills at that time, we asked the same production company as before to manufacture them. With various conditions in place, in February 2021, we reopened Hanyu Distillery for the first time in about 20 years and conducted our own distillery. The company aims to ship in three years.

Dong-A Sake Brewery conducted crowdfunding at “Makuake” from April 11 to May 30, and collected more than 10 million yen in support purchases in just three days.

As a return for crowdfunding, in commemoration of the revival of Hanyu Distillery, we prepared a “Whiskey New Pot” before putting it in a barrel, a special label of Golden Horse [Musashi] [Wushu] for a limited time this time, and two kinds of tasting glasses engraved with the emblem of Golden Horse.


Hanyu Distillery’s representative whisky

3-5. Hikari Shuzo Konosu Distillery

Began operation in 2020. Konosu distillery is located one hour from Tokyo station without transfers, making it the most accessible distillery from the city center.
The building has a Scottish style and has a different atmosphere from other distilleries in Japan.
The mash tun (saccharification tank) and pot still (distillation machine) are made in Scotland by Forsyth. The pot stills are two units, with a lantern head type 5,500 L for the first distillation and a bulge type 3,600 L for the second distillation, featuring a straight, low neck and downward pointing line arms. There are a total of six washbacks (fermenters), all of which are stainless steel and ferment for four to five days.
Currently, English malt is used. Both non-peated and peated malts are used in the brewing process. The malt is milled at a ratio of 2:7:1 (husk:grits:flour). They hope to use barley from Konosu in the near future.
The company has one aging warehouse, which is mainly dunnage-type and bourbon-barrel aged.

They are taking their time in production with the goal of sales after 2025.
As future goals, they are also considering building a visitor’s wing and adding an accommodation facility.

Location Postal Code 369-0133
625 Kotani, Konosu-shi, Saitama
Access Access from the nearest station / 20 minutes on foot from JR Kitano-Konosu Station
Start of operation 2020
Official HP Hikari Sake Brewery Co. Official Facebook The website is currently under construction.
Tours Not available at present.
Scheduled to begin around 2024~2025. Tasting, sales, and café will be set up.


3-6. Meiri Syurui|TAKAZO Distillery

General liquor manufacturer Meiri Syurui Co. received a license to produce whisky on September 26, 2022.

The company began making whisky in 1952, but returned the license about 60 years ago due to a fire at its factory. Since then, they had given up whisky making.


As for the single malt, they are planning to hold events such as a distillery experience and tasting sessions so that customers can enjoy the process of growing up as a Japanese whisky with the distiller over 0 months, 6 months, 1 year, 1.5 years, 2 years, and 3 years.


The distillation machine incorporates copper inside to remove sulfides and clear the finish, and the mash tun has been assembled and tested for production overseas.

One batch is brewed with 400 kg of malt to obtain 200 liters of original alcohol. The current plan is to use American white oak bourbon barrels and sherry barrels for aging. The company plans to increase the number of barrels in the future to produce various types of sake.


Production will begin at the end of September, with malt whisky made from barley malt and grain whisky made from rice, taking advantage of the brewery’s strengths.

First, the company plans to release NewPot, a single malt, and produce and sell blended whisky blended with Scottish malt whisky.

The first release is expected around spring 2023.

Location Postal Code 310-0836
338 Motoyoshidamachi, Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture
Access Car: 15 minutes from Mito Minami IC on Kita Kanto Expressway
Start of operation September 2022
Official HP Official website of Meiri Syurui Co.

Premium craft gin “Wa GIN”

Representative products of Meiri Syurui

3-7. Nishibori Brewery Nikko Street Koyama Steamworks

The company has a long history and was founded in 1872 (Meiji 5).
The company’s policy is to “incorporate the brewing technology of national sake and Japanese sake” in line with its roots, which is its greatest appeal as a sake brewer.
In the fermentation process of distilled spirits, we use a purely domestic sake yeast, and we also use a special brewing process that incorporates the ideas of sake brewing.
The use of sake yeast also changes the sulfur and off-flavor, so the pot still is also specially designed.
The distillation still is an original distillation still modified by applying copper plates to the inside of a Japanese-made stainless steel distillation still.
The stainless steel allows for both atmospheric pressure distillation and vacuum distillation, and both direct and indirect steam heating can be used.

The grains used for distillation are rice flour, which is produced when sake rice is polished.

(1) Single malt whiskey fermented and distilled from 100% malt at the company’s own distillery *Production and maturation in progress
(2) Single grain whiskey fermented and distilled with malt and rice flour at our distillery *Production and maturation in progress
3) Domestic spirits (craft vodka and craft gin) fermented and distilled with sake yeast *Vodka is now on sale.
These three types of products are currently being produced.

