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[Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery in Yoichi] Tasing and Guided Tour Can Be Enjoyed in Shooting Place of "Massan"

June 14th, 2016

Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery (ニッカウヰスキー余市蒸溜所) is a whisky distillery in Yoichi town located in the western part of Otaru city. Nikka Whisky is a subsidiary of ASAHI BREWERIES, and has been operated by Mr. 竹鶴政孝 (Masataka Taketsuru) since 1934. Famous Japanese television drama series "Massan (マッサン)" in 2014 was modeled after Masataka Taketsuru, and this distiller was a shooting place for that drama. Mr. Testuji Tamayama (玉山鉄二) that acts Masaharu Kameyama (亀山政春) and Ms. Charlotte Kate Fox that acts Ellie Kameyama (亀山エリー) put up a good show, and this place become one of most popular tourist attraction in Hokkaido. About 1 million tourists visit here. The distillery is operating distillery now, but even ordinary visitors can come to tour the distillery. Guided distillery tours are conducted for free in Japanese. Open hours are from 09:00 to 17:00. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge.

Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

The site area is 132,000 m2, and Main Gate (余市蒸溜所正門), a waiting room for a guided tour (見学者待合室), Whisky Museum (ウィスキー博物館), Still House (蒸留棟), Kiln Tower (乾燥棟), Comminution and Saccharification House (粉砕糖化棟), Wash House (発酵棟), Barrel House (混和棟), Rita House (リタハウス), Warehouse No.1 (一号貯蔵庫), Former Office (旧事務所), Former Residence of Taketsuru (旧竹鶴亭), Nikka Kaikan (ニッカ会館), Restraunt "Taru" (レストラン樽) and Distillery Shop "NORTHLAND" (ディスティラリーショップノースランド) are built on the large site. 2 types of tour, guided tours conducted by Japanese-speaking Nikka representatives and self-guided walking tours, are provided. As for the guided tours, from 09:00 to 12:00, and from 13:00 to 15:30, the tours are conducted every 30 minutes, 00 minutes and 30 minutes. The time it takes to tour is about 90 minutes. Those interested in participating wait at the waiting room. As for the self-guided walking tours, Visitors can explore the facilities freely with the use of a guide map. Enjoy yourself as you like!

Tour Route
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

The Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery is in front of Yoichi Station, and is located in the center of the Yoichi. Restaurants, cafes, Izakaya, snack bars, a convenience store, souvenir shops and Yoichi Space Museum (余市宇宙記念館) are built around here, so it is a convenient place. Speaking of tasty restaurants in the Yoichi, Kakizaki Shoten (柿崎商店), the Restraunt "Taru", Nanpo Tometaro Shoten (南保留太郎商店), Ramen Jogura (ラーメン じょぐら) and Family Sushi Garden House (ファミリーすしガーデンハウス) are popular in particular. I ate foods at the Kakizaki Shoten, the Nanpo Tometaro Shoten, the Jogura and Kaizoku (海ぞく), and those were tasty. By the way, Express Yoichi-go (高速よいち号) runs between Sapporo and the Yoichi.

Kakizaki Shoten

Kakizaki Shoten (柿崎商店) is a seafood merchant in Yoichi town located in the northwest part of Otaru city. Because they have been treated marine products since 1930, it is known as the popularity merchant in Hokkaido. They sell marine products and fruits on the first floor, and there is a restraunt on the second floor. Visitors often line up at the restaurant at lunchtime and are crowded very much on the first floor because they can buy fresh marine products at more reasonable price than an inner city such as Sapporo and Otaru. Article is here

Grilled Atka Mackerel Combo
Grilled Atka Mackerel Combo -Kakizaki Shoten in Yoichi-

Yoichi Maehama Shrimp Ramen of Jogura

Jogura (じょぐら) is a popular ramen restraunt in Yoichi town located in the root of Shakotan Peninsula and was founded in about 2000. It was placed in the MICHELIN GUIDE Hokkaido 2012 Special Edition. It takes about 5 minutes from Yoichi station to here. Jogura means a warehouse in Hokkaido dialect. But I have never known it, so I guess that it is Hamakotoba (浜言葉 * dialect that fishing village speak). Yoichi Maehama Shrimp Ramen (余市前浜えびラーメン) that is served only from March to October is most popular ramen. An owner is a former shrimp fishermen, and he serve ramen topped with grilled sweet shrimps. The price was JPY 880. Article is here

