Suntory Hakushu Distillery
2913-1 Hakushūchō Torihara, Hokuto, Yamanashi 408-0316, Japan
| +81 551-35-2211
Sun - Sat 9:30am - 4:30pm
Suntory Hakushu: Distillery in the ForestA winding path takes visitors from the parking lot through a forest of tall trees to the main cluster of distillery buildings. The forest is a sanctuary for many species of birds, so keep your eyes peeled on your way in.
We met our guide, toured the facilities, and learned about the history of Whiskey in Japan. Unique craftsmanship is applied to all stages of production at Hakushu. We got to stick our noses into jars of ingredients, walked by impressive fermentation vats and into the hall of stills. Unlike most distilleries, Hakushu stills come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes that produce a wide range of distinctive whiskeys. Having heard about the 'cathedral of decommissioned stills' (not usually a part of the tour), our gracious hosts obliged and opened the doors for us. Inside, we were greeted by soaring walls and a striking chandelier illuminating the dark interior, with a lineup of beautiful old copper stills along both sides of the hall. As a final highlight and wrap of our tour, we tasted the component whiskeys used to blend the final Hakushu Single Malt.
A visit to Hakushu isn't just for the actual 'product'. It is also about the relationship with nature; the understanding of 'Mizu To Ikiru', which means "Living with Water'. Water is one of the most important ingredients of Suntory whiskeys. It is honored and protected to ensure the future of the distillery and the people living in the area. Caring for the environment is built into the Suntory's philosophy.
There are different ways to visit Hakushu: through free, self-guided tours, or paid, guided ones. Please check out their website and make sure you book in advance.
Most importantly, don't forget to get your hands on a Hakuhu highball (whiskey & soda) while in Japan!
Quick aside–Hakushu village nearby is definitely worth a stop for lunch (Daimin, delicious small plates), and shopping (sake, sweets).
My warmest thank you – domo arigato gozai masu – to the @SuntoryGlobal team, who went above and beyond, introducing me to Japan's food and drink culture. I'm forever in your debt. #SuntoryTime #SuntoryTimeTour