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Issue 67 - Land of the rising sun

Whisky Magazine Issue 67
November 2007


This article is 10 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Land of the rising sun

Dave Broom gives us his tips on places to go when in Japan.

The rise of Japanese whisky has been one of the most heartening aspects of the global whisky boom.These days most whisky lovers will have tried at least one example and whisky tourists are beginning to make the long pilgrimage to the country.

Whether you are visiting Japan on business, for sport or as part of a holiday you should make whisky part of your itinerary. Here's part one of a quick guide to distilleries, bars and retail outlets to make the planning a little easier.

Where to Visit

Every Japanese distillery is open to visitors, but our advice would be to either phone ahead or check the website for opening times and tours.This is essential for non-Japanese visitors who do not speak the language.The Suntory and Nikka distilleries and Gotemba have tasting facilities. Special distillery-only bottlings are often available.

+81 (0)75 961 1234
Free tour 10am - 3pm

Easily reachable from Kyoto, Yamazaki is the birthplace of Japanese whisky.The distillery was built in 1923 on an auspicious site which includes a Shinto shrine and the site of the first tea house built by Sen no Rikyu, the creator of chanoyu (tea ceremony).Although the functional distillery buildings jar somewhat with the verdant setting, the visitor will soon put aesthetic concerns aside once inside.The Yamazaki stillhouse contains six pairs of stills, all of which are differently shaped.This allows Suntory to create a number of different styles for blending.The bottled malt is medium-bodied ...

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