When you've overloaded on visiting Shinto and Buddhist temples, head to this sanctuary of spirits, the ultimate pilgrimage for whiskey aficionados. The Yamazaki Distillery, established in 1923, is Japan’s first and oldest maker of whiskey. Located just 12 miles outside Kyoto’s city center on grounds shaded by maples and pines, the distillery is accessible via bus, taxi, or train. Free audio tours are conducted in English and include 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 malts from Scotland.