This past winter I had the privilege of visiting the Nikka Distillery in Hokkaido Japan. It’s amazing how something so traditionally Scottish such as whisky making can seem so indigenous to Japan. I guess it’s the Japanese respect and love for craft that makes something foreign their own. The founder, Masataka Taketsuru studied chemistry at the University of Glasgow in 1918. While in Scotland he married his wife “Rita” and moved back with her to Japan in 1920.
After working initially for Suntory he eventually started his own whisky distillery Nikka which is now owned by Asahi Breweries. There’s an amazing amount of things to see at the distillery including a free tasting of three products: Taketsuru 10, 17 and Nikka Apple Wine – all very good especially when had with beef jerky. It was the first time for me to visit a whisky distillery in winter. Be sure to click on the panorama photo to see the full winter vista from the tasting room. Both Hokkaido and parts of Scotland gets up to 2 meters of snow.
I was there in summer and it’s interesting to see the distillery grounds shrouded in snow – perfect weather for sipping some Nikka whisky with a dash of warm water!