List of Japanese Whisky Distilleries (Updated February 2024. 103 locations in total)

Whisky Distillery
Whisky Distillery

You may know that the first whiskey distillery in Japan was the Yamazaki Distillery, which started operation in 1924. Since then, many whiskey distilleries have been built in Japan.

After Japanese whiskey was highly acclaimed at international whisky competitions around 2010, Japanese whiskey boomed around the world, and from around 2016, more and more businesses entered the whiskey production business in Japan, and many whiskey distilleries were built all over Japan.

As of February 2024, a total of 96 whisky distilleries are in operation throughout Japan, from Hokkaido to Okinawa, and including those currently under construction or planned, there are 103 distilleries in total!

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スポンサーリンク

1. Hokkaido Region

1-1. Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

A distillery that was started in 1936 in search of his own whisky-making utopia by Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky, the father of Japanese whisky.

Masataka Taketsuru believes that a place with a cool and humid climate similar to Scotland, rich water sources and dignified clear air is essential for making ideal whisky, so he chose Yoichi, located in the base of the Shakotan Peninsula, west of Otaru, from among various candidate sites.

A whisky distillery that can be said to be the origin of Nikka Whisky.

Location〒046-0003
7-6 Kurokawa-cho, Yoichi-cho, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaido
Access2-3 minutes on foot from YOICHI STATION, JR HOKKAIDO
Approximately 30 minutes’ drive from Otaru City
Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes’ drive from Sapporo City
Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes’ drive from New Chitose Airport
Started operation.1936
Official websiteNikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
InspectionGeneral tour available / Distillery guided tour is by reservation only
* If priority measures such as declaration of a state of emergency and prevention of spread are issued or applied to regions in Hokkaido, tours and business (restaurants and shops) will be suspended until it is canceled.
CommoditySingle Malt Yoichi
On-site shop

Yoichi Distillery Tasting Bar

Nikka Kaikan Restaurant Barrel

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Hurusato Nouzei

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Typical whisky from Yoichi Distillery

[Product List Catalog] Nikka Whi...
From current products such as Yoichi, MiyagiKyo, and Taketsuru, to rare products and limited items that have been sold at the end, we introduce a list of sites ...
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1-2. Kenten Jitsugyo Akkeshi Distillery

Akkeshi Distillery” launched by Kenten Jitsugyo Co., Ltd. as a new business separately from its main business
Based on the strong desire to make whisky like Islay malt using traditional Scottish manufacturing methods, the facility was introduced by Forsyth in Scotland.

Like islay whisky making, water through the peat layer is used for water, and it is aging every day in Akkeshi, a place where cool, moist, and sea breeze hits.

 

Location〒088-1124
4-109-2 Miyazono, Akkeshi-cho, Akkeshi-gun, Hokkaido
AccessApproximately 15 minutes’ taxi ride from JR Akkeshi Station
Approximately 50 minutes by Akan Bus from Kushiro Airport to JR Kushiro Station
Approximately 50 minutes from JR Kushiro Station to JR Akkeshi Station on the JR Nemuro Main Line
Started operation.Distillation started in October 2016
Official websiteKenten jitsugyo co., ltd. Akkeshi distillery
Inspection

Akkeshi Taste Terminal Conquirier” is sponsored. Click here for application and details.
* All tours this year have been canceled.

CommodityAkkeshi Newborn1~4、Akkeshi Whisky Sarorun KamuiSingle Malt Whisky KanroBlended Whisky UsuiSingle Malt Whisky BoushuBlended Whisky ShoshoSingle Malt Whisky RittouBlended Whisky Daikan
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Typical whisky of Akkeshi Distillery

[Product List Catalog] Akkeshi D...
We introduce the 24th season series on sale from Akkeshi Distillery, the New Bone series released in the past, and other limited editions in the list.
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1-3. Hokkaido Liberty Whisky Benizakura Distillery

Benizakura Distillery is made by Hokkaido Liberty Whisky in Sapporo City, Hokkaido.
It’s now a distillery that’s talked about in craft gin, not whisky. Gin distilled using ingredients unique to Hokkaido has a unique taste and quickly became a hot topic.

The company name is “Hokkaido Liberty Whisky Co., Ltd.” , but so far there is no information on whisky making at Benizakura Distillery, so pay attention to future movements.

Typical craft gin at Benizakura Distillery

1-4. Hakkai Brewery Niseko Distillery

Hakkai Brewery Co., Ltd. (Minamiuonuma City, Niigata Prefecture), which manufactures Japanese sake such as “Hakkaisan”, established a local subsidiary (Niseko Distillery Co., Ltd.) in 2019.
Construction of a whisky distillery began in Niseko, Hokkaido in April 2020 and completed in December. The total investment will be JPY 500 million.
Distillation begins on March 24, 2021. Podstils are made by Forsyth Scotland and whisky is expected to be available after 2024.
The annual production target is about 90 kl.

The site area is about 9,900 square meters, and both one-story distillery (including stores) and storage facilities have been constructed. The total floor area is 877 m2 and 291 m2, respectively, and the design is wooden style that blends into the surrounding landscape.
We opened a product sales corner around July 2021. The company plans to start selling original gin, sake, and goods.
Grand Opening on October 1, 2021. Launched the first craft gin “ohoro GIN” and started a distillery tour. Ohoro means “continue” in Ainu language. The distillery tour is scheduled to be fully booked in advance from two weeks ago to noon the day before, and the number of visitors per visit is expected to be up to 10 people.

 

Location〒048-1511
478-15 Niseko, Niseko Town, Hatada-gun, Hokkaido
Access20 minutes’ drive from JR Niseko Station
Started operation.Distillation starts in March 2021
Official websiteNiseko Distillery
Inspection

Reservations made through niseko distillery website

(Reservations can be made from 2 weeks in advance until noon the day before the desired date)

Commodity
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1-5. Kamui Whisky co. Rishiri Distillery

Casey Wahl, an American entrepreneur, has been visiting Rishiri many times for several years on trips and other occasions. He has come to see the island’s rich nature and cool climate, which are similar to those of Islay, a famous whisky-producing region, and decided to make whisky in Rishiri, the northernmost island in Japan, in 2019.

He is enthusiastic about the project, saying, “I want to make something that expresses the nature of the island.” The distillery will be built along Kamui Beach on the west side of the island, which commands a panoramic view of Rebun Island and the Sea of Japan. The facility, including the distillery and office, is approximately 180 square meters in size. It is a one-story wooden structure with black painted walls, and uses two distillation machines that were handmade by craftsmen in the United States. Using barley from Hokkaido and England, the distillery will produce approximately 6,000 to 10,000 liters per year and mature it for three years before selling it. The cost of the project is undisclosed.

 

Location

〒 097-0401
128-2, Aza Kamii, Kutsugata, Rishiri-cho, Rishiri-gun, Hokkaido

Access

Approximately 50 minutes by plane from New Chitose Airport to Rishiri Airport (*seasonal flights)

Approximately 6 hours from Sapporo to Wakkanai by car, and approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes from Wakkanai to Rishiri Island by ferry.

Start of operationDistillation is scheduled to begin in September 2022
Official HPKamui whisky
Inspection
Product

1₋6.MAOI Distillery

Parent company is AZE Corporation, which operates Benizakura Distillery and Chitose Distillery.
The company name and brand will be changed from Maoi Jiyu no Oka Winery in 2022.
Installed a hybrid distiller, which is rare for Scotland and Forsyth’s, and started producing brandy, fruit brandy, and whiskey, and at the same time started preparing corn whiskey made from corn produced in Hokkaido.
The former owner of the winery was concerned about the possibility of nuclear war, so he installed a nuclear shelter in the basement of the winery.
As a result, the shelter is used peacefully for a purpose other than its original purpose of storage.
It can store about 300 barrels in racks and is said to be about the size of a small gymnasium.

LocationKagadori, Naganuma-cho, Yubari-gun, Hokkaido 069-1316, Japan
Access

About 10 minutes by car from Furuyama Station, 1 hour on foot.

Start of operationStart of distillation in 2022
Official HP馬追蒸溜所
Inspection

Reservations can be made through the official website of Maoi Distillery “Twice a day on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.”.

ProductMetamorphosis(New Make)

1-7. BEHIND THE CASK Di・Tripper Distillery

BEHIND THE CASK, an independent bottlers brand, announced the establishment of a grain whiskey distillery on social media.
A joint press conference was held on June 12, 2023 to release information.
The distillery will produce 6,000 liters per year in small batches, using barley produced in Nakashibetsu Town in the Nemuro region as the main ingredient, with the aim of commercialization by the end of 2024.
The distillery began renovations in October on the former site of the winery “Nora-Kura”.
The distillery’s name, “Di,” was derived from Commodore Perry’s name for Hakodate, which was written as “HAKODADI” when he arrived on the Black Ships.
The distillery brews 140 times a year at 40 liters per batch. The standard product is the one year old “Single Grain Spirit Drink”.

The fermentation tanks are egg-shaped concrete tanks of original design used in the wine industry.
Continuous hybrid stills made in Holland.
Spanish first fill sherry barrels are used.

The crowdfunding campaign raised more than 10 times the 6,000,000 yen goal.

Location32-5 Motomachi, Hakodate, Hokkaido 040-0054 Japan
Access

5 min. walk from Suehirocho streetcar station.

Start of operationStart of distillation in 2023
Official HPBEHIND THE CASK
Inspection
Product

1-8.Venture Grain Co. Tomakomai Distillery

国産クラフトウイスキーの代表格「イチローズモルト」を製造するベンチャーウイスキー社が苫小牧市蒸溜所を建設中。トウモロコシなどを材料に、「グレーンウイスキー」を製造予定。2025年春にも製造を開始する。苫小牧東部地域にて、約6.6ヘクタールの用地を確保し、年産約240万リットルを見込む。

LocationKashiwabara, Tomakomai-shi, Hokkaido 059-1362
Access
Start of operationNow under construction. Starting in the spring of 2025.
Official HP 
Inspection
Product

1-9.Cedarfield. IJW affiliate in the U.S.  Distillery Name unknown

IJW has acquired a 165,000 square meter site near New Chitose Airport in the U.S., and plans to start operations as early as the end of 2024. In terms of scale, it is larger than the Yoichi distillery in Hokkaido and comparable in size to the Fuji Gotemba distillery.

The detailed address was not disclosed and could not be determined from an aerial photograph.

IJW seems to be a company doing something like a Kentucky bourbon bottler, but the actual status of the company is unknown, according to local articles. They have an incredibly large warehouse in the U.S. with tens of thousands of barrels of bourbon and whiskey inside.

In Japan, the company seems to have both pot stills for malt whisky production and column stills for grain whisky production, while adhering to the voluntary standards for Japanese whisky.

LocationChitose Airport Industrial Park(Details unknown)
Access
Start of operationScheduled for the end of 2024
Official HP 
Inspection
Product

1-10.HokkaidoLiberty Whiskey Corporation. Chitose Distillery

The parent company is AZE Corporation, which operates Benizakura Distillery and Chitose Distillery.

AZE will build a whiskey distillery and a sake brewery on a site adjacent to New Chitose Airport, the gateway to Hokkaido.

The site is 6034.76 m2, on the former parking lot of Chitose Outlet Mall Rera.

イメージCG

Image Citation.:AZE holding

Location1 Kashiwadai-minami, Chitose-shi, Hokkaido
AccessRight next to JR Minami Chitose Station
Start of operation2026 Operations start to be determined
Official HPhttps://chitosedistillery.com/
Inspection

Product

1-11.Hasegawa Sangyo. Tokachi Distillery

A new company established by local companies including Scotch Malt Sales, Shinanoya, and Hasegawa Sangyo, an importer and wholesaler of alcoholic beverages, has opened the Tokachi Distillery, which will begin production in spring 2025. The distillery will be an all-Tokachi whisky distillery.

The distillery will have a two-story building with a total floor space of approximately 1,400 square meters, and three maturing warehouses totaling over 1,000 square meters.

The annual production will be around 300,000 liters. Pot stills will be manufactured by Forsythe. The total project cost is said to be about 700 million yen, but can a distillery be built from scratch with that amount of money?

LocationMakubetsu Town, Hokkaido
Access
Start of operationTo be finalized in spring 2025
Official HP
Inspection
Product

1-12.WHISTECH Corporation. Kamifurano Distillery

 

Only distillery information is available on the website, and it is unclear if construction is underway, but there are plans.

