Let’s go on a ‘tipsy’ factory tour at the “SUNTORY YAMAZAKI DISTILLERY”, where Japanese whisky was born!

Yamazaki is located in the southwest of Kyoto and is blessed with nature. The construction of the first Japanese malt whisky distillery started here in 1923. Yamazaki Distillery opens their factory doors for factory tours. Here we go!

Single malt whisky, Yamazaki.

The founder of Suntory, Shinjiro Torii

The exterior of the factory

Beloved Japanese whisky

Suntory Yamazaki Distillery is a 10 min walk from JR Yamazaki and Hankyu Oyamazaki stations. It’s easily accessible and is blessed with nature, perfect for making whisky. The three rivers, the Katsuragawa, Ujigawa, and Kidsugawa cross each other at Yamazaki and this generates fog in the area. Yamazaki has an abundance of high quality groundwater that’s also ideal for distilling whisky. The person who built the distillery is the founder of Kotobukiya (the former company of Suntory), Shinjiro Torii. His goal was to make whisky for Japanese people that befits Japanese climate, and started to build the distillery in 1923. Since then, Suntory has pursued good whisky for a long time under the theme of, “sophisticated whisky for Japanese people with a world-class level of quality.”

There is a fee at the tasting. (Inside the whisky library)

Let’s go on a factory tour this summer and peek into the deep world of whisky!

You can take a look at the inside the Yamazaki Distillery. You’ll need to reserve it in advance, so please do so on the phone or on the Internet. There are a variety of seminars (with a fee) such as, whisky tasting and a factory tour that will satisfy both beginners and advanced whisky lovers. Please check the website for more details.

Whisky library

Unblended whisky

While waiting for the tour, learn the history of Suntory!

After checking in for the tour at the counter, wait in the Whisky Library and enjoy its exhibition until the tour begins. The history of Japanese whisky and the whiskies on the wall are worth seeing. There is a whisky tasting counter inside the library (with a fee), so after learning a little bit about their whisky, grab a glass of it!

Distillation still


Whisky tastes better after getting to know it!

During the guided tour (A reservation is needed), you can take a look at certain facilities such as the distillation stills and fermenters. It’s interesting to know how whisky is made. Even if you normally don’t drink whisky, its depth will enchant you! I will not mention the tour contents here, but seriously, whisky tastes better after learning about it, because you can understand its subtle differences. I really encourage you to experience this magical feeling. Please visit Yamazaki to experience their unique way of making whisky!


5-2-1 Yamazaki Shimamoto-cho, Mishima-gun, Osaka

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Writer / Translator

I’m a freelance translator from Tokyo who likes to travel right in the middle of the unpredictables in life. Through the translation of articles I hope to create points of contact between Japan and the rest of the world. As a writer, I want to add information that isn’t in the guide book, from a “wasabi” perspective!



Address 5-2-1 Yamazaki Shimamoto-cho, Mishima-gun, Osaka
Hours 9:30~17:00 (Reception)
Access 10 min walk from JR Yamazaki station and Hankyu Oyamazaki station
Phone 075-962-1423
Website http://suntory.jp/YAMAZAKI_D/