The Yamazaki Distillery is Japan’s first and oldest malt whisky distillery established in 1923 by Suntory’s founder Shinjiro Torii. The award-winning Suntory whisky is made at this large facility offering tours & a store. Its a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit here. Online Reservation and payment of ticket is required prior visiting all Suntory distillery.
Inspired by traditional Scottish whisky, Torii envisioned a Japanese approach by choosing a terrain and climate completely different to those of Scotland to create a unique kind of whisky. The Yamazaki Distillery is thus the birthplace of Japanese whisky. Nestled proudly on the periphery of Kyoto, this region was formerly referred to as “Minaseno”, where one of the purest waters of Japan originates.
Yamazaki is also home to Sen no Rikyu, Master of “The Way of Tea.” Yamazaki Distillery is where the Katsura, Uji and Kizu rivers converge, providing a unique misty climate and one of Japan’s softest waters. The diversity of this region’s temperature and humidity creates ideal conditions for cask aging, known as the signature “Suntory Maturation”. Every step in the town, you get a whiff of the strong cooked malt from the distillery. It can be overwhelming for non drinkers but for the whisky lover like me, the scent is intoxicating! Good whisky requires good water and proper maturation in the right environment. Torii strived for a uniquely Japanese whisky to surpass Scotch whisky, and searched for a genuinely Japanese climate for years. Yamazaki lies in a misty valley between Mt.Tennozan and Mt. Otokoyama where three rivers meet. It has one of Japan’s softest waters and is ideal for whisky maturation. This choice of location has been proven by the quality of whisky produced in the Yamazaki distilleries for many years.
Once the tour guide showed you around the entire processes of the entire distillery, you will be led to a tasting room, everyone gets 4 glasses of Yamazaki whisky at different stages of barrel. They will demonstrate how to make your very own Highball (Whisky + Soda Water). Complimentary pairings of chocolates and nuts as well. After the tasting, you will be able to roam around the gift shop corner where you can buy more whisky of course and other cute Japanese knick knacks.
AP Tips: There are limited slots for visitor per day, do remember to book online prior arriving. Book Here! Tickets are sold online only.