Whisky Magazine Issue 95
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Dave Broom reflects on the recent events in Japan and how quickly life changes
?It was going to be such a celebration. I mean, it's not every day that you are among a group of people turning heads in Roppongi. Heads rarely turn in Roppongi – there's too much weirdness on show for anything new to make much of an impression. But if you mix together a Japanese punk with a blue mohican playing the bagpipes and a bunch of be-kilted whisky folk marching down the street then people do tend to look. The punk piper parade was the culmination of a hugely successful Whisky Live in Tokyo, the 11th and the biggest and most varied yet. The two days had passed in a blur: was my co-presenter really Miss Universe Japan? Were the two London DJs bringing rave culture to a whisky show? The classes were all sold out, there was beer and some rum as well as whisky, and even a snoozing corridor for those who needed a wee nap. A rip-roaring success and proof that a new whisky culture is taking root in Japan and that a bridge between the HiBall generation and the whisky world is being built (see our interview with Tetsu Mizutani for more).
I headed north to Hokkaido the day after to find a new set of great bars in Sapporo, dined on the best sushi in the world in Otaru (which also, bizarrely has a German brewery, with German master brewer in its centre) and a visit to Yoichi distillery, swaddled under five feet of snow drifts. We chatted of Taketsuru and Rita, the white landscape tinted pink by the setting sun. Earlier I'd been told that ‘Take-tsuru' means ‘crane' ‘b...