Category: Features

Are Nikka and Suntory distilling whisky in Kagoshima?

Are Nikka and Suntory distilling whisky in Kagoshima?

Have a look at the Japan Distillery Map and it’s hard to miss the concentration of distilleries in Kagoshima prefecture. There’s the historic Kagoshima Distillery, where Hombo Shuzo made whisky from 1949 until 1984. They returned to making whisky in Kagoshima a few decades later, […]

Tokyo’s Best Happy Hours

Tokyo’s Best Happy Hours

Tokyo has some of the world’s greatest bars with awesome customer service and attention to detail. But that can often come at a significant price, especially when you consider that in addition to the pricey drinks, many bars have additional charges. Wouldn’t it be great […]

Hisashi Sugimoto, Bar Oak, and The Tokyo Station Hotel

Hisashi Sugimoto, Bar Oak, and The Tokyo Station Hotel

here are bartenders that have been behind the wood for a long time, then there’s Hisashi Sugimoto. Joining The Tokyo Station Hotel in 1958, Sugimoto-san has been tending bar there for over 50 years. “At the time, the bar didn’t have a name. It was […]

Masataka Taketsuru: Nikka Lives On

Masataka Taketsuru: Nikka Lives On

2018 marks a century since the founder of Nikka Whisky, Masataka Taketsuru, set out on a journey that would alter the history of Japanese whisky. Based primarily on his serialized autobiography originally published in Nikkei in 1968, in the final chapter Nikka Whisky continues expanding to […]

Masataka Taketsuru: Post-War Nikka Whisky

Masataka Taketsuru: Post-War Nikka Whisky

2018 marks a century since the founder of Nikka Whisky, Masataka Taketsuru, set out on a journey that would alter the history of Japanese whisky. Based primarily on his serialized autobiography originally published in Nikkei in 1968, in Part Nine post-war Japan finally takes a liking […]

Matsui Shuzo and the phantom Kurayoshi Distillery

Matsui Shuzo and the phantom Kurayoshi Distillery

Any regular drinker of Japanese whisky has heard about them. The infamous Matsui Shuzo. They’re behind the highly controversial Kurayoshi and Tottori brands of “Japanese whisky.” Japanese whisky is a term we must put in quotes when talking about this particular company. Why? At least […]

Furusato Nozei: Japan’s government-sponsored booze

Furusato Nozei: Japan’s government-sponsored booze

Background: Local taxes in Japan Like many other countries in the world, residents of Japan pay taxes on their income at three levels: national, prefectural, and local. In the US this equates to paying federal, state, and city income taxes (14 states have places with […]

Masataka Taketsuru: Independent at Yoichi Distillery

Masataka Taketsuru: Independent at Yoichi Distillery

2018 marks a century since the founder of Nikka Whisky, Masataka Taketsuru, set out on a journey that would alter the history of Japanese whisky. Based primarily on his serialized autobiography originally published in Nikkei in 1968, in Part Eight Taketsuru strikes out on his own […]

Masataka Taketsuru: Japanese whisky’s dark early days

Masataka Taketsuru: Japanese whisky’s dark early days

2018 marks a century since the founder of Nikka Whisky, Masataka Taketsuru, set out on a journey that would alter the history of Japanese whisky. Based primarily on his serialized autobiography originally published in Nikkei in 1968, in Part Seven Taketsuru gets to work making whisky […]

Masataka Taketsuru: Launching Japan’s first whisky distillery

Masataka Taketsuru: Launching Japan’s first whisky distillery

2018 marks a century since the founder of Nikka Whisky, Masataka Taketsuru, set out on a journey that would alter the history of Japanese whisky. Based primarily on his serialized autobiography originally published in Nikkei in 1968, in Part Six Taketsuru returns to Japan and prepares […]