Hitachino Brewing Tokyo Distillery to open in Akihabara on December 12, 2019

Hitachino Nest maker Kiuchi Shuzo has unveiled plans to open a gin and spirits distillery in downtown Tokyo — right in the otaku mecca Akihabara.

Only a week ago I said that “it’s only a matter of time” before we see a gin distillery opening in downtown Tokyo. And I don’t mean a teeny-tiny one in an apartment, I mean a regular distillery that is open to the public. And now, here we are.

On December 12, Kiuchi Shuzo will be opening the “Hitachino Brewing Tokyo Distillery” in Seekbase Aki-Oka Manufacure, a new development under the train tracks between Akihabara and Okachimachi stations. Like HUGE’s new gin distillery in Yokohama, this one is also a bar/restaurant that includes a distillery, meaning you’ll be able to go and have the gin on-site.

They are investing some 65 million yen to make this happen, and plan to have an output of 6000L per year. The bare minimum to get a distillation license in Japan! That’s a mere 23 bottles per day, so I don’t expect to see their bottles out and about, it’s likely that they will only be offering the gin/spirits here and at their other brewpubs in Tokyo.

Beginning in 2020, the company also plans to offer “distilling experiences,” whatever that means. It’s a gin, so perhaps you’ll be able to choose your own botanical mix, and take home a bottle?

Despite Tokyo’s ridiculous size and population, this will actually be the city’s first distillery open to the public. Better late than never.

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