Yoichi Maehama Shrimp Ramen
Yoichi Maehama Shrimp Ramen -Jogura in Yoichi-

Squid Ink Soup Curry of Kaizoku

Kaizoku (海ぞく) is a popular soup curry restraunt in Kurokawa-cho, Yoichi town and was founded in 2013. Kurokawa-cho is an entertainment district of Yoichi town, and a building is built around bars and Japanese‐style baran izakaya (居酒屋). By the way, Kaizoku means pirate in English. The restraunt has an atmosphere such as a Japanese‐style baran izakaya and has some counter seats and a samll raised seating area, and it is not so large. But it is interested that there are many curios here and there. I visited here around 13:30 on weekdays. There was not a customer at the restraunt, but a local person came to eat a local style soup curry right away after that, and this restraunt is seemed to be loved by local people. Article is here

Squid Ink Soup Curry
Soup Curry -Kaizoku in Yoichi-

Smoked Foods of Nanpo Tometaro Shoten

Nanpo Tometaro Shoten (南保留太郎商店) is a smoked food specialty store in Yoichi town located in the western part of Otaru city and was founded in 1950. There is a building just near Yoichi fishing port. A smoked sweet shrimp (甘エビの燻製), a smoked ovalipes punctatus (ヘラ蟹の燻製), a smoked salmon (鮭の燻製) are famous. The store was small, but there was full of cleanliness. Customers can do each smoked products tasting and those will form the basis for their decision in case of the purchase. Article is here

Smoked Ovalipes Punctatus
Smoked Ovalipes Punctatus, Nanpo Tometaro Shoten in Yoichi

Distillery Tour

There are the Nikka Kaikan, the Distillery Shop "NORTHLAND" and Masataka Taketsuru Memorial Park (竹鶴政孝記念庭園) around the parking lot, and the Nikka Kaikan has the restraunt "Taru" and a free tasting place, and tourists can enjoy meals and tasting. The restraunt "Taru" has a good reputation, and whisky and wine lamb shabu-shabu (ウイスキー・ワインラムしゃぶ定食) is sereved. The Whiskey, Apple Juice, Oolong Tea are offered at the free tasting place, and snacks are sold, too.

Nikka Kaikan
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Free Tasting Place at Nikka Kaikan
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Look of Free Tasting Place
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Whiskey
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

Of course,drivers must not drink the whiskey, so I drank the apple juice "Ringo-no-Hoppe (りんごのほっぺ)". That was thick, and was very tasty ! The apple juice adding carbonated water was tasty, too ! By the way, Nikka (日果), former name is Dainippon Kajitusi corp (大日本果汁株式会社), is derived from apple juice.

Ringo-no-Hoppe
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Thick Apple Juice Is Tasty !
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

Various whiskies, snacks and marine products are sold at the Distillery Shop "NORTHLAND". The whiskey is popular in Japan recently, and some brands are out of stock.

Distillery Shop "NORTHLAND"
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Masataka Taketsuru Memorial Park
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

The visitors can tour along only tour route. The distillery has a lot of green plants, and those go well with red roofs and stone buildings, so it has a nice atmosphere. Facilities that the visitors can enter are the Whisky Museum, the Warehouse No.1, the Former Residence of Taketsuru, the Former Office, the Wash House, the Barrel House, the Still House, the Kiln Tower, the waiting room.

Tour Route
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

The Whisky Museum has the Whisky Hall and the Nikka Hall. The history and the whiskey of manufacturing process are displayed at the Whiskey Hall, and there is a bar, so the visitors can enjoy paid tasting. About William Phaup Lowrie as icon of the Nikka whiskey is explained. He had been said the "King of Blenders", and this picture expresses his work to identify a fragrance of the whiskey. But I thought that he liked his drink more than anyone, and I misunderstood it. He was working ! About various kinds of goods related with Mr. Masataka Taketsuru and Mrs. Rita Taketsuru are displayed at the Nikka Hall, and a movie is shonw.

