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.
Whiskey Richard is the founder of nomunication.jp, and has been saying he has lived in Japan for ten years for the past four years. He enjoys drinking basically anything except straight-up Campari.