[Held on May 19, 2024] The 1st MARS Komagatake Distillery Festival 2024

Hombo Shuzokomagatake Distillery

The first Mars Komagatake Distillery Festival 2024 will be held at Mars Shinshu Komagatake Distillery! Details, ticket purchase information, and the sale of the festival’s limited edition single malt Komagatake!


1.Details of the Mars Komagatake Distillery Festival

Admission is free. Admission is free, but there is a separate fee for seminars and gourmet booths held at the distillery.

Please register in advance using the admission form to ensure smooth entry to the venue.

Date and TimeSunday, May 19, 2024, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., rain or shine
VenueSpecial venue at Mars Komagatake Distillery, Hombo Sake Brewery Co.
Address4752-31 Miyata-mura, Kamiina-gun, Nagano, 399-4301 Japan

By car: 5 minutes from Komagane I.C. on Chuo Expressway

By JR: About 10 minutes by cab from Komagane Station or Miyata Station on the JR Iida Line.

*Under 20 years of age is prohibited by law to drink alcohol.

*Please refrain from drinking alcohol if you are coming by car. Please use public transportation.

Reference: PRTIMES Hombo Shuzo Co.


2.Details of the distillery festival

2-1. Lottery for limited-edition bottles

To commemorate the first “Mars Komagatake Distillery Festival,” an 8-year-old “Single Malt Komagatake” made with domestic malt will be on sale. Lottery application: Accepted at the venue (on the day of the event only)

2-2. Distillery Festival limited seminar for up to 30 people each drawn by lot

Seminar application period: 4/8 (Mon.) to 4/23 (Tue.) 10:00 a.m.
Winners will be notified by 12:00 on 4/26(Fri.).

Whisky Tasting Seminar


This seminar includes tasting by a distillery blender.

You can experience a special time in the company of maturing casks.

Time(1) 10:30 – 11:30 (2) 14:00 – 15:00
Participation Fee3,000 yen per person (tax included)
VenueWhiskey distillery

For reservations → 10:30am and14:00pm

Pot Still Seminar


The pot still designed by Kiichiro Iwai, the origin of Mars Whiskey.

He will talk about the secret story of the production of the second generation still renewal.

Participation Fee1,500 yen per person (tax included)
VenueSeminar Room, Visitor’s Building 2F

For reservations for the pot still seminar, click here.

Komagane City-Miyata Village Nijo Barley Project Seminar


Two-row barley produced in the Kamiina area. Single malt Komagane barley expected to be released in local barley

Single malt Komagatake is expected to be released in local barley. The seminar will also include a tasting to learn more about the project.

Participation fee2,000 yen per person (tax included)
VenueSeminar Room, Visitor’s Building 2F

For reservations for the Komagane City-Miyata Village Nijo Barley Project seminar, click here.

2-3. Gourmet Booth

Minami-Shinshu Beer, Ajiwai Kobo
Miyata Village Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Bike & Burger (hamburger)
MARQUE PAGE (chocolate)
Many other kitchen cars will be open

2-4. Stage Events

Performances, live music, cocktail shows, etc. will be held at the event!

Reference: Mars Komagatake Distillery Festival Special HP

3. About Mars Komagatake Distillery

The Hombo Shuzo brewery, which had been striving to make shochu, a Japanese distilled spirit, in Kagoshima, obtained a license to produce whiskey in 1949. Since then, the company has held on to the dream of “someday making real whiskey that makes the most of the Japanese climate.
After several years of whiskey production in Kagoshima, in 1960, he established the Mars Yamanashi Winery, a factory for wine and whiskey production in Yamanashi. Then, in order to engage in whisky production in earnest, he searched for an even more ideal location.

The natural conditions for whiskey making are very demanding: a cold region with clear air, and blessed with moderate humidity and good quality water.
After searching for a site that met these conditions, Mars Shinshu Distillery was established in 1985 at an altitude of 798 meters at the foot of Komagatake Mountain in the Central Alps, Nagano Prefecture, in search of the best environment for whisky making.
In 1992, distillation was halted due to sluggish demand for whiskey. In 2009, when demand for Japanese whis key was recovering and Japanese whis key was gaining worldwide recognition, we decided to resume distilling and started again in February 2011.
In September 2020, the distillery was completely renovated for the first time in 35 years. The investment will be approximately 1.2 billion yen.

