I’ve received a bunch of messages asking about this November’s Tokyo Whisky Festival. The definitive dates are Saturday 16th to Sunday 17th November. The confusion was due to a change of weekend: this year, it will be held on the third weekend, unlike previous years when it was held on the fourth. This is good news for Americans, who can make the festival and then head home for Thanksgiving.
Before the biggie in Tokyo, there are a few other cool events in Japan:
This coming Sunday, 15th September, the second Hokkaido Whisky Fes takes place. If you have time for a quick jaunt to Sapporo, have fun at the festival and also check out Bow Bar, Malt Bar Kirkwall, and Bar Brora, amongst others
Whisky & Beer Camp Nogawa in Nagano prefecture will be on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September. One-day ticket JPY2,500; two-day ticket JPY3,500. From Tokyo station, you can take a shinkansen to Ueda station. There will be shuttle buses to take you to the venue. Alternatively you can take a train from Shinjuku to Chino, where shuttles will also be waiting.
Lake Biwako Whisky Cruise will be held on Monday 14th October, a national holiday in Japan (curiously named Health and Sports Day). There will be two cruises: (a) from 12:30 to 3:30 pm, and (b) from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. It’s JPY3,500 for one cruise and JPY6,000 for both. Lake Biwako is in Shiga prefecture just to the east of Kyoto. If you are feeling adventurous, why not have a trip to the delightful Nagahama distillery and brewery the day before?
Hachioji Whisky Street is a new event scheduled for Saturday 5th October, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Details are a bit sketchy at the moment but it is sure to be a fun event. Hachioji is about 40 minutes west of Shinjuku on the JR Chuo Line.
After the Tokyo Festival and before the year-end, there is another event to spend your hard earned yen on: the Okinawa Whisky & Spirits Festival at the Pacific Hotel, Naha on Sunday 8th December.
Into 2020, we hit the ground running with Whisky Lovers Nagoya. One of my favorite events because of all the old bottles, I recommend you make the trek to Nagoya on Sunday 19th January, 2020.
Four weeks later, one of the highlights of the whisky calendar takes place: Chichibu Whisk(e)y Matsuri. You will need to get tickets early for this event on 16th February, 2020. They’ll go on sale late November.
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