The plan is to build a facility with camping, spa and distillery tours, and distillery consulting services.

Since they have not yet built their own distillery, consulting services will probably have to wait, but it would be interesting to incorporate a distillery as part of the entertainment facilities.

Other things related to the whiskey business, such as the sale of Mizunara barrels and sticks, are already in the works.

Location4-5-26 Shinmachi, Kamifurano Town, Sorachi-gun, Hokkaido 071-0554, Japan
Access
Start of operation
Official HP

Kamifurano distillery and surrounding entertainment facilities project – WHISTECH Corporation

Inspection
Product
スポンサーリンク

2. Tohoku Region

2-1. Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery

It has been about 30 years since Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky, the father of Japanese whisky, opened the first distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido. Masataka Taketsuru, who believes that “blending multiple unsavoured liquors born in different distilleries makes whisky more flavorful and richer,” began to move in search of a new distillery construction site.

This area near the prefectural border with Yamagata is a lush gorge blessed with two clear streams, the Hirose River and shin River. When Taketsuru visited this area for the first time, he broke the Black Nikka he had in the clear stream of Shinkawa and drank it to check the taste. It is said that the distillery was decided on the spot.

image source:Miyagikyo Distillery | NIKKA WHISKY

Location〒989-3433
Accom Modeling and Tools
Access

< Train >
From JR Sendai Station to Sakunami Station on the JR Senzan Line (one per hour): About 40 minutes
< free shuttle bus>
On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, a shuttle bus from JR Sakunami Station to Miyagikyo Distillery (round trip) *One-way time required about 7 minutes
< Bus >
Get off at “Nikkabashi” (municipal bus) bound for Sakunami Onsen from Sendai Station ※Time required: about 60 minutes

Started Operation1969
Official WebsiteNikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery
Distillery tour

General tour available / Distillery guided tour is by reservation only
* The temporary distillery tour will be reopened with some restrictions from Friday, July 17, 2020.

CommoditySingle Malt Miyagi Gorge
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Representative whisky from Miyagikyo Distillery

【ニッカウヰスキー仙台工場 宮城峡蒸溜所】アクセス・営業時間・料...
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2-2. Kinryu Yuza Distillery

Japanese whisky of the highest quality that the world admires is here from Yamagata.

Kinryu Co., Ltd., which operates Yuza Distillery, was founded in 1950 as a joint venture between nine sake manufacturers in Yamagata Prefecture, producing neutral spirits called brewing alcohol and producing  shochu made with continuous distiller.

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Kinryu is yamagata’s only manufacturer specializing in shochu, but when considering the decline in the consumption of shochu and sake and the problems of yamagata prefecture’s population, the whisky business was a new business for the future.

“YUZA First Edition 2022” was released in February 2022.

“YUZA First Edition 2022” was born with a strong belief that “we will mature until we are satisfied” and “focus on sending out only products that conform to the definition of Japanese whisky” . The time of dawn has finally come.

[Review] YUZA First Edition 2022
Yuza First Edition, the long-awaited first release, has finally been released by Yusa Distillery. A review is provided.

At the Whisky Festival held in 2019, several new makeups from Yuza Distillery were unveiled.

Location〒999-8302
20 Kakujida, Yoshide, Yuza-cho, Akami-gun, Yamagata Prefecture
Access

Approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes by train from JR Niigata Station to JR Yuza Station
Approximately 25 minutes’ walk from JR Yuza Station (5 minutes by car)

Started Operation2018
Official WebsiteKinryu Yuza Distillery Co., Ltd.
Distillery tourGeneral tours are not planned for the time being.

2-3. Sasanokawa Sake Brewery Asaka Distillery

Sanokawa Shuzo, which operates Azumi Distillery, is a long-established sake brewery founded in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture in 1765 and has been manufacturing for about 250 years, and although it obtained a whisky production license in 1946, shortly after the war, and was producing whisky until around 1980, but the distillation of raw sake was stopped due to the sluggish domestic market.

In response to the rekindle of the whisky boom since the 2010s, we decided to establish a full-fledged malt whisky distillery in 2015 and purchased a steel of Miyake Seisakusho that can be delivered within a year. The following year, in 2016, we decided to resume distillation of undrawed sake at Azumi Distillery, which introduced facilities in the brewery.
In December 2019, Asaka Distillery, tohoku’s oldest craft whisky, launched its first single malt, Azumi The First, after restarting operations.

The products on display at the Whisky Festival 2019 included the “Yamasakura Series” made from barrels stored in the past, as well as new pots and Newborns made at the Azumi Distillery.

Location〒963-0108
Fukushima Prefecture Koriyama City Sasakawa 1-chome 178
Access

< train>
About 10 minutes by car from JR Koriyama Station
About 10 minutes on foot from JR Azumi Nagamori Station

Started Operation2016年
Official WebsiteSasanogawa Sake Brewery
Asaka Distillery Official Twitter
Distillery tourBy appointment only
CommodityAsaka The First , Asaka The First PEATED

Representative whisky of Asaka Distillery

2-4. Dreamlink Akita Distillery

Restaurant chain Dreamlink announced that it will build a distillery for whisky from Akita Prefecture on the outskirts of Akita City. Construction is scheduled to begin in April 2022 and be completed in the same year, with shipments scheduled for 2025.
The planned construction site is 38,500 square meters, including private land around the former Iwami Elementary School site, which is about 30 minutes by car from Akita Station and Akita Airport. How much of this will be used has not been decided, and the size of the site and buildings has not been decided so far.
The construction cost of the distillery is assumed to be about 400 to 500 million yen. Some of the funds will be procured through crowdfunding. The company aims to produce 21,000 liters of whisky per year. After that, it seems that the plan is to invest several hundred million yen more in business expenses and to establish tourist facilities including restaurants and accommodation facilities at the same time.
Supervised by the owner and bartender “Kenichi Sato” of “BAR Le Vert” in Akita City.

Whisky Distillery, Dreamlink | on the outskirts of Akita City Nikkei Shimbun

2-5. Tatenokawa Shuzo Gakkogawa Distillery

Tatenokawa Shuzo Corporation, famous for its sake “Tatenokawa”, has established a whisky business subsidiary (Gakkogawa Distillery Corporation) and will operate Gakkogawa Distillery.

The distillery plans to produce classical, authentic, high quality single malt “Shonai-produced whisky” utilizing the abundant water from the Gakkogawa River system and the delicate technology cultivated through sake brewing.

As for equipment, a stainless steel thermal tank with temperature control is used for the fermentation tank. Pot stills are manufactured by Miyake Seisakusho.

Distillation is scheduled to begin in September 2023, with single malt to be released around 2027 and blended whisky around 2024.
The daily brewing volume is 400 kg of malt, and the company aims to produce 60,000 liters per year with 250 brewing cycles.

The planned distillery construction site is in Yuza-machi, Akumi-gun, Yamagata Prefecture. There is already a “Yuza Distillery” of Kinryu Co. in Yuza Town, and it seems that they intend to work together to make Yuza Town a whisky town.

Location
Yuza-machi, Akumi-gun, Yamagata
Access

 

Start of operationSeptember 2023
Official HPGakkogawa Distillery HP
Inspection
ProductBlended whisky to be released in 2024 and single malt in 2027

2-6. Nambu Bijin Co.  Distillery name unknown.

The brewery, famous for its sake Nanbu Bijin, begins production. It will be the first craft whiskey distillery in Iwate Prefecture.

Obtained spirits manufacturing license in 2021; obtained whiskey manufacturing license in 2023.

Nanbu Bijin Craft Gin won a gold medal at the Tokyo Whiskey & Spirits Competition 2022. As for whiskey production, it has already started in 2023 and will make a big announcement in 2024.

Location

Head Office Warehouse 028-6101
13 Aza Kamimachi, Fukuoka, Ninohe-shi, Iwate

Masenkyo Kura]〒028-6102
67-30 Uenotaira, Shimodomi-aza, Ninohe, Ninohe-shi, Iwate

Access

Start of operationYear 2023
Official HP
inspection
goodsBlended whiskey to be released in 2024 and single malt in 2027

2-7. Dewa Dewa Distillery

 

The distillery is surrounded by a majestic mountain range that belongs to a national park in Yamagata Prefecture and is surrounded by pristine forests in an abundance of nature. The majestic nature circulates water and blesses the surrounding area.

Not much information is available on the distillery as if it is not yet completed, and the building appears to be a reuse of a building that was previously used for another purpose.

Location

40-1, Oaza-Oguni-Osaka-cho, Oguni-cho, Nishi-Oshiki-gun, Yamagata

Access

Start of operationFebruary 2024 Currently under construction.
Official HPDewa Distillery Official HP
inspection
Product 

2-8.Tenkyo Co. Tenkyo Distillery

Bandai, a famous mountain. Bandai, an active volcano, is a cradle of harsh yet magnificent nature, rich in seasonal changes. Tenkagami Distillery was completed at the foot of Mt.

The distillery is located near the Bandai Nishiyamaroku Spring Group, which springs from the majestic nature at the foot of Mt. Bandai, and uses Ryugasawa spring water, selected as one of the 100 best waters in Japan, as the brewing water for production.

The distillery covers a total area of 2,800 square meters, and is equipped with two types of fermentation tanks (wooden and stainless steel) and a distiller that heats and cools the distillate in four different ways.

Location6841-11, Nakasonehira, Sarashina, Bandai-cho, Yama-gun, Fukushima
Access

Start of operation2024
Official HPTenkyo Distillery
inspection
Product

2-9.CTI Ascend Co. Distillery name unknown

The distillery is currently being prepared for installation. The distillation will be carried out in a local school building that has been closed. The company aims to contribute to the reconstruction of the local community through sustainable efforts. Corn, the raw material for the distillate, is grown in Suwa.

Ltd. has been engaged in acquiring whiskey production technology and test cultivation of corn on decontaminated farmland since 2020 in order to contribute to the reconstruction of the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 This project involves the cultivation of corn seedlings on decontaminated farmland in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, using sewage sludge as fertilizer, and the production and sale of whiskey made from this corn. The whiskey production is planned to be carried out in an abandoned school building in Soma City.
 By using sewage sludge as fertilizer and whisky pomace as livestock feed and fertilizer, we aim to build a sustainable business based on resource recycling. We also aim to contribute to the reconstruction and revitalization of the region through the implementation of projects utilizing unused land and abandoned school facilities.

Reference: HP of the Construction Technology Institute Co.

LocationPostal Code 976-0154 
74 Aza-machi, Tamano, Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture
Access

Start of operationCurrently under preparation
Official HP

inspection
Product
スポンサーリンク

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

<train>
35 minutes by cab from Ishioka Station on the JR Joban Line
<Car>
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 operation2020 Yago distillery
(Nukata Brewery will start distilling in 2016)
Official HP Kiuchi Brewery, Yago Distillery
ToursTour
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
Access

<train>
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 operation2007
Official HP Chichibu Distillery Facebook page
ToursFor 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
AccessAccess from the nearest station / 20 minutes on foot from JR Kitano-Konosu Station
Start of operation2020
Official HPHikari Sake Brewery Co. Official Facebook The website is currently under construction.
ToursNot available at present.
Scheduled to begin around 2024~2025. Tasting, sales, and café will be set up.
Merchandise

Products

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.

LocationPostal Code 310-0836
338 Motoyoshidamachi, Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture
AccessCar: 15 minutes from Mito Minami IC on Kita Kanto Expressway
Start of operationSeptember 2022
Official HPOfficial website of Meiri Syurui Co.
Inspection
Product

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.

Location1452 Oaza-Awamiya, Oyama City, Tochigi Prefecture
AccessApprox. 50 minutes from JR Tokyo Station to JR Oyama Station by Shinkansen bullet train
Start of operation2022
Official HP

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

InspectionReservations 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.
Product

Yume Nikko Vodka

西堀酒造の代表的な商品

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.

Location16-10 Aoyanagi, Kimitsu City, Chiba Prefecture
AccessJR Laili Line: Get off at Laili Station and walk 15 minutes.
Start of operation2018年
Official HP

Sudohonke officialHP

Inspection
Product

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.

Location7-10-7 Kagawa, Chigasaki, Kanagawa 253-0082, Japan
Access10 min. walk from JR Kagawa Sta.
Start of operation2018
Official HP

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

InspectionTours available for restaurant users.
Official Site
Product

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.

