[To be held on February 19-21, 2024] Tickets for the World Whisky Forum are now on sale

SuntoryNikka WhiskyFujigotenba DistilleryChichibu Distillery (Ichiro's Malt)Shizuoka Distillery

Tickets are now on sale for the 5th annual World Whisky Forum in Komoro, Nagano, Japan, February 19-21, 2024. How to purchase tickets and what is the Forum all about?


1. What is the World Whisky Forum?

World Whisky Forum (WWF) is a big event in the whisky world held once every 18 months.
Anyone involved in whisky production, from small producers to major corporations, can participate.
It is an event where people exchange knowledge and techniques related to whisky and business, as well as information about the efforts of the whisk
y industry as a whole. There are also tastings of rare whiskies at the event.

Each time a talk theme is set, and distillers, blenders, ambassadors, and various other professional whisky makers discuss it.

The last forum was held in Denmark, and the theme was “Sustainable”.

“What is Satisfactory Whisky Production?” “What is the impact of global warming on barley?” etc., we share our efforts toward the future, which may seem geeky to the average consumer, but to the industry.

The 5th forum in February will be held at the Komoro Distillery in Nagano, Japan.

2. What is the Komoro Distillery?

This is the first distillery that Karuizawa Distillers Inc.

Mr. Shimaoka, a former banker, and Mr. Ian Chang, a former master blender of KAVALAN distillery, teamed up to build the distillery in Komoro, Nagano Prefecture, as the best location for a whisky distillery due to the combination of various factors such as climate, water quality, natural environment, and local culture at the foot of Mount Asama where pure water is grown. Only single malt is produced.

(Image source: Komoro Distillery Official HP )

The distillery is integrated with the visitor center. A shuttle bus runs from Komoro Station, distillery tours are offered every hour, a hands-on whisky academy from beginner to advanced level, and cocktails and snacks are served in the bar area. Basically, the distillery already has an environment that welcomes visitors, although reservations are required in advance.

Company name Karuizawa Distillers Inc.
Distillery address Komoro Distillery: 4630-1 Karuishi, Kou, Komoro, Nagano, 384-0801, Japan
Access to the distillery

10 minutes by taxi from Komoro Station (Shinano Railway)

25 minutes by taxi from Sakudaira Station (Hokuriku Shinkansen)

Shuttle bus service is available from the above two stations by reservation only.

Business hours 10:00~19:00 (Last admission 18:00, Bar L.O.18:30)

3. The 5th World Whisky Forum

The first of its kind in Asia, this year’s event, titled “Asia Pacific: The New Driving Force of Whisky,” will be held over three days, with renowned whisky producers from the Asia Pacific region taking the stage.
“What we can see from the centennial of the Japanese whisky industry,” “The founding distillery philosophy behind the surge of new whisky producers across the region,” “Challenges and opportunities for Asia Pacific whisky producers building brands outside the region,” and “What drives new and old whisky producers. Four key themes will be discussed: “The State of Our Whisky,” a critical issue of identity and innovation.

Introduction of Forum Speakers

Speakers are from 6 countries. In no particular order

  • Shinji Fukuyo / Suntory Spirits Ltd.
  • Jota Tanaka / Kirin Brewery Company, Limited
  • Ichiro Akuto / Venture Whisky Co.
  • Yumi Yoshikawa / Venture Whisky Co.
  • Taiko Nakamura / GAIAFLOW Co. Ltd.
  • Koji Shimaoka / Komoro Distillery
  • Ian Chang / Komoro Distillery


  • Ashok Chokalingam / Amrut
  • Paul P John / John Distillery Pvt Ltd
  • Bryan Do / Three Societies Distillery
  • Dave Withers / Archie Rose
  • David Vitale / Starward Distillery
  • Jane Overeem / Overeem Distillery
New Zealand
  • Desiree Reid / Cardrona Distillery
  • Matthew Johns / Pokeno
  • Richard L Lu/ Inner Mongolia Mengtai

Source: WWF official HP

4. How to purchase tickets

Tickets can be purchased from the World Whisky Forum official website.

The price is 1,320$, about 200,000 Japanese yen. The price includes the following contents.

  • Admission to the 3-day World Whisky Forum at the Komoro Distillery
  • Hotel accommodations on the 19th and 20th
  • Meals during the World Whisky Forum (19th: evening, 20th: breakfast, lunch and dinner, 30th: breakfast and lunch)
  • Transportation from hotel to the Komoro Distillery during the period (morning and evening only)
    *Shinkansen fare is not included.

The schedule is as follows

  • Opening ceremony
  • Distillery tour
  • Start-up session
  • Dinner
  • Session 1 Panel Discussion
  • Lunch
  • Session 2 Panel Discussion
  • Dinner
  • Session 3 Panel Discussion
  • Lunch
  • Session 4 Panel Discussion
  • Closing Ceremony

Reference: WWF Ticket Purchase Site

5. Finally

The first Whisky Forum to be held in Asia will be held at the Komoro Distillery, which is attracting attention from many quarters.

Last time, there was live-streaming and virtual ticket sales around the world. This time, that information has not yet been confirmed.

The whisky industry is growing in the Asian market, and we are committed to the industry’s future and further development in Asia as a whole. We hope to see further progress in the promotion of Japanese whisky and its appeal to the rest of the world.

Misato Ushiwata

Born in Fukushima Prefecture.
She attended a university in Tokyo, where she studied brewing and other sciences while translating articles for the "Japanese Whisky Dictionary".

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