Touring Japan has always been a life-long dream of mine and to combine it with learning more about whiskey making was truly excellent. Japan has a beautiful appreciate for culture and tradition, something I greatly admire, which carries over to everything they do.
Touring the distilleries, Nikka really stood out to me. The story of how the distillery was created resonated with me. There founder Masataka Taketsuru, traveled to Scotland in 1918 to learn the art of whiskey making as well as organic chemistry. While in Scotland he fell in love and married a woman named Rita. They returned to Japan, where in 1934 they founded Nikka Distillery. The photo is of the house they shared together located on the Nikka Distillery property.
Nikka is located in Yoichi. Getting there was quite a trek. Yoichi is located on Hokkaido. Hokkaido has a beautiful countryside as well as a coast. I have always been drawn to nature and feel very lucky our distillery sits on 3 acres where I can observe the wildlife. Nikka has a very similar feel to it.
As we were touring different temples around Japan, I couldn’t help but be drawn to all of the fox statues. Kitsune, as they are called in Japanese, represent intelligent creatures, who can be mischievous. The use of the fox comes from the ancient times in Japan when man and fox lived in close conditions. The fox on our label comes from the family of grey foxes we have living on our property. Frequently I look up out my office window and see one of the male foxes sleeping in the tree.
As much as I have enjoyed my travels, I am glad to be back home and back to the whiskey making!
Until next time,