Mar 13, 2018
Kuma Shochu is a distilled spirit made in the Hitoyoshi Kuma area, where the moromi mash prepared with rice and local underground water is fermented and bottled. A world class product, Kuma Shochu uses the local place-name as its own brand. It goes well with meals and can be enjoyed in various ways such as mixed with hot water, straight, and on the rocks, enhancing the taste of each dish. Ranging from bright aromatic to full-bodied, a large variety in flavor is the characteristic of Kuma Shochu. At the shochu distilleries, you can feel the history and culture of the Hitoyoshi area. Shochu distillery-hopping and sampling of the local shochu brands is always fun.
A five-minute walk from the ruins of Hitoyoshi Castle, which is one of the Top 100 Castles of Japan, “Sengetsu Shiromigura Distillery”, operated by Sengetsu Shuzo Co. Ltd., produces some 30 brands of shochu, ranging from regular “Sengetsu” and “Kawabe” to limited lines – all of which can be tasted as a sample. They also sell some sweets, pickles, and other items. From the Shiromigura Distillery, the whole city of Hitoyoshi can be viewed including such sightseeing spots as the ruins of Hitoyoshi Castle and the Kuma River. Another popular tourist attraction here is a footbath in Hitoyoshi Onsen, called “Bijin no Yu (hot spring of beauty)”, where the fatigue from your journey can be relieved.
Located a 10-minute drive from JR Hitoyoshi Station in a tranquil rural area, the “Kuma Shochu Museum - Hakutake Denshogura Distillery” is operated by Takahashi Shuzo Co. Ltd. Here visitors can learn about the 500-year-old Kuma Shochu’s history, culture, and tradition. The museum has an exhibition section where the production process of the time of the company’s establishment in 1900 is shown with actual tools and graphic panels. It also has a tasting counter where you can taste 10 kinds of original shochu. Twenty-eight other brand name Kuma Shochus, local products and original goods are also available for sale at the souvenir shop. A perfect place for sightseeing and souvenir shopping.
Sengetsu Shiromigura Distillery
Business hours: 9:00 - 17:00 (Admission until 16:30)
Closed: open daily
* This is the information as of June, 2017
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