From May 2019, renovation of existing facilities and equipment, including renovation of aging facilities, construction of a whiskey distillation building (including a barrel cellar) to increase whiskey production, and a visitor’s building to sell original whiskey and other goods.
The new whisky distillation building has a total floor area of 1,996m2 (including the barrel cellar, which will hold approximately 2,500 barrels), and the visitor’s building has a floor area of 746m2.
Reference: Hombo Brewery official website

Production capacity: 1.1 tons of malt/day
■Manufacturing capacity: approximately 700L/day, approximately 185KL/year (planned for FY2020)
Main facilities: 1 malt crusher, 1 mash tun reuter (saccharification tank) 6KL, 3 stainless steel fermentation tanks 6KL, 3 Douglas fir wooden fermentation tanks (relocated) 6KL, first distillation kettle (relocated)

For more information about Mars komagatake Distillery, please visit

Search Results for “komagatake” ...
Japanese Whisky Dictionary

Products of Hombo Shuzo Komagatake Distillery

[Review]Single Malt Komagatake 2...
The 2023 Edition is a single malt whiskey bottled in a limited edition 2023 bottle with a balanced vatting of bourbon barrel, sherry cask, and port cask aged ba...
[Review] Single Malt Komagatake ...
It is brewed at Minami Shinshu Beer Komagatake Brewery using plenty of hops, and is brewed in empty barrels with India Pale Ale (IPA) lying down.

Lastly: Recommended Books on Japanese Whisky

If you want to learn more about Japanese whisky, which is a global trend, we highly recommend these books.

(1).Whisky Galore Vol.29 December 2021 issue

In the December 2021 issue of Whisky Galore, published by the Whisky Culture Research Institute, we report on 11 Japanese craft distilleries, including some that are open to the public for the first time, under the title of “Japanese Whisky Craft Frontline,” the first of three consecutive issues. Why did the popularity of Japanese whisky and the craft boom occur? We will examine with interviews. Chichibu Distillery / Chichibu No.2 Distillery / Mars Shinshu Distillery / Mars Tsunuki Distillery / Kanosuke Distillery / Hioki Distillery / Ontake Distillery / Osuzuyama Distillery / Kaikyo Distillery / Hanyu Distillery / Konosu Distillery

(2). Japanese Whisky as an Education for Business

This is a book written by Mamoru Tsuchiya, a world-famous whisky critic and representative of the Whisky Culture Research Institute, titled “Japanese Whisky as a Culture that Works for Business” .
The book covers the basics of whisky, the introduction of whisky to Japan, the birth of Japanese whisky, advertising strategies and the rise of Japanese whisky, and the current rise of craft distilleries. This is a book that summarizes Japanese whisky in a very easy to understand way.

(3). Whisky and I (Masataka Taketsuru)

Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky, devoted his life to brewing whisky in Japan. This is a revised and reprinted version of the autobiography of a man who simply loved whisky and talked about himself. The book vividly depicts the days when he went to Scotland alone to study as a young man and overcame many hardships to complete Japanese whisky, as well as his companion, Rita.

(4). A Letter of Challenge from a New Generation Distillery

Launching in 2019. With the world experiencing an unprecedented whisky boom, what were the managers of craft distilleries thinking and what were their thoughts as they took on the challenge of making whisky? This book tells the stories of 13 craft distillery owners, including Ichiro Hido of Venture Whisky, famous for his Ichirose Malt, who inspired the birth of craft distilleries in Japan.

(5). Whiskey Rising

This is the Japanese version of Whisky Risng, published in the US in 2016, with much updated content. Not only does it describe the history of Japanese whisky in detail, but it also includes data on all the distilleries in Japan, including the craft distilleries that have been founded in recent years. The book also includes descriptions of the legendary bottles that have been released, as well as information on bars where Japanese whisky can be found.

Ryuhei Oishi

Bartender at bar Shinkai Toranomon, born in Hokkaido.
After working at a restaurant in Tokyo, became a certified sommelier by the Japan Sommelier Association.
I became interested in Japanese whiskey, of which he had little knowledge, and started working at bar Shinkai. I went to distilleries to talk to the distillers and joined JWD to share their passion and information as a bartender.

Ryuhei Oishiをフォローする
Japanese Whisky Dictionary