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Shichiken Sake Brewery

▲Shichiken Sake Brewery (Hokuto City)

Located at the foot of Mt. Kaikomagatake in Yamanashi, is a sake brewery overflowing with history. The Shichiken Sake Brewery started with first-generation owner, Ibei Kitahara, who fell in love with the high-quality water of Hakushu (present day Hokuto City). The waters of Hakushu continue to be used in new and innovative ways even today, over 300 years later. Shichiken’s current brewmaster, Ryogo Kitahara, explains that it is their brewery’s duty to produce “sake that embodies Hakushu water.” Those at Shichiken work hard ensure this pure, excellent taste of the local region goes into every bottle of this delightful Hakushu sake. This includes growing the rice locally, sourcing the cleanest Hakushu waters, and working closely with local farmers.

▲Current brewmaster at Shichiken, Ryogo Kitahara

Shichiken offers free tours and sake tasting, where you can have a sip of their famous sparkling sake. If you are lucky, you may even get to have a bite of the rice that goes into the sake brewing.

They also have an on-site restaurant that serves local dishes seasoned to perfection, as well as a lineup of their sake. Their main building has been around for nearly 200 years, and the Meiji Emperor himself once stayed here.


▲Sake tasting at Shichiken Sake Brewery (Hokuto City)

Suntory Hakushu Distillery

▲Suntory Hakushu Distillery (Hokuto City)

Also in Hokuto City, you will find the Suntory Hakushu Distillery. The distillery specializes in bringing out the pure and crisp taste of the local Hakushu waters through their delicious “Hakushu Whisky.”

You can participate in a tour of the Suntory Distillery, with explanations in English, Chinese, and French (reservations must be made in advance). Here, you can learn about the ingredients that go into making the whisky, peek into the bubbling washbacks used for fermentation, and take photos in front of the impressive heated pot stills which vary in size and shape. 



The highlight of the tour comes at the end, when you can enjoy a brilliant tasting experience that brings the knowledge of whisky gained throughout the tour to full fruition. They may even let you have a taste of whiskies that are yet to be released. You can also learn how to make your own highball using Suntory’s sparkling water. Suntory also has an on-site restaurant that uses local ingredients that go great with their Hakushu Whisky.

▲Whisky tasting at Suntory Hakushu Distillery (Hokuto City)


▲White Terrace (restaurant) at Suntory Hakushu Distillery

With plenty to do and drink, both are places not to be missed for whisky and sake fans alike. On your next journey through Yamanashi, stop by for a taste of excellence at both Shichiken Sake Brewery and Suntory Hakushu Distillery! 

More Info

Shichiken Sake Brewery website:

Address: Yamanashi Meijo Co., Ltd.
2283 Daigahara, Hakushu-cho, Hokuto-shi, Yamanashi


Suntory Hakushu Distillery website:

Address: 2913-1 Torihara, Hakushu-cho, Hokuto-shi, Yamanashi

Published on

  • April 14, 2022


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