Location 1452 Oaza-Awamiya, Oyama City, Tochigi Prefecture
Access Approx. 50 minutes from JR Tokyo Station to JR Oyama Station by Shinkansen bullet train
Start of operation 2022
Official HP

Nikko Street Koyasan Steamer’s House Formula HP日光街道 小山蒸溜所公式HP

Inspection Reservations can be made on the official website
Reservations made up to 7 days in advance for approximately 1 hour course from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Yume Nikko Vodka


3-8.Sudoh Honke

A traditional brewery that has been in business since 1885.
Famous for “Amanohara,” brewed with Kururi’s famous water, the only water selected from Chiba Prefecture in the “100 Best Waters of the Heisei Era.
In 2018, it became the first company in Chiba Prefecture to obtain a license to produce whiskey.
Only one bottle of “Boso Whiskey” has been released.
According to the official comment, “It is a blend of our own malt and British Scotch secured through our own channels, resulting in a less smoky, more gorgeously sweet aromatic flavor that the Japanese like.” The ingredients are listed in the order of Grain, Grain, and Scotch.
Since the order of the ingredients is grain and malt, it is assumed that the grain is highly weighted and the main ingredient is English malt base alcohol.
The product is sold in 4L, 8L, and 50L American oak casks, which is an unusual crowdfunding project.
Incidentally, only the 50L cask was sold at cask strength of 65% alcohol by volume.

Location 16-10 Aoyanagi, Kimitsu City, Chiba Prefecture
Access JR Laili Line: Get off at Laili Station and walk 15 minutes.
Start of operation 2018年
Official HP

Sudohonke officialHP


Boso Whiskey

Representative products of Sudoh Honke

3-9.Kumazawa Shuzo. Shonan Distillery

It has been making sake since 1872.
Today, it is the only sake brewery in Shonan.
The company’s corporate culture is “Yobarai makes Japan rich,” and the management skills of the company are very versatile, including not only sake, but also craft beer, numerous events, an interior design store, and a gallery.
In 2018, the company began producing gin using a hybrid stainless steel distiller from Yokoyama Engineering, which can be used for both direct and indirect distillation, as well as column head type vacuum distillation and atmospheric distillation.
The cooling pipes can be fitted with copper plates, and the specifications are different for distilling gin and whiskey.
The craft gin Hakutengu-Lemongrass is released.
The company obtained a license to produce whiskey in 2020 and began production in 2009.
The barrels are oak barrels that used to contain the company’s own kijoshu.
In the future, the company plans to use the casks in a cyclical manner, from precious sake, to whiskey, to beer, to whiskey.
Mr. Tetsuro Igarashi, a company owner of Kumazawa Shuzo, appeared as a guest on “Distillery Class,” a radio show on the theme of “distilling” run by distiller Hiroshi Eguchi on the “Podcast” content radio show on “Spotify,” and said that although the release date is still unknown, the name of the whiskey to be released in the future is “Aka Tengu. The name of the whiskey will be “Aka Tengu” (Red Tengu), although the release date is still unknown.
The 180 ml version of “whisky Aka Tengu,” which will be released as a limited sample of 100 bottles on December 1, 2023, sold out immediately.
This whisky Aka Tengu is a distillation of Shonan beer made with the highest quality malt, which will be the signature product in 2020.
It is aged in bourbon barrels, but a twist has been added here as well: it is an original bourbon barrel-aged product that fully utilizes the company’s own strengths, made by having its own product, Shonan Beer “Imperial Stout,” put in for one year.
The 180ml version will be 54% cask strength without addition of water.
We can’t wait for this release.
As a side note, there is an air-raid shelter on the property.

Location 7-10-7 Kagawa, Chigasaki, Kanagawa 253-0082, Japan
Access 10 min. walk from JR Kagawa Sta.
Start of operation 2018
Official HP

Kumazawa Sake Brewery Official Website熊澤酒造公式サイト

Inspection Tours available for restaurant users.
Official Site

Typical products of Kumazawa Shuzo

3-10. mitosaya. Yakusouen distillery 

Hiroshi Eguchi, former owner of the bookshop Utrecht, founded mitosaya in 2016 after studying under Christoph Keller of the Steelemühle distillery, master distiller of Monkey 47, which once revolutionized gin, in 2013.
The former town-owned medicinal herb garden has been renovated and repurposed as a guesthouse, event space, etc., with an office building and training building renovated.
The site covers an area of approximately 5,000 tsubo.
It is managed by a group of eight creators, including Shigeharu Asagiri, head of COEDO Brewery, and Yasutsugu Ishiwata, producer of Blue Bottle Coffee.
On weekends, the restaurant offers an unmanned fruit stand with fruits grown by neighborhood residents and new products for sale.
Since its first release in 2019, the company has worked on more than 100 different spirits.
They farmed the land from scratch, rolled the seeds, harvested the malt, dried it, and crushed it with a millstone, and tried substituting peat with seaweed, which is also a member of the iodine family.
Only 4 liters of sake was produced, and six bottles of 500 ml and 10 bottles of 100 ml, for a total of 16 bottles, were sold out immediately.

