Nikka Yoichi Distillery Visit

The tasting bar at Yoichi is among the highlights of a visit. Who wouldn’t want a glass of Yoichi 20 for a few hundred yen?

There aren’t enough superlatives to describe Yoichi 20


Beautifully appointed bar


The first Yoichi pot still: where the magic happens


Well worth snapping a few pics of the pot stills and barrels.

The house where Taketsuru resided with his Scots wife, Rita, is open to visitors.



Superb collection of bottles


Curiosities from Nikka




Informative tour guide



Astonishing attention to detail in Taketsuru’s notes on his endeavors in Scotland


More winners from Nikka’s past

The rear entrance of Yoichi, surrounded by houses and apartment buildings.

Jim Murray names Yoichi as one of the top five distilleries in the world in his definitive Whisky Bible, but getting there is not a straightforward as visiting Yamazaki or Miyagikyo or Fuji-Gotemba. The distillery in the town of Yoichi is an hour’s train ride west of Sapporo. I’d recommend visiting the charming town of Otaru too.


Yoichi Station: the TV drama Massan has made a visit to the distillery incredibly popular


To get to Sapporo: JR Rail Pass holders: take the shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin Hakodate-Hokuto and then a 3-hour limited express train top Sapporo. Others: take a flight to New Chitose Airport, on a discount airline such as JetStar, Peach, Vanilla or Skymark, and then a JR Airport Express train for the 40-minute trip into the city.

The nightlife in Sapporo is among the best in Japan, so spending a couple of night’s there will provide lots of pleasurable experiences and memories.

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