LocationPostal Code 298-0216
486, Otaki, Otaki Town, Isumi District, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
Access20 minutes walk from Otaki Station of Isumi Railway
Start of operation2016
Official HP

mitosaya herb garden distillery

mitosaya薬草園蒸留所

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

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.

LocationPostal Code 323-0034
4-1-53 Kamitoriya, Oyama-shi, Tochigi
AccessFrom Oyama Station, board a train bound for Mamada Station West Exit.
Get off at Oyama Daisan Elementary School North.
Start of operation2023
Official HP

Inspection
Product

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
群馬県吾妻郡長野原町北軽井沢1991-127
アクセスJR軽井沢駅から車で約40分
操業開始2023年
公式HP

北軽井沢蒸留所

見学未定(準備が整い次第見学可になる予定)
商品未定
LocationPostal code 377-1412
1991-127, Kitakaruizawa, Naganohara-cho, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma
AccessApproximately 40 minutes from JR Karuizawa Station by car
Start of operation2023年
Official HP

Kitakaruizawa Distillery北軽井沢蒸留所

InspectionUndecided (will be open for tours as soon as it is ready)
Product

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.

Location2625-1 Gonda, Kurafuchi-cho, Takasaki, Gunma 370-3401
Access

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 operationDecember 2023
Official HP

Makino Sake Brewery Co.牧野酒造株式会社

Inspection
Product

New Make Kurabuchiニューメイク倉渕

スポンサーリンク

4. Chubu Region

4-1. Niigata Beer Shinobu Distillery

Niigata Beer Brewery in Niigata obtained the first whisky distillation license in Niigata City in 2016 with the aim of providing high-quality whisky to spirits lovers using local fresh water.

During the construction of the distillery, we imported unoridated sake aged in sherry and bourbon barrels from distilleries around the world and mixed it at the Niigata Factory (Niigata City) to make the whisky “Koshino Shinobu” . Mizunara finish featuring a rich aroma that has been added and aged in domestic Mizunara barrels. 90% of the production is for exports, of which 40% are made up of the U.S.
Pay attention to future trends, including the construction of distillery.

Image Source:Shinobu Distillery

Location〒953-0012
5120 Echizenhama, Nishikan-ku, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture
Acces

Access from the nearest station / 10 minutes by car from JR Echigo Line “Maki Station”
Access from the nearest IC / 20 minutes by car from the Makigata Higashi IC on the Hokuriku Expressway

Started operationUnder construction
Official websiteNiigata Beer Shinobu Distillery
Distillery tour
CommodityKoshino Shinobu Pure Malt, Koshino-shinobu Blended Whisky, Koshino Shinobu Pure Malt 10 Years, Koshino Shinobu Pure Malt 15 Years

Ninnin Distillery’s signature whisky

4-2. Suntory Spirits Hakushu Distillery

Suntory sought a different type of malt whisky unoridated liquor from Yamazaki Distillery and continued to look for water that was good quality and ideal for whisky preparation. And from the survey of various parts of the country, you will encounter the land of “Hakushu“, one of japan’s leading water resorts. In 1973, exactly 50 years after starting whisky production for the first time in Japan, Suntory’s second malt whisky distillery, Hakushu Distillery, finally opened.

The feature of Hakushu Distillery is the creation of a variety of undiscomponent undiscomponed sake that is unparalleled in the world.
In the fermentation process, we are particular about wooden tub fermenters with excellent heat retention, and the unique flavor unique to Hakushu is created by the work of microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria that live in distillation.
In the distillation process, various barrels are used in the storage (maturation) process by using different distiller’s pots of different sizes and shapes, and various barrels are used in the storage (maturation) process, and a variety of undissitioned sake is made in all processes from preparation to fermentation, distillation, and storage (maturation).

Image source:Suntory Hakushu Distillery

Location〒408-0316
2913-1 Torihara, Hakushu-cho, Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture
Access

From Nirasaki Station on the Chuo Main Line, take the bus bound for Shimokyorai Ishishita and get off at the “Matsubaragami” bus stop (1 day).
A 15-minute taxi ride from Kobuchizawa Station on the Chuo Main Line.
Shuttle bus 20 minutes from Kobuchizawa Station on the Chuo Main Line (for a limited time).

Started operation1973
Official websiteSuntory Hakushu Distillery
Distillery tourFactory tour is temporarily suspended. (As of December 27, 2020)
CommoditySingle Malt Whisky Hakushu, Single Malt Whisky Hakushu 18 years, Single Malt Whisky 25 years

Typical whisky from Hakushu Distillery

4-3. Hombo Shuzo Mars Shinshu Distillery

Masataka Taketsuru is known as the creator of domestic whisky. At that time, Kiichiro Iwai of Settsu Shuzo (the creator of Mars whisky) entrusted The Dawn of Authentic Japanese Whisky to Mr. Taketsuru, who was 24 years old, and sent him to Scotland as his boss.

After returning to Japan, Mr. Taketsuru compiled the results of the whisky training in the Whisky Report and submitted it to Kiichiro Iwai. It is commonly called “Taketsuru Report” or “Taketsuru Note” .

Hombo Shuzo is mainly made from shochu in Kagoshima, but since acquiring a whisky production license in 1949, I have been dreaming that I want to make real whisky that makes use of the Japanese climate someday.

In 1960, Kiichiro Iwai designed the product “Taketsuru Note” and established Mars Yamanashi Winery, a factory for wine and whisky production. In 1985, we operated Mars Shinshu Distillery in Nagano Prefecture in search of a further ideal place in order to work on full-fledged whisky production. Surrounded by beautiful green forests at the foot of Mt. Komagatake in the Central Alps, the distillery stands in the silence of the clear air.

There is a tasting bar in the distillery’s visitor center where you can enjoy paid tastings. From the latest products of Mars whisky, you can enjoy a lot of lineups such as past limited editions.

It is a state of the exhibition at the whisky festival in 2019. New products released in the spring of 2020 were also on display at Iwai Tradition, Mortage Cosumo, Komagatake Limited 2019.

Location〒399-4301
4752-31 Miyata-mura, Kamiina-gun, Nagano
Access
■By train
Take the JR Iida Line to Komagane Station or Miyata Station, then take a taxi for about 10 minutes.
■By car
Approximately 5 minutes from the Komagane IC on the Chuo Expressway
Started operation1985
Official websiteHombo Shuzo Mars Shinshu Distillery
Distillery tourTours are available. Please apply by e-mail form or fax.
CommoditySingle Malt Whisky Komagatake

Typical whisky from Mars Shinshu Distillery

4-4. Karuizawa Distilled Liquor Production Komoro Distillery

Karuizawa Distillery Manufacturing Co., Ltd. announced at a press conference in Komoro City that it will build a “Komoro Distillery” in Komoro City, Nagano Prefecture. A komoro distillery will be built in Matsui-ku, Komoro City, and it is scheduled to be completed in 2023. We plan to start selling single malts in 2027.

Karuizawa Distillery Co., Ltd. announced the construction of “Komoro Distillery” in Komoro City, Nagano Prefecture. It is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

4-5. Kirin Distillery Fuji Gautenba Distillery

In August 1972, Kirin Seagram Co., Ltd. was established through a three-country joint venture between Kirin Beer (Japan), JE Seagram (U.S.), and Seabus Brothers (UK), and the Fuji Gotemba Distillery started operations in August 1973.

 

Image Source:Whiskypedia|BS Fuji 5th broadcast 2020/4/9

Fuji Gotemba Distillery has been particular about the production of “grain whisky” using corn, wheat, etc. as the raw material of whisky. Continuous distillers are commonly used to produce grain whisky. At Fuji Gotemba Distillery, we make various characteristics of grain whisky by making full use of three types of continuous distillers: “Multi-Column” , “Kettle” , and “Doubler” .

As a typical whisky, there was “50° Barrel Mule Sake at the foot of Mt. Fuji“, but due to demand exceeding expectations from 2018, it became difficult to supply the raw sake necessary for production, and it ended sales at the end of March 2019. Although successor products were not released, “Blend Signature Signature” released from 2017 has been generally distributed in the domestic market since 2018, and is now sold as a current product.

In 2016, “Fuji Gotemba Distillery Single Grain Whisky AGED 25 YEARS SMALL BATCH” won the World Best Grain Award at the World Whisky Award 2016.
On March 31, 2017, Jota Tanaka, the master blender at Kirin Distillery Fuji Gotemba Distillery, won the world’s best award in the Master Distiller and Master Blender category of Icons of Whisky.
On March 27, 2020, Kirin Single Grain Whisky Fuji 30 Years won the World’s Best Grain Award at the World Whisky Awards 2020.

Location〒412-0003
970 Shibaida, Gotemba City, Shizuoka Prefecture
Access■Free shuttle bus service from JR Gotemba Station
Please exit the ticket gate at JR Gotemba Station and proceed to the maiden exit. The roundabout of the station is the shuttle bus stop.
■ Get off the Tomei Expressway Gotemba I.C towards Lake Yamanaka and go straight on National Route 138 for about 6km on the right side
Started operation.1973
Official websiteKirin Distillery Fuji Gotemba Distillery
Distillery tourTours are available.
* Tours are only available to customers living in Shizuoka Prefecture for the time being.
*Factory tours and shops will be closed from December 21 (Mon.) to January 7, 2021 (Thursday).
CommoditySignature blend at the foot of Mt. Fuji, Single grain whisky Fuji

Typical whisky of Fuji Gotemba Distillery

4-6. Gaia Flow Shizuoka Distillery

Gaia Flow Distilling Co., Ltd. purchased and acquired whisky production equipment from Mercian Karuizawa Distillery in March 2015. Reusable equipment such as pulverizers and distillers used for malt pulverization was repaired and improved before being relocated to Shizuoka Distillery, and preparations for whisky production were recommended.

In 2015, we started construction of a Shizuoka distillery in a district called Tamagawa in Okushizu (Oku-Shizuoka area) in Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, and obtained a whisky production license in September 2016. We started producing whisky in October 2016.
It is manufactured by three distillers: a distiller (K) relocated from Karuizawa Distillery and two Scottish distillers (W).

A distillery that is integrated with nature by using plenty of hinoki cypress grown in Okushizu in distillery buildings and fermentors. We aim to create whisky that harmonizes with nature rooted in the climate of Shizuoka.

There is a paid tasting corner in the distillery, and you can enjoy not only Shizuoka Prologue Shillies, but also new pots and undulated sake in the middle of aging.
In addition, you can also sample a lot of whiskys such as Indian whisky “Amrut” imported and sold by Gaia Flow Shizuoka Distillery and Scotch’s Bottlers “Blackadder”.

Location〒421-2223
555 Ochiai, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture
AccessFrom JR Shizuoka Station, take the “Shizutetsu Just Line” bus for 60 minutes.
Get on from platform 9 of “Shizuoka Ekimae” bus stop.
Get off at “Okudaragami” bus stop on the Abe Line (bound for Kamiochiai 118) and walk for 1 minute
Alternatively, get off at “Kamisuke” bus stop on the Abe Line (119 bound for Yokozawa) and walk 15 minutes.
Started operation2016
Official websiteGaia Flow Shizuoka Distillery
Distillery tourTours are available.
Reservation required from the tour page on the website
commoditySingle Malt Whisky Shizuoka “Prologue K”

Representative whisky of Shizuoka Distillery

4-7. Wakatsuru Shuzo Saburomaru Distillery

Wakatsuru Shuzo Co., Ltd., which operates Sabromaru Distillery, started brewing sake in Saburomaru Village, Tonami-gun, Toyama Prefecture in 1862, and is a sake brewery with a very long history in Hokuriku.

After the end of World War II, he independently conducted research on distilled liquor production and obtained a whisky production license in 1952 in order to overcome the difficulties. Since 1953, we have been selling Sunshine whisky in Toyama Prefecture.

In 2016, more than 60 years after the first whisky production, the distillery was aging. We launched the Sabromaru Distillery Renovation Project, which was the only distillery in the Hokuriku continent and that we could not stop making whisky that has continued so far, and challenged crowdfunding to secure funds.
In 2017, Sabomaru Distillery renovated its building and manufacturing facilities and restarted as a whisky distillery, with support of 38,255,000 yen, well over the target of 25 million yen, in response to its passion for whisky making that has been preserved for more than 60 years and the challenge of cultivating Toyama’s whisky into whisky around the world.

