Young Japanese distillery.
It’s time to come back to Japan for the moment. After a relation from the visit to the Yamazaki, the oldest Japanese distillery, today perhaps the youngest – Chichibu. Ichiro Akuto gave life to this distillery, the grandson of the founder of the now-defunct Hanyu distillery – Isouji Akuto. Production has started here in February 2008. Previously they released some blends using stocks of Hanyu. We already have on the blog Chichibu The First and Chichibu Port Pipe. I have tasted their other releases by the way of whisky festivals.
Chichibu is located in the town of the same name about 100 km NW of Tokyo in Saitama prefecture. In a beautiful mountainous area. We went there from Tokyo Station by Shinkansen, to Kumagaya Station, approx. 40 min., next from Kumagaya to Chichubu approx. 70 min. When using the JR Pass it must be noted that to the Chichubu from Kumagaya there is no JR line but Chichibu Railway, therefore you need to buy a ticket separately. When you arrive in Chichibu you should use a taxi, approx. 20 min. Take a look at some of the Japanese characters, because in that area English letters aren’t easy to find … 😉
You should also remember that the distillery doesn’t offer public tours and you should always make an appointment well in advance.
The ambition of the founder, Ichiro Akuto is the production of high-quality whisky, using traditional methods and presentation. Some part of used barley is locally grown and even malted, but most comes from Scotland. The water comes from a nearby Arakawa river. The distillery is quite compact and almost everything is under the proverbial “one roof”.
I am very happy to vistit Chichibu. I am watching the progress of distillery with curiosity and keep fingers crossed for them. I would like to thank Yumi for warm welcome and hospitality. Greetings and see you.
Here are some photos that I hope will bring the atmosphere of the place.