Today was all about the booze! We started with a tour of the Asahi Suita Factory in the morning. The whole tour was conducted in Japanese but we were given English audio guides so we were still able to fully appreciate everything. We saw the bottling and canning process taking place, and just some of their maturation vats that each contained enough beer for over one million cans.
After the tour was over we were taken into a large room where we got to enjoy some of their wares. By this stage it was after 11 so we quite enjoyed our three beers, and snacks. The whole tour was free so the beers were quite a bonus!
From there we made our way a bit further north toward Kyoto to the Suntory Yamazaki Distillery. After having lunch in the sun by the busy train tracks, we made our way into the building to begin our next tour.
The tour was incredible. I’d never seen the whisky production process before so this was such a treat. The smells in the room where the whisky barrels were aged was heady and overpowering, but delicious as well! After the tour we walked around a pond containing some of the pure water that the area is known for (and the whisky is made with) and the guide pointed out little white nest-like things in the tree which were actually built by frogs to hold their eggs. Once the tadpoles are big enough they wriggle out and drop down into the water.
The best part of the day was the whisky tasting. We were taken into a beautiful room with wood (from recycled oak barrels) finishing and seated in front of trays with samples of whisky and various snacks. They were all so delicious and we had to go back to the shop to buy a few more tastings.
After a wobbly ride home we then went out to meet with Joseph’s old friend Darlene for dinner. As the table at the restaurant wasn’t quite ready we picked up some one cup sake from the convenience store and sat by the river. From there we had a tasty dinner at a local hotspot before meeting up with Juho for a farewell drink at a standing sake bar.