In 2019, we developed zemon, the world’s first casting distiller, in collaboration with Ogo Seisakusho, a master of bon bell construction.

Location〒939-1308
208 Sabromaru, Tonami City, Toyama Prefecture

Access

From Shin-Takaoka Station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen, take the JR Johana Line to Aburaden Station and walk for 1 minute.
Started operation.1953 (renovated in 2016)
Official WebsiteWakatsuru Shuzo Sabromaru Distillery
Distillery tourTours are available.
Reservation required from the tour page on the website
CommoditySunshine Whisky, Single Malt Saburomaru, Moon grow

Representative whisky of Sabromaru Distillery

4-8. Suntory Chita Distillery

Chita Distillery on the Chita Peninsula overlooks Ise Bay. It is a grain whisky distillery established by the Suntory Group in collaboration with the Zenno Group. It is one of three distilleries owned by Suntory in the country.

For more than 40 years since its operation began in 1973, we have continued to make grain whisky using corn as our main raw material. Chita’s whisky raw liquor is blended into the world-renowned blended whisky “Hibiki” and “Kaku” , and enhances the individuality of malt whisky raw liquor, which was born at Suntory Yamazaki Distillery and Hakushu Distillery, creating a smoother taste.
In 2015, he launched Chita, a single grain whisky composed of grain whisky raw liquor from Chita Distillery.

Location 〒478-0046
16 Kitahamacho, Chita City, Aichi Prefecture
Access
Started Operation1973年
Official websiteSuntory Chita Distillery
Distillery tourIt is not open to the public.
CommoditySingle Grain Whisky Chita

Chita Distillery’s representative whisky

4-9. Niigata Small Scale Distillery Niigata Kameda Distillery

Niigata Kameda Distillery is a limited company established by Otani Co., Ltd., a major seal seller. In 2018, the Niigata Innovation Program, sponsored by Nomura Securities Niigata Branch and others, realized a craft whisky production business plan announced by three companies, including Otani Co., Ltd. as a team. The company launched the business in March 2019 and built a distillery on the premises of the head office factory of Otani Co., Ltd.
Niigata Kameda Distillery is the first company in Niigata Prefecture to manufacture authentic Japanese whisky that performs barley, which is the raw material, from germination to distillation.
The distiller is manufactured by Forsyth in Scotland, and the fermentors used to ferment wort are made of stainless steel and wooden vats. The distillation is expected to begin in March 2021 and full-scale sales in 2024. The annual production capacity is 30,000 liters.
For the time being, we plan to use malt imported from Scotland, but we have contracted with the agricultural corporation Shirogin Culture (Akiha-ku, The City) to secure 4 tons of barley as raw materials. Distillation with 100% malt from the prefecture is expected to begin by the end of this year. In addition, the company is considering the production of rice whisky using rice produced in the prefecture as a future movement, and plans to expand facilities after the summer in order to meet domestic and overseas demand. From autumn 2021, the company plans to sell new pots of whisky before barrel filling.
Niigata Small-scale Distillery is capitalized at 30 million yen. The total project cost so far has been JPY 240 million.

Location 〒950-0141
1-3-5 Kameda Industrial Park, Gangnam-ku, Niigata
AccessA 30-minute walk from JR Kameda Station
Started OperationMarch 2019
Official WebsiteNiigata Kameda Distillery Niigata Small Scale Distillery LLC
Distillery tour
Commodity

4-10. Totsuka Shuzo Karuizawa Distillery

Shigeru Totsuka, the 16th president of Totsuka Shuzo (Saku City), founded in 1653, launched a new whisky manufacturing company, Karuizawa Whisky Co., Ltd., and built the Karuizawa Distillery from Karuizawa Town, Kitasaku County. Construction begins in the spring of 2021.

The new company was privately funded by President Totsuka and was established in November 2019. A distillery and storage facility were built on 1.3 hectares. The company plans to produce approximately 60,000 liters of whisky annually with the aim of starting sales in 2024. The total project cost is expected to be JPY 700 million to JPY 800 million.
The raw barley will be cultivated in cooperation with local agricultural cooperatives in the Saku region, and the water brewed will be used from the water at the foot of Mt. Asama and Mt. Yatsugatake.

4-11. Kiyosuzakura Brewery

Founded in 1853. This sake brewery is famous for its brand of “Kiyosu Castle Nobunaga Onikoroshi” continuously following its long tradition and quality-oriented attitude.
There is no special pot still for distillation of whisky, and a distiller used in shochu is used in combination.
Currently, the lineup of whiskies is only one blended whisky of “Craft Whisky Kiyosu” , which was released in September 2019 with a limited number (10,000 bottles), and both malt and grain undrafts are distilled in-house.
It has also been commercialized as an additional part in 2020. (Limited number unknown)

The feature is that the yeast at the time of fermentation takes advantage of its characteristics as a sake maker and uses fragrant sake yeast. It is packed in oak barrels and aged slowly for five years in the underground cellar of the sake brewery.

Location〒452-0942 
1692 Kiyosu, Kiyosu City, Aichi Prefecture
Access5-minute walk from Meitetsu Shin-Kiyosu Station
Started OperationStarted distilling whisky in 2014
Official WebsiteKiyosuzakura Brewery Co., Ltd.
Distillery tour
CommodityAichi Craft Whisky Kiyos

Typical whisky of Cheongju Sakura Brewery

【清州桜】愛知クラフトウイスキー キヨス 500ml 45度 カートン入り

4-12. Juzan Co., Ltd. Ikawa Distillery

Image Source:Tokusane Tokai Paper Co., Ltd. Financial Results For the Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2019

Juzan Co., Ltd. was established in Tashiro, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City in April 2020 through a new split from Tokushu Tokai Paper Co., Ltd. We will conduct whisky production business using company-owned forests in the northern part of Shizuoka City. The company plans to start distillation in the summer of 2020 and ship it after 2027. With the aim of producing “authentic” matured for more than seven years, the company expects to produce about 5,000 to 6,000 bottles in the first year of shipment.
Jpy 1.09 billion will be invested in the construction of a distillery. A distillation building and a maturation warehouse were constructed along the Oi River in a site area of about 2,000 square meters. Distillation Building: Steel Frame 2 Stories Total 860㎡, Maturation Cabinet: Steel Frame One-Story Building 357㎡

Location〒428-0505
1299-1 Tashiro, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture
Access
Started OperationStart of distillation in 2020
Official Website
Distillery tour
Commodity

4-13. Gyokusendo Shuzo Yoro Distillery

Founded in 1806. Since then, we have been working on shochu, mirin, liqueur, etc., mainly in sake for more than 200 years.
The representative brands are “Minogiku” and “Reisen” of sake.

Gyokusendo Shuzo is famous for its “peak whisky” . It is “local whisky” that dominated the world from the 1975s to 1975.

A blend of Scottish malt sake aged for 8 years and whisky (malt) produced at Gyokusendo Sake Brewery using the pure underground water of the Yoro Mountains, known for “Yoro Falls”. After 10 years of aging in oak barrels, grain whisky is blended and aged for another 6 years to deepen the ripening degree.
Peak whisky has a capacity of 1,800ml and a peak whisky special has a capacity of 720ml.

Peak Newbone 2018” was released from Gyokusendo Shuzo in June 2019.
Relausing in-house distillation for the first time in 40 years. A limited release newbone that was distilled in October 2018 using British barley malt and aged for about half a year with sherry casks and bourbon casks. Alcohol content is 55%, capacity 200ml.
Looking at the website of Gyokusendo, it is a mysterious product that does not mention this NewBone or Yoro Distillery at all, but it was confirmed that it will be aged for about 3 to 5 years in the future and shipped to the market as whisky.

Location〒503-1314
800-3 Takada, Yoro-cho, Yoro-gun, Gifu
AccessA 5-minute walk from Minotakada Station on the Kintetsu Yoro Line
Started Operation2018 (Whisky distillation resumed for the first time in 40 years)
Official WebsiteGyokusendo Shuzo Co., Ltd.
Distillery tour
CommodityPeak Newbourne 2018, Peak Whisky, Peak Whisky Special

Representative whisky of Yoro Distillery

4-14.Nozawa Onsen Distillery Co., Ltd. 

“Erasshai(Welcome)!”
Signboard seen from the prefectural road to Nozawa Onsen village

Philip Richards, who runs a café and bar in Nozawa Onsen Village, started construction in 2021. The plant is scheduled to start operations in June 2022.

The goal is to become a new tourist attraction in Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort, which boasts one of the best powder snow and vastness in Japan, leisure such as cycling, and Nozawa Onsen Village, which has many outdoor baths in the green season.

In addition to a distillery tour, Nozawa Onsen Distillery plans to have a gift shop, a craft bar where you can enjoy tastings, and a herb garden.

As of January 2022, Craft Gin, malt whisky and grain whisky are scheduled to be produced, and Craft Gin uses distillers manufactured by Karl of Germany. Using the vapor infusion method using baskets, the spring water flowing down Mt. Kenashi where the Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort is built and the famous products of Nozawa Onsen Village are used as botanicals. We are planning to manufacture a gin with the concept of “I want to make a gin that reminds me of Nozawa Onsen village when I drink a bottle I brought home as a souvenir” at home.

The whisky is made from a distiller manufactured by Nap Luwa in Tasmania. The age has not been decided, and it is tried and aged repeatedly until it is high quality and convincing bear delicious. The company is also considering the production of grain whisky, and expects to produce a new type of grain whisky using wheat, buckwheat and rice. As of January 2022, the distillery is under construction and the introduction of the distiller is expected in March.

The planned lineup includes standard craft gin, limited-time gin using seasonal botanicals, high-quality single malt whisky, grain whisky using wheat, buckwheat noodles, and rice, and blended whisky.

Location〒389-2502
Toyogo, Nozawa Onsen Village, Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture9394
Access20 minutes by taxi from Toganosawa Onsen Station 25 minutes by car from Toyota Iiyama I .C
Started Operation

Scheduled to start distillation in June 2022

Official WebsiteNozawa Onsen Distillery
Distillery tourTour planned
Commodity

4-15.Ide Brewery Fuji Hokuroku Distillery

Image Source:makuake

Ide Shuzo, whose predecessor was soy sauce brewing, which started operations around 1700, was.

We started to manufacture sake. He obtained a whisky manufacturing license in 2020. He has made full use of the knowledge and technology cultivated in Sake brewing and has been experimenting with it.

Fuji Hokuroku Distillery manufactures malt whisky and grain whisky, and aims to make whisky with an emphasis on aroma using sake yeast and the pure underground water of Mt. Fuji.

In the future, we plan to start a distillery tour, and we will crowdfund the funds for the expansion with original glasses and new pots as return products. We have succeeded in raising about three times the target amount. As of 2022, we are also recruiting cask owners. Click here for details.

Malt whisky is made from Non-Pete malt from Germany and aged in white oak bourbon barrels. The barrels are packed in 2020 and actual sales are expected in 2023.

Location

〒401-0301

8 Funatsu, Kawaguchiko-cho, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi

Access

A 10-minute drive from the Kawaguchiko Interchange on the Chuo Expressway

10-minute walk from Kawaguchiko Station

Started Operation

Start of distillation in 2020

Official WebsiteIde Brewery
Distillery tourTour planned
CommodityGrain Malt Whisky Daijukai Fuji North Foot Distillery Highball

4-16.Yoshida Denzai Distillery, Yoshida Denzai Co., Ltd.

Established in 1940, Yoshida Denzai Kogyo Co., Ltd., which manufactures and sells electrical equipment, manufactures synthetic resins, processes and sells medical equipment, and Yoshiden Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Yoshiden Co., Ltd., were established. We aim to make high-quality and honest whisky with our technological capabilities that have supported Japanese manufacturers since the Showa era.

Yoshida Denki Distillery specializes in producing grain whisky and is planning to produce blended with malt whisky from craft distilleries in Niigata Prefecture and other prefectures. Differentiate yourself from other craft distilleries.

In addition, we are considering cooperation with local people using dent corn from Niigata Prefecture as raw materials.

Pot Still uses a hybrid still made in Germany, and has a unique facility that allows you to freely mix three kinds of grains in the raw material processing process.

