Japanese Sake and Whiskey Appreciation
Yamazaki Suntory Whiskey Distillery
In the mountains just west of Kyoto stands the Yamazaki Suntory Whiskey Distillery. Take a tour of the distillery followed by whiskey component tasting. Opened in 1923, the distillery produces Suntory’s flagship line of Yamazaki single malt whiskies, which have won many international awards. The Yamazaki Distillery is surrounded by nature and greenery in a quiet and serene district that has long been known for its quality water, a key ingredient to great tasting whisky. The entire process of whisky distillation and aging is done here. Museum and distillery tours are available.
Gekkeikan Okura Saké Museum
Get to sample a number of different Saké and learn how to enjoy them with a sake appreciation tour in the Fushimi area of Kyoto. Japanese rice wine is often called Sake in English, however Sake in Japanese refers to alcohol in general. Japanese rather call rice wine “Nihonshu.” Nihonshu has a very distinctive aroma and fruity sweet taste. It has an alcohol content between 14 and 19%. If you would like to find out more about nihonshu and brewing, the Gekkeikan Okura Saké Museum will provide you a good experience. In the Fushimi district of Kyoto you will find this museum on sake-making. Opened in 1982, it is located in an old sake brewery that was built in 1909, and presents the history of sake in Japan and sake production in Fushimi in an easy-to-understand manner. In addition to its permanent exhibitions of some 400 sake production items, displayed to show each stage of the process, it also displays period materials dating back to Gekkeikan’s founding, including different types of vessels. Traditional chants of sake makers are also played throughout the museum, recreating the atmosphere of the old brewery. Following your visit, you can taste Ginjoshu and other sakés in the lobby.
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Our team of Japan experts have all lived in Japan for years and know its the hidden treasures. Our team is here to answer all your questions and to build your tour just the way you want it.
Jeff was born in a south suburb of Chicago named South Holland and lived in Japan for 14 years. He now lives in Commerce Township, Michigan with his wife Yoshimi, son Shota, and daughter Mina. He enjoys playing with his kids, volunteering with his daughter’s marching band, cycling and training and teaching Aikido.
Michiyo was born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture though currently lives in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. Her main passions in life is traveling all around the world and enjoying their cultures.
Izumi has spent most of her life in the Kansai region, except for the 10 years that she enjoyed in the UK. Living abroad has made her appreciate her own culture and local beauty even more. She currently lives in Osaka with her family, including two cats and two dogs.
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