Some of Japan's best whiskey—and the Japanese take this drink almost as seriously as the Scots do—comes from Yoichi Nikka Whisky Distillery, just outside Otaru. The distillery was built in 1934, after Taketsuru Masataka came back to Japan after spending years studying similar processes in Scotland. Around Otaru, he found plenty of peat and clear water, so he went to work. You can take a walking tour of the distillery, following the transformation of base ingredients into what’s considered one of the best single-malts in the world. A small museum ends the tour, but then it's time for tasting; if you don't want to imbibe on an empty stomach, there's a small restaurant as well.