The distillery is currently under construction, but distillation is expected to begin in April 2022. (As of February 10, 2022)

Location

〒110-0016

344-1 Shudda, Murakami City, Niigata Prefecture

Access

Approximately 5 minutes’ drive from The Shinrin Iwafune Port IC

Started Operation

Start of distillation in 2022

Official WebsiteYoshida Denzai Distillery Official Website
Distillery tour
Commodity

4-17. Funasaka Sake Brewery Hida Takayama Distillery

still「ZEMON(ゼモン)」

Funasaka Sake Brewery, a long-established sake brewery that has been in business since the Edo period, will breathe new life into the world as a whisky distillery by utilizing the school building of Takane Elementary School, which was closed due to the decrease in the number of children due to the submerged school district in a dam lake and depopulation in 2007.

The total project cost is JPY 300 million. Raised funds with SDGs private placement bonds issued by Juroku Bank and Takayama Shinkin Bank, respectively. A part of the issuance fee is donated to designated destinations, and it is sent to Asahi Elementary and Junior High Schools, where children in the Takane area go to, and Takayama City, which has signed real estate lease agreements for the former Takane Elementary School.

From the end of March 2022, we will collect support for the target amount of 10 million yen on the crowdfunding site “Makuake”.

The site of Takane Elementary School, the site of the Hida Distillery, has an altitude of nearly 900 meters. The water that springs from the mountains and the low temperature throughout the year make it a good place for whisky making.

The company plans to produce single malt whisky using ZEMON, a pot still made from copper and tin developed by Wakatsuru Shuzo in Toyama Prefecture using bonsho manufacturing technology. The gymnasium is used as a distillery and the school building is used as a storage. In addition, there will be a facility in the school building where you can learn how to make whisky.

Hiroki Arisu, president of Funasaka Sake Brewery, says, “It will be a plus for the employment of brewers by making sake in winter and whisky from spring to autumn,” and “Being able to breathe new life into old school facilities and create facilities that lead to tourism and employment is a hope for regions suffering from depopulation.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in late April 2022 for the repair of Takane Elementary School and start operation in April 2023. Sales will begin in April 2026 or later.

Location

〒509-3413

164-2 Shimonomuga, Takane-cho, Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture

AccessNearest station: About 30 minutes by car from Kusano Station on the JR Takayama Main Line
Started OperationStart of distillation in 2023
Official Website
Distillery tourWhisky seminar will be held.
Commodity

4-18. SASAKAWA WHISKY Co., Ltd. Mt. Fuji Distillery

SASAKAWA WHISKY Logo Image Quote: Mt. Fuji Distillery Official Website

Mt. Fuji Distillery is a whisky distillery built at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

Using wooden wash backs, pot stills with an open flame heating system are custom-made at Miyake Seisakusho. We will focus on bringing out the potential of yeast and lactic acid bacteria. The storage is dunnage type. In addition, the maturation is carefully aged until it is satisfactory taste.

There is a Mt. Fuji Distillery in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, which boasts a vast site of 10,000 square meters, and uses the underground water of Mt. Fuji. The forested grounds are filled with clear air and are 1000m above sea level. In summer, the weather is cool and suitable for whisky making.

Mt. Fuji Distillery Completion Forecast Map. Image Source:Mt. Fuji Distillery Official Website

Location〒403-0005 4918-1 Kamiyoshida, Fujiyoshida City, Yamanashi Prefecture
Access

Approximately 8 minutes’ drive from the Kawaguchiko IC on the Chuo Expressway

About 10 minutes by taxi from Mt. Fuji Station

Started OperationScheduled for October 2022
Official Website

Mt. Fuji Distillery Official Website

Distillery tour

Scheduled to be implemented

Commodity

 

4-19. Takebe Orimono Co.

“Takebe Orimono,” a textile business in Takebe, Nakanotomachi, Ishikawa Prefecture, started whisky production as a new business.

The company utilized a closed junior high school (former Tounan Junior High School). This will be the first whisky distillery in the Noto region.

The company plans to start production in the summer of 2023.

Osamu Tanaka, president of Takebe Orimono, commented, “We want to produce all-Noto whisky by aging it with well-cleaned water, barley, and Noto hiba (Japanese cypress), and then introduce it to the world.”

The former Tounan Junior High School in Kurosaki-cho, Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture, is located in the easternmost part of the city facing Toyama Bay, on a 6,069 square meter site with a two-story reinforced concrete building. According to the city, the middle school closed in 2009, and the building was used as a school building for the nearby aging Ariiso Elementary School until its closure in March 2018.

Location〒925-1383 20 Sa, Kurosaki-cho, Nanao-shi
Access to the distillery

Approximately 30 minutes from Nanao Station by car

Commencement of businessScheduled for summer 2023
Official HP

Inspection

Product

4-20. Oriental Brewing Co. Yuwaku Distillery

Established in 2016 in Kanazawa City, craft beer producer Oriental Brewing Co. has begun producing whisky for the first time in Ishikawa Prefecture.

In June 2022, the company will build a whisky distillery attached to its own beer brewery in Higashimachi, Kanazawa. In addition to barley, local white bran produced when rice for Daiginjo is milled is used as an ingredient. The barrels used for maturation will be made of Noto Hiba (Noto Hiba) for the mirror plates. They have already obtained a license to produce whisky.

With the prolonged Corona disaster, the company entered the whisky business as another pillar of its operations to complement the restaurants it operates.

In keeping with its corporate philosophy of “proposing uniqueness rooted in the community,” the company will also use local ingredients and aims to launch the product in 2025. With the popularity of Japanese whisky growing overseas, the company is also looking to export in the future.

In parallel, the company plans to produce craft gin, which, like beer and whisky, will use local ingredients.

Location〒920-1121 32 Higashimachi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture
Access to the distilleryFrom Kanazawa Station, take bus 【12 Yuwaku line bound for Yuwaku Onsen】about 35 minutes, and 15 minutes walk from the bus stop.
Commencement of businessAugust 2022
Official HP

Oriental Brewing official website

Inspection

Product

4-21.Sun. Foods Nirasaki MIDAI Distillery

Established in 1976The company started out manufacturing food seasonings.
It was not until 2014 that the company obtained a license to manufacture whiskey.
The company’s three main products are “Fujigamine,” “Nirasaki,” and “Gotei.”
They are relatively inexpensive, ranging from about 1,000 yen to 4,000 yen, and easily accessible with a large number in circulation.
The company mainly deals in whiskies produced overseas, and the only whisky labeled as Japanese whisky is Nirasaki Blended Japanese.
It is very interesting to note that the attached image is for reference only. (As of May 2023, the wording is gone because the site is being renewed.)
Since there is no information on pot stills, we would like to keep a close eye on this site with high expectations for future developments.

Location640 Minamiwari, Shimojyo, Tatsuoka-cho, Nirasaki City, Yamanashi Prefecture
Access to the distillery
Commencement of business2014
Official HPNirasaki MIDAI  Distillery Official Brand Site
Inspection

Product

Typical products of Nirasaki MIDAI Distillery

4-22.Tokuoka Holdings Minami Alps Wine and Beverage Fuefuki Plant

The company’s origins lie in a local liquor store that has been in business for nearly 150 years.
About 50 years ago, the company started a wine business and has since gone on to import wines, operate a winery in Germany, and consult for liquor companies in China, among other businesses.
It is the source of the much talked-about Top Value whiskey.
It is still available today under the brand name “SNAZZ” at Aeon-affiliated supermarkets for about 600 yen.
The lineup listed on the official website includes “Hachikuma,” “Kumataka,” “Kakutaka 5-year barrel aged,” “Kakutaka Pure Malt,” and other variations such as 2L back-in-box and 4L PET bottles.

Location191-1, Kamiyasaku, Ichinomiya-cho, Fuefuki-shi, Yamanashi, Japan
Access to the distillery
Commencement of business
Official HP

Southern Alps Wine and Beverage

Inspection

Product

Typical Products of Minami Alps Wine and Beverage Fuefuki Plant

4-23.Kiyokawa Corporation Iiyama Mountain Farm Distillery

David Traiano, a native of Italy who formerly made his living as an importer and wholesaler, established KIYOKAWA Co. in 2016.
In 2018, he established MOST FARM, a joint venture agricultural corporation, and developed “Yukihana Rokujo,” a six-row barley for snow country.
In 2019, the company opened the Iiyama Distillery to start distilling and changed its name to “Iiyama Mountain Farm Distillery” in 2022.
In the initial phase, there was only one small hybrid still with a capacity of 500 liters, but a still made by Frilli of Italy and a hybrid still made by DYE of China, which were introduced for the first time in Japan, were installed.
In conjunction with this, four oak fermenters made by Garbelotto of Italy were introduced, and stainless steel fermenters are scheduled to be introduced in the future.
Two mash tuns manufactured by German company Cheiman were installed.
The bottling equipment is fully automatic, and was also made by Polaris of Italy for the first time in Japan.
Kensei” and “Nobushi,” which were popular and controversial in Russia, were released.
Currently, the Togari Onsen distillery is under construction in the adjacent area, and this distillery is scheduled to produce grain whiskey.

Location5123-30 Toyoda, Iiyama-shi, Nagano, 389-2411 Japan
Access to the distilleryApproximately 19 minutes on foot from Togari-Nozawaonsen Station exit
Commencement of business2016
Official HPKIYOKAWA JAPAN (kiyokawa-sake.co.jp)
Inspection

Product

4-24.Tokinosumika CO. Fuji-Kaguya Distillery

画像出典:公式サイト

A large company with several group companies, including hot springs, hotels, leisure facilities, and restaurants.
Fugaku Beer is famous.
Fuji Kaguya Distillery, where brewing and distilling are possible, is located in the affiliated facility called s_pl@tt FUJISPARK, a sports facility equipped with a baseball field, gymnasium, soccer field, and other facilities for all kinds of sports, including a hotel bathhouse and restaurant.
The distillery is located in a sports facility with a hotel, baths, and restaurant. The distillery produces a whisky called “whisky the Takasago 2022,” a blend of 25-year-old spirits from the Ginpan Brewery in Toyama, 3-year-old Kuma shochu derived spirits from the Joraku Brewery in Kumamoto, and malt whisky from the Fuji-Kaguya distillery.

所在地 
蒸溜所へのアクセス 
創業開始1994年3月4日
公式HPs_pl@tt FUJISPARK
見学

可→詳細はこちらから

商品

富嶽麦酒

Location325-5, Ohbuchi, Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture
Access to the distilleryRight after getting off the Shin-Fuji IC
Commencement of business1994
Official HPs_pl@tt FUJISPARK
Inspection

Acceptable -> Click here for details

Product

Fugaku Beer

4-25.Aioi Unibio Corporation Hekinan Distillery

The company has a long history, starting production of mirin (sweet sake) in 1872.
In 1949, soon after the end of the war, the company began production of “Rainbow Whiskey,” a second-class whiskey (*whiskey with an admixture ratio of 5% or more but less than 30% real whiskey).
Abandoned the whiskey business once due to two natural disasters.
In 2019, the company resumes its whisky business on the 70th anniversary of the start of the whisky business.
Current product lineup includes “Hekiju” and “Hekiju PEAT,” a blend of Canadian-based Scotch and Islay, “Ichi Heki,” a single cask that won the TWSC 2023 Gold Award, “Rainbow Whiskey (alc37%),” and “HINOTORI,” a blended Japanese whiskey sold only in France are available.
The photos of pot stills and other details of each equipment are shrouded in mystery, but it is said that they use their own distillation.

所在地〒447-0814 愛知県碧南市弥生町4丁目3番地
蒸溜所へのアクセス碧南駅から徒歩約10分
創業開始2019年
公式HP相生ユニビオ株式会社
見学

 

商品

碧州、碧州PEAT、一碧、レインボーウイスキー、HINOTORI

Location4-3 Yayoi-cho, Hekinan-shi, Aichi 447-0814, Japan
Access to the distillery10 minutes walk from Hekinan Station
Commencement of business2019
Official HPAioi Unibio Corporation
Inspection

Product

Hekishu, Hekishu PEAT, Rainbow Whiskey, HINOTORI

4-26.Iseman Ise Distillery

画像出典:伊勢満公式Twitter

Iseman was established in 1984 (Showa 59).
Its main product, sake “Okagesama” won Gold at the Brussels International Competition “SAKE selection” and has won three gold medals at the National New Sake Competition since 2017, and is the only brewery in Iseshima and the first craft whiskey in Iseshima.

