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The Yoichi distillery was opened in 1934 and is the first distillery created by Nikka founder and “Father of Japanese Whisky” Masataka Taketsuru.
One of Nikka’s two malt whisky distilleries (Miyagikyo is the other), Yoichi produces rich, peaty and masculine malt. The whisky gets its distinct aroma and body from direct heating distillation, in which the pot stills are heated with finely powdered natural coal — the traditional method that is hardly ever used today, even in Scotland.
Yoichi distillery is located about 50 kilometres west of Sapporo in southern Hokkaido, which is the northernmost of Japan’s four principal islands. Hokkaido was one of the last Japanese frontiers to be developed. This beautiful location and the natural resources around it make the Yoichi distillery a very special distillery indeed. The Yoichi distillery welcomes visitors and offers free tours of its facility; please see the end of this article for details.