Distilleries in Japan

Top Distilleries in Japan, Asia

Distilleries in Japan

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What travelers are saying

  • htodd503
    Portland, OR77 contributions
    I understand how people are up and down about the factory tour. It's 40+ minutes on the train from Sendai and then if you're not there during the weekend you have another 30-40 minutes walking to get into the hall. I did it on a day where it was probably 33°C and I'd already gone to see Yamadera. The humidity in the area is oppressive, and one of the Japanese tourists told me the area was picked in part for the humidity and how it would help create a great whiskey.

    Japanese tours can be a little cold. You have to look at things through windows and a lot of what goes on in a distillery is just looking at pipes and tanks. You don't even get to see the Coffey still, though they will point out the building. I've heard that the VIP tour gets to see a barrel being charred, but you have to be a VIP in the minds of Nikka Whiskey, not in your own mind.

    The best part is after the tour. There's a small bar where you can get short pours of Nikka for very little money. Where else can you even find Taketsuru 12, 17, and 21 and when I went the short pour of 21 was only ¥500! There was even a special edition Taketsuru that was ¥7,000 for a very short pour and I was glad I tried it.

    I'd recommend finding a non-driving way to get there so you can taste a little of everything. During the tour they tell you there's three types of Yoichi that they blend to make the single malt (it's my understanding that they sort the barrels into different flavor categories) and I had a taste of the Peaty and Salty was worth tasting on its own.

    Just remember, it might seem long way to go but just going from Osaka to Kyoto is going to take you longer and to me those cities are right next to each other.
    Written September 8, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Geoffrey S
    Deptford, NJ191 contributions
    I love whisky distilleries and this one did not disappoint (except for one thing, to be mentioned below). The location was breathtaking, in the Japanese Southern Alps, and the tour was fantastic. There's a museum of whisky, and a restaurant on site. It culminated with a great tasting.

    The production capacity appeared very high, and there's a lot of barrels aging. Unfortunately there was no ability to buy a bottle of the whisky made on site. That was my only disappointment.

    The bar in the visitor's center was really special. They were pouring some incredible whisky for really good prices.

    This is a must-see day-trip from Tokyo.
    Written February 9, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Bertrand
    3 contributions
    We came to Gotemba using the train. 10:05 Kirin free shuttle picked us at the train station. We arrived there few minutes before our 10:30 tour. Signed up, got English audio device.
    We were invited to wait in a room before the tour where few trophies are on display. The tour started on time, very informative. It was in Japanese, but the guide was very helpful and let us know which section to listen on the audio guide.
    After the tour, the tasting... and the gift shop where you can buy whiskey, glasses, chocolates and other products.
    Very nice visit, we appreciate the efforts to make the tour accessible to non Japanese speakers.
    Written September 30, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Zachary H
    Tokyo, Japan4,524 contributions
    The tour is free (currently must be reserved in advance due to COVID) and the tasting is great (also free). The gift shop includes bottles of the signature whisky, as well as limited edition bottles that are only available at the distillery.

    Taking the train from Sapporo to Yoichi is easy and fun.

    Tip: Arrive no sooner than 15 minutes in advance of your reservation (you won’t be let in earlier, due to pandemic restrictions).
    Written October 3, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Aldous D
    Whenuapai, New Zealand182 contributions
    I knew very little of the sake-making process before, but this tour was very good, with lots of information. There is an introductory video (in Japanese, but has English sub-titles) which explains the process. This is followed by another talk (in Japanese, but accompanied by an English language card) about the distillery itself. The tour of the distillery was quite short and missed out seeing the mash tuns & stills unfortunately, but did go to the barrel room, which smells amazing.
    The tasting session was extremely generous and the staff were all very friendly.
    We went on a Saturday and there were only 3 tour times (ours was at 1:30pm), so some prior planning may be required.
    Would definitely recommend!
    Written October 20, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Maria V
    Trikala, Greece16 contributions
    We visited as a part of a guided tour. Our guide was local so she knew it was a great place to visit. The experience was amazing and we had the chance to sample some different kinds of sake. It was one of the best I ve ever had. I cannot say I have had a ton though. Anyways the people there were friendly and there was quite a selection of local products. Part of our tour was a little sake cup from the place as a present. It will always be a one of a kind experience!
    Written August 6, 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Duran
    Okinawa Prefecture, Japan2 contributions
    Your was amazing! English and Japanese speaking guides! Tasting was great and very reasonable prices! Highly recommended for couples families or singles!
    Written January 26, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Siren
    Melbourne, Australia14 contributions
    Lets be honest here. I travelled to Mars Shinzu in 2017 just after they opened their tour. It is a smaller distillery and self guided. The real highlight for us was the meander we did around on our way back the mountainside here is stunning and we stumbled across several small shrines and temples, beautiful creeks and quaint building on our way too and from. If you would like to make this trip, stay the night and enjoy the town and mountain surrounding it to make it worth it (and trust me it is).
    Written January 28, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • teoweme
    Singapore, Singapore432 contributions
    My mom went over chinese new year. She really enjoyed it. They brought her on a brewery tour, explained the way to make sake, different types and quality of sake and sake tasting too. Good english speaking staff who brought her around.
    Written February 20, 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.