Whiskey Jinji KAMIJI, a grain-based whiskey aged in bourbon barrels, which went on sale in December 2021, was entered for the first time in the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) 2022, a global sake competition, and won the Gold Award in the World Whiskey category in its first year on the market, becoming a hot topic It became a topic of conversation.

所在地〒516-0025 伊勢市小俣町明野576-13
蒸溜所へのアクセス近鉄山田線明野駅から徒歩15分
創業開始1984年
公式HP伊勢満
見学

商品

ウイスキー神路(KAMIJI) おかげさま大吟醸

Location576-13 Akeno, Omata-cho, Ise-shi, Ise 516-0025
Access to the distillery15 minutes walk from Akeno Station on the Kintetsu Yamada Line.
Commencement of business1984
Official HP

ISEMAN

Inspection

Product

神路(KAMIJI)

伊勢満の代表的なウイスキー

4-27.Whiskey&Co.  Distillery Water Dragon

画像出典:PR TIMES

Whiskey&Co. was established in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo in January 2021 to manufacture and sell craft spirits and provide consulting services for liquor and other brands.
The company will launch a new style called “Japanese “Bourbon whisky” Style” to convey the appeal of American bourbon whiskey.
Teen Spirits” won the silver prize at the Tokyo Whiskey & Spirits Competition (TWSC) in 2022.
The company is also actively involved in “FiNANCiE,” a token-issuing crowdfunding service that utilizes blockchain technology, which allows customers to purchase tokens to expand their access to the distillery, gain the right to become a cask owner, and purchase tokens for the “Water Gate” restaurant bar in the 97-year-old earthen warehouse that was renovated. The distillery is located on the second floor of Water Gate, a 97-year-old earthenware warehouse that has been renovated into a restaurant-bar.
The current target maturation period for the sake is three years, but depending on the maturation status, a two-year maturation period may be offered.
Two batches of 200-300 kg per batch (per day).
The grains used are in keeping with bourbon whiskey, with a mixture of maize (corn), rye, and malt.
In the future, they plan to mix mais, wheat, and malt.
The distillation machine is a single machine, made in Germany by Arnold Holstein.
Currently in the new-make stage, the quality is so high that it is suitable for drinking as it is, and they are looking forward to aging it.
At the moment, they are aiming for a clean, ethereal, mellow flavor.
Distillery Water Dragon’s strengths include the ability to change the ratio of ingredients, the ability to freely select the grains of the ingredients themselves, and the ability to change the aroma by changing the yeast.

Location18-5 Taisha-cho, Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture, 411-0853 Japan
Access to the distillery15 minutes walk from JR Mishima Station
Commencement of business2021
Official HPWhiskey&Co.
Inspection

Possible (depends on tokens held)

Product

TeenSpirits、On Spring

4-28.Hakkai Brewery Fukasawahara DistilleryHakkai Brewery Fukasawahara Distillery

画像出典:魚沼の里公式ページより

The Fukasawahara distillery is operated by Hakkai Jozo, known for its sake Hakkaiyama, and is located in Uonuma-no-sato, a leisure facility with a variety of restaurants, a museum, and a café.
In 2005, the distillery produced shochu as the original “Fukasawahara Distillery,” and in April 2016 obtained a license to produce whiskey, and since then has continued to produce grain made from rice.
At the same time, they also operate the Niseko Distillery, and are one of the few distillers to have two distilleries among the craft distilleries that have started to increase in recent years.
The brewing water used for the whiskey is “Raiden-sama no Shimizu” (Raiden-sama’s fresh water) just like Hakkaisan.
The maturing barrels are oak barrels, and a 7-year aged rice grain whiskey is scheduled to be released in April 2024. It will be interesting to see if there will be a blended product with the Niseko distillery in the future.

所在地〒949-7112 新潟県南魚沼市長森343−9
蒸溜所へのアクセスJR上越線五日町駅からタクシーで10分
創業開始2005年
公式HP魚沼の里
見学

見学不可

商品

八海山本格米焼酎 オーク樽貯蔵 風媒花 ライディーンビール

Location343-9 Nagamori, Minamiuonuma, Niigata 949-7112
Access to the distillery10 minutes by cab from Itsukamachi Station on the JR Joetsu Line
Commencement of business2005
Official HPUonuma no Sato魚沼の里
Inspection

Visits not permitted

Product

Hakkaisan Authentic Rice Shochu Oak Barrel Stored Fu-Mai-Hana Raideen Beer

深沢原蒸溜所の代表的な商品

スポンサーリンク

5. Kansai Region

5-1. Suntory Spirits Yamazaki Distillery

Suntory’s founder, Shinjiro Torii, had a passionate desire to “make Japanese whisky that suits the delicate taste of the Japanese people” and decided to make whisky, and Yamazaki Distillery was born in 1923 as the first whisky distillery in Japan.

 

Image source: single malt whisky Yamazaki Suntory

When the Yamazaki distillery was built, Suntory invited Masataka Taketsuru, who had studied whisky production in Scotland, the home of Scotch whisky, and appointed him as the director of the Yamazaki distillery.
Yamazaki is located southwest of Kyoto, at the foot of Mt. Yamazaki was chosen from among a number of candidate sites because of its “high quality water” and “natural environment” both of which are important in whisky production.

Yamazaki distillery at the time of its operation.
Image source: Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky, Suntory

In the distillery room of the Yamazaki distillery, distillation kettles of different sizes and shapes are lined up facing each other.
Distilleries with such a variety of distillation kettles are rare in the world. The distillation kettles of different sizes and shapes each produce different types of sake, ranging from light to heavy flavors.

Image source: Yamazaki Distillery – Wikipedia

 

Location Shimamoto-cho, Mishima-gun, Osaka 618-0001
5-2-1, Yamazaki, Shimamoto-cho, Mishima-gun, Osaka
Access
  • JR West Japan Tokaido Main Line (Kyoto Line) Yamazaki station 7 minutes by walking
  • 10 minutes walk from Oyamazaki Station, Hankyu Railway Kyoto Main Line
Start of operation1923
Official HP Suntory Yamazaki Distillery
Visiting the distilleryTours are available,reservations required through the website.
Currently, tours are temporarily suspended. (December 28, 2020)
ProductsSingle Malt Whisky Yamazaki, Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki 12years, Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki 18 years, Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki 25 years

Yamazaki Distillery’s signature whisky.

5-2. Eigashima Brewery

Eigashima Shuzo, which produces the small 500 ml bottle of local whiskey“Akashi” was a sake brewer founded in 1888.
Its history of whisky production is surprisingly long, and in 1919 it obtained a license to produce whisky.

Image source: Eigashima Brewery – Wikipedia

 

The installation of pot stills and other equipment for full-scale whisky production was completed in 1984. Since then, the company has sold lower-priced whisky, but has recently released a number of new products, including “Akashi” Single Malt 8 Years and“Single Malt Eigashima Sherry Cask” .

Image source: Eigashima Brewery Co.

Image source: Eigashima Brewery online store

Address of head office Akashi, Akashi City, Hyogo Prefecture 674-0065
919 Nishijima, Okubo-cho, Akashi-shi, Hyogo
AccessNearest Station: Nishieigashima Station, Sanyo Railway
Start of operation1919 (Licensed to manufacture whisky)
It is unknown if distilling had started.
Official HP Eigashima Brewery Co.
ToursTours are available. Reservations required by phone or email.
Currently, tours are temporarily suspended. (December 28, 2020)
ProductsWhite Oak Single Malt Akashi, White Oak Local Whiskey Akashi, White Oak Akashi Red

Eigashima Shuzo‘s representative whisky.

5-3. Nagahama Roman Beer Nagahama Distillery

Japan’s smallest Nagahama distillery is located in the northern part of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture.
In 1996, Nagahama Roman Beer became the third craft brewery in the Kinki region to start producing craft beer, and after 20 years of craft beer production, Nagahama Roman Beer began operating the Nagahama Distillery on the premises and distilling whisky in 2016.

Inspired by Scottish craft distilleries, it features rich, fruity, grain-derived, richly sweet, undiluted alcohol that flows from an arambic-shaped pot still and ultra-thin line arms.

 

Image Source: Nagahama Roman Beer Nagahama Distillery

In 2020, Amahagan, a blend of malts from Nagahama Distillery based on malt whisky from overseas, won three out of four bottles in the regular series at the World Whisky Awards (WWA).

Location〒526-0056
14-1 Asahi-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture
AccessApprox. 4 minutes walk from JR Nagahama Station
Approx. 4 km from Nagahama I.C.
Commencement of operations2016
Official HPNagahama Roman Beer Nagahama Distillery
InspectionTours are available, reservations required through the website.
ProductsAmahagan, Single Malt Nagahama, Nagahama New Make

Representative whiskies of Nagahama Distillery

5-4. Kyoto Sake Brewery Kyoto Miyako Distillery

Kyoto Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. was established on August 16, 2019. The whisky production license was obtained on July 6, 2020. There are a total of three pot stills. Two 5000L and one 1000L.
On March 19, 2021, three types of whisky were launched: “Kyoto Whisky Nishijin Ori Red Belt (Blended Whisky)” , “Kyoto Whisky Nishijin Ori Black Belt (Bourbon and Malt Sake Blend)” , and “Kyoto Whisky Nishijin Ori Purple Belt (Blended Malt)”.
“Kyoto whisky is sold only in Kyoto Prefecture” is officially announced, but it is probably about over-the-counter sales, and it is sold on mail order sites, so it seems that it is possible to purchase it even for people outside Kyoto Prefecture.

Is the Kyoto Miyako Distillery a distillery affiliated with Matsui Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. because it was listed as “Kurayoshi Distillery” in Tottori as a training place after recruitment in the recruitment medium recruited as an opening staff? It was controversial for a while, but the truth remains unknown at this time.

image source: kyoto whisky official Twitter

Location Postal Code 629-1131
11 Minami-Bayashi, Sakahara, Kyotanba-cho, Funai-gun, Kyoto
AccessNearest station: 10 minutes on foot from Wachi Station on the JR Sanin Honsen Line
Start of operationJuly 6, 2020 (for closed to the public, the date of obtaining the whisky production license is stated)
Official HP Kyoto Shuzo Brewery Co.
Tours
ProductsKyoto Whisky Nishijin Ori Red Belt, Kyoto Whisky Nishijin Ori Black Belt, Kyoto Whisky Nishijin Ori Purple Belt

Typical whisky from the Kyoto Miyako distillery.

5-5. Akashi Liquor Brewing Co., Ltd. Kaikyo Distillery

Image Source: Hamonzaki Whiskey
| Strait Distillery

Akashi Sake Brewing Co., Ltd. was founded in 1860. Starting with the manufacture of shochu, we have since acquired liquor manufacturing licenses and have been manufacturing brewed liquors such as sake, mirin, liqueur, and synthetic sake.
He obtained his whiskey licence in 2017. There are two pot stills, both made by Forsyth in Scotland. Similarly, mash tan (saccharification tank) is manufactured by Forsyth.
Distillation was scheduled to begin in 2020, but has been delayed due to the impact of the new coronavirus.
The current product lineup sells “Hatozaki Whisky” , which is probably bottled using overseas raw sake, for overseas markets. At present, it is not distributed domestically.
We plan to start selling craft gin“Hyogo Dry Gin at 135 degrees east longitude” from the autumn of 2021.

Location 1 Okurahachiman-cho, Akashi-shi, Hyogo 673-0871
1-3 Ohkurahachiman-cho, Akashi-shi, Hyogo, Japan
Access10 minutes walk from Asagiri Station on JR Kobe Line
Start of operation2017
Official HP Kaikyo Distillery
Tour
ProductsHatozaki Pure Malt Whisky and Blended Whisky, both not sold in Japan

5-6. Axus Holdings Corporation Rokkosan Distillery

Axus Holdings Corporation (Tokushima)operates “Hour Liquor” liquor specialty stores and “Charlie” drugstores, and imports and exports liquor and food products. Rokko, a landmark of Kobe with its beautiful night views and abundant nature including famous water, will become a center of new culture centered on whisky by appealing to people who love to drink and are sensitive to information in Japan and around the world through the production, aging, tours, tasting and sales of whisky and spirits at the Mt. The initial plan is to start operations in November 2020.

