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Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery

  • Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery

    Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery

    Though sake has the historic roots, today when it comes Japanese alcohol it’s fair to argue that it’s whisky claiming the top spot in terms of being the country’s most popular drink. Famous for its high quality production and impeccable level of craftsmanship Nikka Whisky is one of the best of the best in the Japanese whiskey world, and here in Miyagi you can learn all about it.

    Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery

    Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery

    Nikka Whisky’s history traces all the way back to 1918 when Masataka Taketsuru, known as the father of Japanese whisky embarked on a solo pilgrimage to Scotland the home of the amber spirit. Originally Taketsuru’s family were well known producers of sake, having run a brewery that dated all the way back to 1733 and still continues to produce sake to this day. Having studied at university as a chemist, Taketsuru was well equipped to take over his family’s business. Somewhere along his journey however it was whisky that captured the young man’s imagination and he decided that it was this that he would dedicate his life’s mission to.

    Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery

    Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery

    With a lot of ambition and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge (and of course alcohol) Taketsuru believed he’d be able to unearth Scotland’s secrets of whisky-making and apply his newfound knowledge to his home country’s produce. He enrolled at the University of Glasgow and was the first Japanese person to ever to study the art of whisky making. During his time in Scotland he soaked up all the tricks of the trade, met his wife and returned to Japan in 1920 with a newfound level of whiskey appreciation and a new bride. Then in 1934 Masataka established Nikka Whisky, and opened his first distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido. Following its success Miyagikyo distillery was opened in 1969.

    Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery

    Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery

    Today you can explore Masataka’s carefully curated world of Japanese whisky by getting on board with a tour of the popular and historic Miyagikyo distillery. The free guided tours take guests right through all the inner workings of the distillery from the beginning of production right up to the finished product. As you make your way through the distillation process, you’ll explore several red brick buildings each of which has its own very specialized purpose. When inside the buildings the on hand guide and the informative videos explain the nitty gritty of the whisky masking process allowing an unparalleled level of insight and hopefully appreciation into this much loved Japanese drink. After around 40 or so minutes the tour is finished, because the rest of the time is dedicated to whiskey sampling. One sample you can’t miss is the ‘Date’ a whiskey named after the samurai who founded Sendai.

    Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery

    Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery

    The distillery is open from 9:00 am to 11:30 am, and 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm daily. Though it does shut during the New Year vacation period of December 24 to January 7. Admission to the distillery and tours are free, with the tours running every 20 minutes. If you don’t speak Japanese, don’t fret as there is plenty of English, Chinese, and Korean language information available. The best way to get to the distillery via public transport is to catch the JR Senzan line to Sakunami Station. From there you have to option of making the 25 minute journey by foot or catching the shuttle which runs on different times depending on the season and time of day. If you’re based in Sendai you can get the bus from Sendai Station, a ticket will cost 1,000 yen.

    Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery

    Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distillery

    Nikka Whisky Miyagikyo Distilleries
    Address
    Miyagi ken Sendai shi Aoba ku Nikka 1
    Phone
    0223952865
    Sakunami
    Address
    Miyagi Pref. Sendaishi Aoba-ku Sakunami
    Phone
    Sendai
    Address
    Miyagi Pref. Sendaishi Aoba-ku Chuou 1 chome
    Phone
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