Free samples at one of japan‘s first whisky distilleries
Japan is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditional drinks like sake. However, there is one man who turned away from Japan’s traditional drink to create something unique and extraordinary. His name is Masataka Taketsuru, and he dedicated his entire life to creating whisky. He opened one of Japan’s first whisky distilleries in Hokkaido, and 35 years later, he opened a second distillery in the mountains of Sakunami outside Sendai’s city center.
Masataka Taketsuru’s journey began in Japan, but it took him to Scotland and back. In his twenties, he traveled to Scotland to learn the secrets of whisky making. During his time there, he not only learned the techniques but also found love. He married a Scottish woman named Rita and brought her back to Japan with him.
With the knowledge and experience he gained in Scotland, Taketsuru started his own whisky business in Japan. He named his brand Nikka, and it quickly gained popularity across the country. The quality and unique taste of Nikka whisky made it a favorite among whisky enthusiasts.
Today, you can visit the Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery and experience the legacy of Masataka Taketsuru. To get there, you can access the distillery from Sendai Station via the JR Senzan Line to Sakunami Station. From there, it is a 40-minute walk to the distillery. Alternatively, you can catch the free hourly shuttle that runs on weekends and holidays from the same station.
The distillery itself is a sight to behold. The red brick warehouses and traditional architecture create a charming and nostalgic atmosphere. As you step inside, you will be greeted by the aromas of barrel-aged whisky and the sound of whisky being crafted. The distillery tour, though conducted in Japanese, is easily understandable with the help of an English-language pamphlet and visuals.
During the tour, you will learn about the whisky-making process and the history of Nikka. The knowledgeable guides will take you through each step, from the selection of ingredients to the aging process. You will get to see the giant copper stills where the whisky is distilled and the oak barrels where it matures over time.
After the tour, comes the highlight of the visit – whisky tasting. You will have the opportunity to sample several styles of Nikka whisky. From smooth and mellow blends to rich and smoky single malts, there is a whisky for every palate. The tasting is a sensory experience that allows you to appreciate the craftsmanship and complexity of Nikka whisky.
If you find a whisky that you particularly enjoy, you can purchase it at the gift shop. The shop offers a wide range of Nikka branded goods and limited edition whiskies. It is the perfect place to find a unique souvenir or a special bottle to add to your collection.
The Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery is not just a place for whisky enthusiasts. It is a place where you can immerse yourself in the history and culture of Japanese whisky. It is a testament to the passion and dedication of Masataka Taketsuru, who brought the art of whisky making to Japan.
In conclusion, the Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery is a must-visit for anyone interested in whisky or Japanese culture. It offers a unique opportunity to learn about the history and craftsmanship behind one of Japan’s most renowned whisky brands. Whether you are a whisky connoisseur or a curious traveler, a visit to this distillery will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the art of whisky making. So, make sure to include it in your itinerary when you visit Japan.
Address And Maps Location:
1 Nikka, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi-ken