 

The initial plan was for operations to begin in November 2020, but this was postponed to late March 2021. The project was delayed until late March 2021, and operations began on July 1, 2021. The site area is 1,160.73 m2. The project started as part of Kobe City’s “Lively Creation Project” utilizing idle facilities on Mt. Rokko with the aim of revitalizing Mt.

For the time being, the company plans to produce only whisky, using German-made pot stills. The distilled whisky has already been aged in casks, and the intention is to sell it as “Japanese whisky” that has been aged for three years or more. The company intends to expand overseas by developing overseas markets in cooperation with domestic and overseas suppliers.

The current product lineup includes “Rokkosan Pure Malt Whisky 12 Years” and “Rokkosan Pure Malt Whisky 12 Years Peated.
This pure malt whisky is made by adjusting the addition of natural Mt. Rokko water to the original Scottish malt whisky. Available at Motomachi WHISKY in Kobe City.

Location of distillery 1034-1034 Minami-Rokko, Rokkosan-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 657-0101
1034-229 Minami-Rokko, Rokkosan-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo
Access15 minutes walk from Rokko Sanjo Station on the Rokko Cable
Start of operationJuly 1, 2021
Official HP Official Instagram of Rokkosan Distillery
ToursTours, tasting rooms and stores will open from August
ProductsRokkosan Pure Malt Whisky 12years, Rokkosan Pure Malt Whisky 12years Peated

5-7. Kizakura Corporation Tamba Distillery

Founded in 1925 (Taisho 14), Kizakura Corporation, known for its sake “Kizakura” and “Karakuchi Ikkon”, established this whisky distillery in Tamba Sasayama, Hyogo Prefecture, at an altitude of about 300 meters, surrounded by clear air and forests, with annual temperatures exceeding 30°C and humidity so high that fog is a common occurrence. The Tamba factory, built in 1974, has been producing authentic shochu using stainless steel distillers since 2004, and began producing whisky using those stainless steel distillers in 2018.

Aiming at further authentic whisky production, two copper distillers (first distillation: straight type) (redistillation: bulge type) made by Forsyth were introduced in October 2021. One mash tun is made by Miyake Seisakusho, and two wash backs are made by enamel. Fushimi water is used for brewing water.

Current brewing is 1.5 tons of one-patch malt. Both non-peated and peated malts are used.

Up to saccharification is done at the craft brewery in Fushimi, and the 8,000 liters of wort from a single saccharification are transported by car to the Tamba distillery, about an hour and a half away, for fermentation and maturation. The aging warehouse is located at the highest point in the Tamba Distillery and has been converted into a maturing warehouse. A wide variety of malt liquors, including bourbon casks, new oak casks, and sherry casks, are grown in the dunnage-type maturing warehouse.

In the future, the company aims to introduce barrels made from Mizunara oak and other domestic timber, and to achieve an annual production volume of 30,000 liters.

Image source: JWIC

Location1-19 Honjo Dogaya, Imada-cho, Tamba-Sasayama, Hyogo, Japan
AccessApproximately 20 minutes by car from the Sanda Nishi IC
Commencement of operations2018
Official HPKizakura Whisky Tamba official HP
InspectionNot allowed

Products

Kizakura Single Malt Whisky Tamba, Kizakura Blended Malt Whisky

Sakura Chronos

Typical whisky of Tamba Distillery

5-8. GrowStars Inc. Kobe Distillery

GrowStars Inc. was established in 2015 (Heisei 27). It is a general trading company whose main business is trade agency services such as import/export formalities representation.

The Kobe Distillery will start operation on October 14, 2022. Surrounded by mountains, the land is suitable for whisky maturation due to its natural environment with large temperature differences throughout the year and high humidity.

The distillery is equipped with a pot still dedicated to whisky and a distiller dedicated to brandy.

Bourbon and sherry casks will be used for maturation, as well as Japanese oak and cherry casks.

 

The distiller used for brandy is an imported direct-fired “Alambic Charentes” (single distiller) made in France, which was once used for high-end brandy.

Location〒651-1522
Roadside Station Kobe Fruit and Flower Park Osawa, 2150 Kami-Osawa, Osawa-cho, Kita-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture
Access

Approx. 15 minutes by bus or cab from Kobe Electric Railway “Okaba Station”

Approx. 15 minutes by cab from JR “Sanda Station”

By car: Exit at Osawa IC of Rokko Kita Toll Road.

Commencement of operationsOctober 14, 2022
Official HPKobe Distillery Official HP
Inspection
Products

RARE CASK SUPREME KOBE BRANDY 20 years, RARE CASK SUPREME KOBE BRANDY 18 years

Typical Whisky from Kobe Distillery

5-9.Kishu Kumano Distillery, Plum Foods Co.

Founded in 1969 as a drinking water manufacturer and founded a distillery on its 50th anniversary.
It will develop its whiskey business toward its 100th anniversary in 2069.
From the photos on the official website, it appears that two distillers, one from ABE in the U.S. and the other a hybrid type, are in use.
The main product, “Japanese Blended Whiskey Kumano,” is a blend of Scotch and Japanese whisky, and is aged in oak barrels. 500 ML bottle of this whisky costs 3,850 yen, making it relatively inexpensive and readily available.

One batch is made up of 500 kg of malted barley
Malt used is non-peat and peat 20 PPM.
Washback is stainless steel and distiller is 2000L first distillate and 1000L redistillate.
Warehouse is dunnage type.
The distillery is currently working on a distillery tour and the use of domestic malt in the near future.

Location1474-1 Ikuma, Kamitonda-cho, Nishimuro-gun, Wakayama 649-2103, Japan
Acces30 minute walk from Asago Station on the JR Kinokuni Line.
Started operationMay 2019
Official websiteKishu Kumano Distillery紀州熊野蒸溜所
Distillery tour
Commodity

JAPANESE CRAFT GIN Kumano Dry Gin “Sakaki” series JAPANESE BLENDED MALT WHISKY Kumano

Typical products of Kishu Kumano Distillery[itemlink post_id=”27619″]

5-10.Han Kurayashiki Kitashinchi CO-LABO

Just established in May 2023 as a microbrewery.

The company will challenge itself to produce, sell, and enjoy sake in a genre-less way that is not bound by conventional concepts, as an experimental workshop and sales store based on the concept of “creating “sake” that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
On July 7, 2022, the company acquired trademark rights for its original brand “Sente Naruan.
The company plans to release whiskeys and liqueurs bearing the name of the product of the same name.
The first product to be released will be a craft whiskey, and the company is currently recruiting cask owners on its official website.
The store opening is currently undecided.

画像出典:藩蔵屋敷北新地CO・LABO

Location1F Beer Ding Kitashinchi, 1-4-2 Dojima, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-003, Japan
Acces 5 min. walk from Kitashinchi Station on JR Tozai Line
Started operation ー
Official websiteHan Kurashiki Kitashinchi CO・LABO藩蔵屋敷 北新地CO・LABO
Distillery tourundecided
Commodity

CENTENARIAN

5-11.With One Corporation Yabu Distillery

Operation will begin in July 2023.
Yabu is read as “Yabu” in Japanese.
According to a theory, it is also the origin of the word for “bush doctor.
Construction will begin in 2022. The site is approximately 8,000 square meters and includes a distillation building and two storage buildings, with the storage building holding approximately 2,400 barrels in a dunnage system.
The distillery will be the first of its kind in Japan, with most of the equipment, including pot stills, being supplied by Frilli of Italy.

Approximately 65,000 liters will be produced in the first year and 130,000 liters in the second year.
A 700-milliliter bottle is scheduled to be released around 2026, at an estimated price of 8,000 to 10,000 yen.
Two people are involved in supervising production: Kenji Hosoi, former director of Nikka Whisky’s Technical Development Center, and Kenji Hosoi, former visiting researcher at the Geisenheim Wine Institute in Germany before becoming director of the St. Neige Wine Research Institute, and then deputy general manager of the Asahi Beer Board of Directors, deputy general manager in charge of the Liquor Division and director of the Wine Business Department, and director of Food R&D. He has also served as deputy general manager of the board of directors of Asahi Breweries, deputy general manager of the board of directors of the Liquor Division and director of the Wine Division, and deputy general manager of the board of directors of the Food Research and Development Division.
The whiskey production process features Idemitsu Kosan’s patented filtration method using metal-supported zeolite.
In addition to yeast and lactic acid bacteria, a third microorganism is used in the wooden fermentation tanks to change the flavor and create a new whiskey.

Location844-1 Chunaka, Oya-cho, Yabu-shi, Hyogo 667-0325
Acces

Kita-Kinki Toyooka Expressway “Yabu” IC – 25 minutes by car
Take JR Konotori and get off at “Yoka” station, then take a bus for about 1.5 hours

Started operationJuly 2023
Official websiteYabu Distillery養父蒸溜所
Distillery tourPossible (currently not possible)
CommodityScheduled to launch in 2026

5-12.Kawashima Sake Brewery Lake Biwa Distillery

Founded in 1865.
It is a long-established brewery located in “Harie, a town with frosty kabata” where “Harie-no-shozu” flows, which is famous for its excellent water on the shore of Lake Biwa and has been selected as one of the 100 best waters in the Heisei Era (100 best waters in Japan).
The brewery is known for its Nishi-Omi local sake “Matsunohana” and daiginjo “Fujiki,” etc. The brewery’s style of sake making is based on the ancient tradition of cold brewing, and is faithful to the basics without any eccentricities. They respect the history and traditions of the past.
The company’s sake has won the Monde Selection gold medal in 2002.
The company exports its highly acclaimed sake to 15 countries around the world.
In order to expand its share of the global market, the company will obtain a license to produce whiskey in 2020.
For starters, the distillery has purchased Scottish sake and started flavoring it in casks.
As of 2023, the distillery has expanded its facilities, conducted a series of experimental distillations, and began full-scale distillation in July 2023.
Sake is made from November to February, and whiskey from March to October.
The first branded product is scheduled to be released as Biwako Distillery in the fall of 2023.
The whiskey to be released in the fall will be purchased in Scotland and matured for two years in oak, cherry, and chestnut (chestnut) casks.

Location83 Asahi, Shin-Asahi-cho, Takashima-shi, Shiga 520-1501
Acces

8 min. walk from Shin-Asahi Station

Started operation
Official websiteKawashima Sake Brewery Co.川島酒造株式会社
Distillery tourUndecided (brewery tours are available)
Commodity

Scheduled for fall 2023

 

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6. Chugoku Region

6-1. Matsui Shuzo Kurayoshi Distillery

Matsui Shuzo, a brewery in Kurayoshi City, Tottori Prefecture, founded in 1910, obtained a license to produce whisky in 2015; in 2017, it installed three pot stills and will begin full-scale whiskey distillation.
The whisky “Kurayoshi” which was first sold in 2016 before the company began distilling its own whisky, appears to have been made with imported original sake.

Address of Head Office 656-1, Kamikogawa, Kurayoshi, Tottori 682-0934
656-1, Kamikogawa, Kurayoshi City, Tottori Prefecture
Access
Start of operation2015
Official HP Matsui Sake Brewing Company Kurayoshi Distillery
ToursNo information
ProductsPure malt whisky Kurayoshi, blended whiskey Tottori, single malt whisky Matsui, blended whisky Sanin

Typical whisky from the Kurayoshi distillery

6-2. Miyashita Shuzo Okayama Distillery

Miyashita Brewery in Okayama Prefecture is a long-established sake brewer founded in 1915.
It has made sake, beer, shochu, and liqueurs, but in 2011 it obtained a license to produce whisky and began developing whisky.
In 2015, they installed a German-made pot still, a single distiller for whisky, and started full-scale operations as Okayama Distillery.

Image source: Sake Kobo Doppokan

After three to five years of aging of the original sake distilled in-house, “Single Malt Whisky Okayama” was released in 2017.
Barley malt from Okayama Prefecture and subsoil water from the clear Asahikawa River are used to make the original sake, which is then aged in more than 10 different types of wooden casks, including sherry, brandy, bourbon, white oak, as well as domestic wooden casks represented by Mizunara oak. After much trial and error, Okayama Ginjo Whisky was completed, and is characterized by its youthful flavor and delicate, thirst-quenching taste.

Single Malt Whisky Okayama Triple Cask

won the Gold Award at the Meiningers International Spirits Award ISW 2019 in Germany. At the World Whiskies Awards 2020, it won Category Winner, the highest award in the Single Malt No Age category.

