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Yamazaki Whisky Distillery
When you've overloaded on Shinto and Buddhist temples, head to this temple of spirits, the ultimate pilgrimage for malt spirit aficionados. The Yamazaki Whiskey Distillery, established in 1923 and located just 12 miles outside Kyoto’s city center in a compound surrounded by maples and pines, is Japan’s first and oldest distillery. It’s accessible via bus, taxi or train and offers free English audio tours, not to mention samples of its smooth range of expressions, which are arguably some of the world’s finest. Many of the spirits here are aged in mizunara (Japanese oak) offering a unique note not found in single malt from Scotland and elsewhere.