Location Postal Code 298-0216
486, Otaki, Otaki Town, Isumi District, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
Access 20 minutes walk from Otaki Station of Isumi Railway
Start of operation 2016
Official HP

mitosaya herb garden distillery


Inspection openday” is held every spring and fall
HONOR STAND” unattended sales are held on weekends.
More details will be announced on SNS, etc.

Each release has a theme or concept.
No regular products

3-11. Yasui Shoten Stork valley Distillery

Yasui Shoten, a liquor wholesaler in Ibaraki Prefecture, has opened a whiskey distillery within group company Nozaki, a liquor wholesaler.
The distillery will begin brewing in the summer of 2023.
The distillery’s name, “STORK VALLEY” stork means stork, and is named after the storks that have successfully bred in an artificial nest tower in the Watarase Yusuichi area, a symbol of nature in Oyama City.
The brewery does not use imported sake, but only its own sake, and it also makes use of its own craft beer brewing know-how in the formulation of yeast, malt, and other ingredients.
The company uses cedar, cypress, and mizunara oak barrels produced in Nikko.
The company aims to sell about 12,000 bottles a year, and is considering using Mashiko-yaki, a specialty of Mashiko Town, Tochigi Prefecture, for the bottles.
In addition to whiskey, the company obtained a license to produce spirits and liqueurs in January, and is also working on craft gin brewing.
It is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2023, using prefectural products such as yuzu from Motegi Town, Kunimi oranges from Nasu Karasuyama City, sansho and wasabi from Nikko City, mulberries from Oyama City, and blueberries from Nasu Town.

Location Postal Code 323-0034
4-1-53 Kamitoriya, Oyama-shi, Tochigi
Access From Oyama Station, board a train bound for Mamada Station West Exit.
Get off at Oyama Daisan Elementary School North.
Start of operation 2023
Official HP


3-12.LINK Co. Kitakaruizawa Distillery

Tatsuhiko Sakamoto, the current owner-bartender of Bar LAG in Ginza, established LINK Co. in February 2022.
Ltd. in February 2022. He will manufacture whiskey in parallel with his bar business.
Construction of the Kitakaruizawa distillery begins in July of the same year.
Construction was completed in March 2023, the distillery obtained a whiskey production license in May of the same year, and began test production in July of the same year.
The distillery is located at an altitude of 1,100 meters above the Amrut distillery (920 meters above sea level), which is known as “whiskey in the sky.
The distillery aims to create a unique flavor by taking advantage of the lower boiling point when distilling at a higher altitude. (Decompression distillation is equivalent to this).
The pot still is custom-made, designed, manufactured, and adjusted by Hwang Ho Company in Itoshima City, Fukuoka Prefecture.
The body is a composite of stainless steel and copper, and the head is made of copper using the traditional Japanese “hera-shibori” (drawing) process, in which the craftsman’s skills shine through.
A single machine can also perform both initial distillation and redistillation.
The brewing water is groundwater from the foot of Mt.
Malt is redistilled from 1,500 liters of wort from 300 kg of distiller’s malt from Crisp Malt of England, and the first distillation is done three times.
One brewing per week is expected to yield approximately 20,000 liters per year.
The storage method is paratizing using pallets.
The barrels are usually stored vertically, but since there is a high risk of leakage, they are stored horizontally, a twist on the traditional paratizing method.
The distillery is currently located at the highest altitude and has the smallest and original distiller in Japan, so there is no shortage of topics to talk about.
The owner’s casks are also being offered at the store.

所在地 〒377-1412
アクセス JR軽井沢駅から車で約40分
操業開始 2023年


見学 未定(準備が整い次第見学可になる予定)
商品 未定
Location Postal code 377-1412
1991-127, Kitakaruizawa, Naganohara-cho, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma
Access Approximately 40 minutes from JR Karuizawa Station by car
Start of operation 2023年
Official HP

Kitakaruizawa Distillery北軽井沢蒸留所

Inspection Undecided (will be open for tours as soon as it is ready)

3-13.Makino Shuzo Kurabuchi Distillery

A long-established sake brewery established in 1690 that produces Haruna’s local sake, “Taibai,” produces whiskey in its own distillation facility. The distillery has been producing rice shochu for some time, and from the video, it appears that the distillation equipment is used for shochu production.

The company has already released a new single malt, Kurabuchi, in December 2023, and says that it will continue to age the whiskey and “promote it as a ‘local whiskey’ made by a regional brewery.

Location 2625-1 Gonda, Kurafuchi-cho, Takasaki, Gunma 370-3401

About 60 minutes from Takasaki IC of Kan-etsu Expressway
About 60 minutes from Maebashi IC on Kan-etsu Expressway (Google Maps shows the route)
Approximately 40 minutes from Matsuida Myogi IC on Joshinetsu Expressway

By public transportation
Approximately 30 minutes by cab from Annaka Haruna Station on the Nagano Shinkansen Line.

Start of operation December 2023
Official HP

Makino Sake Brewery Co.牧野酒造株式会社


New Make Kurabuchiニューメイク倉渕