Whisky Museum
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
William Phaup Lowrie and Pot Still
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Barrels Are in Line
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Whiskey Club. Paid Tasting.
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Whiskey
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Movie Is Shown
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

At the Warehouse No.1, the visitors can observe a look of stock, and a movie is shown. The warehouse increases, and 26 warehouses are built at present. Except the Warehouse No.1, the visitors are forbided from the other warehouses.

Warehouse No.1
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Barrels Are in Line
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Movie Is Shown
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Warehouses Are in Line
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

The Former Residence of Taketsuru that Mr. Masataka Taketsuru and Mrs. Rita Taketsuru lived at features a green roof. Originally this building did not used to be on this site, but it was removed, and was rebuilt in 2002. The visitors can enter only an entrance hall and a garden. More than 20 types of trees and flowers are planted on the garden, and those are full in bloom from May to July.

Former Residence of Taketsuru
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Former Residence of Taketsuru Model
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Look of Former Residence of Taketsuru
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Exhibits
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Statue of Mr. Masataka Taketsuru
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Tower and Nikka Flag
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Tour Route
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Barrels on Sled
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Rest Station
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

Originally, the Rita House used to be a laboratory, and was a tea room for a whlie. But it does not open to the public at present.

Rita House
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Tour Route
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Tour Route
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

At the Barrel House, a making process of barrels is displayed. The barrel is one of the important elements of the whiskey.

Barrel House
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Making Process of Barrel
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Tools for Making Barrel
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

The Former Office with a green roof has a drawing room. But the visitors can observe it only through a window.

Former Office
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Drawing Room
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

At the Wash House, fermentation tanks are in line, and raw materials of the whiskey are fermented. Saccharified solution is sent to pot stills at the Still House via underground pipes. The visitors can observe the fermentation tanks only through a window.

Wash House
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Entrance of Wash House
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Wash House
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Look of Wash House
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

At the Kiln Tower, the whisky is seasoned. The visitors can enter a part of the Kiln Tower. The barley is dried and smoked with peat (grass peat) mined in Ishikari city. The visitors can touch the peat directly.

Look of Kiln Tower
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Peat
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

The visitors from the Yoichi Station enter from the Main Gate. The appearance is very cool, and looks like walls and a tower of a western castle.

Main Gate
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

At the Still House, the pot stills are in line, and saccharified solution is heated with coal, and is vaporized. Facilities to distill with coal seems to be only this distillery in the world, so it is valuable. A sacred Shinto straw festoon is decorateed to the pot steel, and they pray to make a good whiskey. This is manner to come from Mr. Taketsutu's home.

Still House
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Pot Stills Are in Line
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Pot Stills
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery
Worker Put Coal on Fire
Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

Atmosphere of Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

Admission fee Free of charge
Parking lot Free parking is provided (40 Cars)
Business hours 09:00-17:00
Regular closing day Year-end and New Year holidays
Telephone number +81-135-23-3131
Home page Home page is here
Mapcode 164 665 162*31

List of Accommodations

Refer to following websites for the accommodations around Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.

Hotel Suimeikaku(ホテル 水明閣)
Booking
Jalan
Ayumiso(あゆ見荘)
HP
Jalan
Rakuten
Hotel Sun Art(ホテルサンアート) Only Tel:+81-135-22-6070
A-Brand Hotel(エーヴランドホテル)
Booking
Pettie Hotel North Shore(プチホテルノースショア)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Kakuto Tokushimaya Ryokan(かくと徳島屋旅館)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Minshuku Toyohama(民宿豊浜)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Hotel EMER140(ホテルEMER140)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Guest House Yoichi(ゲストハウス余市)
Irifune House(入舟の家)
HP
Jalan
Rakuten
Marumatta Farm 21(農家民宿 まるまったファーム 21)
Jalan
Rakuten

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