Address Okayama 703-8258
184 Nishikawahara, Naka-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama
AccessJR West Japan Sanyo Main Line, get off at Nishi-Kawahara/Shizumi Station, and walk 3 minutes.
Start of operation2015 (License for whiskey production acquired in 2011)
Official HP Ginjo Whisky Okayama
Miyashita Shuzo Brewery Co.
ToursTours are available. Reservations required through the Doppokan website.
ProductsSingle malt whisky Okayama

Typical Spirits of Okayama Distillery 

6-3. Sakurao B&D Sakurao Distillery

*The company name was changed from “Chugoku Brewery” to “Sakrao Brewery and Distillery” on March 9, 2021.

Chugoku Brewery in Hiroshima Prefecture is a long-established brewery established in 1918.
In fact, it has a deep history in whisky making, having produced and sold malt whisky from 1938 to 1989. At that time, the distilled spirit was stored in a warehouse in Togouchi that utilized a JR West Japan railroad exploratory tunnel.
In 2008, the company began selling Togouchi Whisky, a blend of the original whisky stored in the Togouchi storage facility and imported original whisky. (90% of the whisky is exported to Europe.)

Image source: Togouchi Whisky, Chugoku Brewing

Then, in 2018, in order to take on the challenge of new possibilities in Western-style distilling, new equipment was installed and a craft distillery from Hiroshima, “Sakurao Distillery (SAKURAO DISTILLERY)” was established.
Sakurao Gin, a craft gin, is currently the company’s main product, and the company plans to release a single malt whisky aged for three years in 2021.

Image source: SAKURAO DISTILLERY | Hiroshima’s Craft Distillery for the World

Address Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima 738-8602
1-12-1 Sakurao, Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Access[JR] 10 min. walk south from Hatsukaichi Station on the Sanyo Main Line.
[Private Railway] 8 min. walk south from Hiroden Hatsukaichi Station on the Hiroshima Electric Railway Miyajima Line.
Commencement of operations1938 – Ended 1989
Newly in operation in 2018
Official HP SAKURAO DISTILLERY | Hiroshima’s craft distillery for the world
Tours are available.Tours are available. reservations required through the website.
Tours are currently suspended (until December 29, 2020).
Products

Representative spirits of Sakurao Distillery

6-4. Miyake Honten

Miyake Honten, a long-established brewery that produces and sells “Senpuku” a Japanese sake known for its “How about a cup of Senpuku?” commercial, plans to produce whisky from 2022 in order to respond to the changing market based on a spirit of challenge.

The unused buildings in the factory will be renovated and used for whisky production. The cost spent on casks and distillation equipment was approximately 100 million yen.

The whisky will be named “Setouchi” which is also the production area, and single malt whiskey will be produced.

Using water from the Haigamine subsoil, the company aims to produce a whisky with a rich and distinctive flavor without daring to filter it. The annual production is estimated to be the equivalent of 100 230-liter casks.

Priced at 5,000-6,000 yen for 700ml, it is not wholesaled to bars or commercial use, and is sold only through the Miyake Honten website. The company will capture the demand for home drinking.

Although the distillery and malt information has not been disclosed, Miyake Honten has released “Craft Gin Setouchi” in September 2021, which has received high acclaim, so high quality can be expected in the whisky production.

Location 7-9-10, Hondori, Kure-shi, Hiroshima 737-0045
7-9-10 Hondori, Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture
Access

Approximately 30 minutes on foot from Kure Station

1 minute walk from Azuma 1-chome bus stop

Start of operationWhiskey production begins in 2022
Official HP Miyake Honten
TourPlease inquire
Products

6-5. Chiyomusubi Brewery

Founded in 1865, the Chiyomusubi Brewery, which mainly produced shochu and sake, obtained a license to produce whisky. Following the craft gin “Inpakuto” and craft vodka “Enjin” the company embarked on the production of Western-style whisky.

The whisky will be distilled and casked in June 2021, and is expected to be sold in the fall of 2024.

The whisky is called “Kurahuto” and is planned to be a 3- and 7-year-oldsingle malt whisky, priced at around 7,000 to 8,000 yen for the 3-year-old and around 10,000 yen for the 7-year-old, respectively.

By using sake yeast and Scottish whisky production methods, the company aims to produce a one-of-a-kind whisky.

The company plans to blend the whisky using Mizunara and cherry casks, but also plans to sell single casks. The price will be around 12,000 yen.

Currently, the company does not have a whisky distillery, but plans to invest approximately 200 million yen to build a distillery with a tasting corner and a tour course.

Location

131 Taisho-cho, Sakaiminato-shi, Tottori 684-0004

131 Taisho-cho, Sakaiminato-shi, Tottori

Access

2 minutes walk from JR Sakaiminato Station.

15 minutes drive from Yonago Airport
40 minutes drive from Yonago I.C. on Chugoku Expressway

Start of operationWhisky production will start in 2021
Official HP Chiyomusubi Brewery
Tour of the breweryTours are scheduled
Products 
【お買い物マラソン期間中P2倍! 最大200円offクーポン配布中】お取り寄せ スピリッツ クラフトウォッカ 炎人(エンジン) 40度 750ml 千代むすび酒造 鳥取県境港市【 家飲み 贈答用 ギフト】
スポンサーリンク

7. Shikoku region

7-1. Nisshin Shuzo Awano-Distillery

Image source: Nissin Sake Brewery Company

Established on December 30, 1948 as a comprehensive manufacturer of alcoholic beverages under the motto “Every day is a new day” while maintaining the traditional skills of a sake brewery that has been in existence since the end of the Edo period.
The company offers products using local specialties, such as “AWA GIN” made from Tokushima Prefecture-grown Yamadanishiki grade rice, “Sudachi Shochu” liqueur, and “Naruto Kintoki Satomusume” authentic shochu.
Their sake “Hisago Taikou” has won the gold medal 19 times in the National New Sake Competition, and “AWA GIN” was awarded the IWSC Silver medal.
The Awano distillery, established on March 28, 2023, will be the first whiskey distillery in Shikoku, and is expected to start sales from April 2026.

Location

176, Gun, Tsuchinari-cho, Awa City, Tokushima Prefecture, 771-1505, Japan

Access35 minutes drive from Tokushima Station
Start of operationMarch 28, 2023
Official HP

Nisshin Sake Brewery

TourUndecided
ProductsAWA GIN Hyoutaiko Sudachi Shochu Naruto Kintoki Satomusume

Representative products of Awano-Distillery

.

7-2. Ume Bijin Shuzo Co. Distillery name unknown

Established in 1916 in Yawatahama City, Ehime Prefecture, the company produces a wide range of sake, liqueurs, shochu, and gin.

The company obtained a license to produce whiskey in 2023. There are very few posts about whiskey on their website and Instagram.

Well water drawn from a water vein 30 meters underground is used to brew sake. It is assumed that the same is used for the whiskey. It is currently unknown what type of distiller is used.

Location

1557-2 Yawatahama, Ehime 796-0051

Access5 minutes drive from Yawatahama IC
Start of operation1916 Whiskey production license will be acquired in 2023
Official HP

Ume Bijin Shuzo official website

VisitingUnknown
Products

Japanese Sake “Ume Bijin” and “Takao”, Craft Gin “Caviar Lime” and “Citrus Bee

Representative products of Ume-Bijin Sake Brewery

.

スポンサーリンク

8. Kyushu and Okinawa Region

8-1. Kanosuke Distillery

Ltd. transferred its whisky production business at the Kanosuke Distillery to “KOMASA KANOSUKE Distillery Co.

Established in 1883, Kagoshima Prefecture’s Komasa Brewery is a sake brewer focusing on the authentic shochu “Kozuru” .
As a challenge to a new stage, utilizing the authentic shochu production technology it has cultivated to date in abundance, the company obtained a whisky production license in 2017 and began operation of the “Komasa Jozo Kanosuke Distillery” .

Image source: KANOSUKE DISTILLERY

In 2018, New Pot was released in limited quantities. Furthermore, “Kanosuke Newborn 2018” , stored for 8 months, was released.
In 2019, “Kanosuke Newborn 2019” stored for 16 months, will be released.
In 2020, the company will release “Kanosuke Newborn 2020 Peated” made with British peated malt and stored for 24 months.

Image source: Kanosuke Distillery KANOSUKE DISTILLERY

In addition, the company is actively selling craft gin prior to the sale of whisky.
Two types are currently on sale: “KOMASA GIN Sakurajima Little Mikan” and “KOMASA GIN Houjicha” .

Image source: KOMASA GIN

Location Postal Code 899-2421
845-3 Gannokawa, Hiyoshi-cho, Hioki-shi, Kagoshima
Access
From Kagoshima City
Highway: 10 minutes from the Miyama Interchange on the Minami-Kyushu Expressway (approx. 35 minutes)
National Highway Route 3 – Prefectural Highway 24 – National Highway 270 (about 45 minutes)
From Kagoshima Airport
Kyushu Expressway – Minami-Kyushu Expressway – 10 minutes from Miyama Interchange (approx. 1 hour)
From Kagoshima Chuo Station
“Ijuin” station on the JR Kagoshima Main Line – 15 minutes by cab (approx. 40 minutes)
Commencement of operations2017
Official HP kanosuke distillery
ToursTours are available, reservations required through the website.
ProductsKanosuke Newborn 2018, Kanosuke Newborn 2019, Kanosuke Newborn 2020

Typical whisky from Kanosuke Distillery.

8-2. Hombo Shuzo Mars Tsunuki Distillery

Speaking of Mars whisky, “Mars Shinshu Distillery” , which operated in Nagano Prefecture in 1985, is famous, but the place where Hombo Sake Brewery, which owns the distillery, started producing distilled sake, was “Tsunuki” introduced this time.

In 2016, Hombo Shuzo renovated one of the storage facilities in the Tsunuki Plant, which has a history of producing shochu for more than 100 years, and operated “Mars Tsunuki Distillery” .
While Mars Shinshu Distillery matures slowly in a cool climate, Mars Tsunuki Distillery is thought to be dynamically aged in a warm climate. We also use various types of raw sake to be produced and barrel types used for maturation.
At Tsunuki Distillery, in addition to the adjacent storage, the company also stores 30 barrels every year at the Yakushima Aging Cellar owned in Yakushima. It is very interesting what kind of aging is progressing in Yakushima, which has a climate that is rare in Japan.

Single Malt Tsunuki THE FIRST” will be released on April 27, 2020, and “Single Malt Tsunuki PEATED” will be released on January 18, 2021.

In addition, the former hombo family residence “Hojo” adjacent to the distillery is used as a SHOP selling bar where you can taste Mars whisky and original goods and liquors, and it was built in 1933 in a Japanese-style one-story mansion with traditional wooden architecture.With the beauty of the tiles that make up the roof unique to the old house and the majestic appearance of the luxurious finish, you can enjoy the garden that changes the expression every day every season.The wooden deck leading to the stone warehouse from the surrounding corridor is arranged, and the stone lanterns are casually arranged in the garden where you can enjoy the best time while looking at the scenery of the four seasons.

Location〒899-3611
6594 Kaseda Tsukan, Minami-Satsuma City, Kagoshima Prefecture
Access

■By bus from Kagoshima Airport
※ About 1 hour and a half Bus details here.
About 90 minutes from Kagoshima Airport bus stop on Kagoshima Kotsu Line 0 (makurazaki and Kaseda)
Get off at Kaseda Taxi (about 10km)
When getting off at “Kamitsunuki” Walk (about 2km) ※ There is no taxi

■ If you are using a bus from Kagoshima Chuo Station
Get off at “Tsunuki” at “Kaseda Bus Terminal” at Kagoshima Kotsu Higashi 16 platform (towards Kaseda) about 110 minutes
※ Reference: Bus timetable of Kyushu PC version is hereSmartphone version is here
■ If you go by bus
Approximately 90 minutes from Kagoshima Airport (via Taniyama IC on the Kyushu Expressway)
Approximately 70 minutes from Kagoshima City, JR Kagoshima Chuo Station, and JR Ibusuki Station
Approximately 40 minutes from chiran suicide peace hall
Approximately 20 minutes from JR Makurazaki Station

Started operation2016年
Official websiteHombo Shuzo Mars Tsunuki Distillery
inspectionTours are available. Reservations required from hp.
commoditySingle Malt Tsunuki THE FIRST

Typical whisky of Mars Tsunuki Distillery