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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings
  • Hokkaido
  • Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

Attraction

Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery ニッカウヰスキー 北海道工場余市蒸溜所

A taste of the highlands in Hokkaido

Masataka Taketsuru, known as the father of Japanese whisky, founded the Nikka distillery in the 1930s. Today you can visit the original factory, in Yoichi, a town east of Sapporo, close to Otaru. After touring the grounds, you can sample the signature whisky for free.

How to Get There

You can access the distillery by train or car; both take the same length of time.

Take the JR Hakodate Line from Sapporo Station to Yoichi Station, via Otaru. The journey takes 1 hour and 15 minutes and is covered by the Japan Rail Pass. The distillery is a short walk from the station.

Quick Facts

The distillery was founded in 1934 by Masataka Taketsuru after he studied the distilling process in Scotland for several years

The extensive grounds stretch over 132,000 square meters and are open for the public to explore

Destined to distill

Masataka Taketsuru was born in Hiroshima prefecture, into a family of sake brewers. He became interested in making whisky while traveling in Scotland and studied production techniques there for several years. He returned to Japan with his Scottish wife to open his own distillery, choosing Hokkaido because the climate reminded him of Scotland.

Tour the grounds

You are free to wander the vast grounds, where the original stone buildings of the factory and Taketsuru's former home still stand. Some of the equipment on display, like the large copper distillation tanks, are still used to this day. There are guided tours in Japanese or you can download an English audio guide for smartphone and tablet.

Learn about Taketsuru's life

Nearing the end of the tour, you'll find a museum on the history of Nikka and Taketsuru's life. See old photos and items that once belonged to Taketsuru and his wife.

Enjoy a multitude of flavors

Stop in at the tasting room to sample some delicious whisky. You can sample two kinds for free and rare malt whiskies for a price. You can even taste some directly from the barrels. Those who prefer something a bit sweeter can visit Rita House, named after Taketsuru's Scottish wife, for afternoon tea.

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