Whiskey, 100 years have passed since Whiskey was brewed in Japan

Only about 100 years have passed since whiskey was produced in Japan, but in recent years, Japanese whiskey seems to be highly evaluated overseas.

Whiskey is becoming more popular in Japan as well, and some products have been suspended due to a shortage of raw liquor. On the other hand, in Japan, overseas whiskeys such as Scotch, Bourbon, Canadian and Irish are popular.

What is Whiskey and can I drink it?

Materials of Whiskey

Barley malt (grain whiskey also uses corn, wheat, etc.)

Gluten-free Low-gluten Wheat-free Low FODMAPs High FODMAPs
with Beef with Pork with Daily with Egg for Vegetarian
Restaurant Fast food Food supermarket Convenience store Drug store

Japanese Whiskey Rule

Whiskey made in Japan includes high-end products that are highly evaluated overseas and general products that are often drunk by the general public.

Japanese whiskey is only this luxury item, and other than that, it is manufactured by mixing malt and grain imported from overseas in Japan.

The Japanese whiskey rule was established in April 2021 as follows;

  • Use only malt, grains, and water collected in Japan as raw materials. Also, be sure to use malt.
  • Saccharification, fermentation and distillation should be done at a distillery in Japan. In addition, the alcohol content at the time of distillation shall be less than 95%.
  • For storage, pack in wooden barrels with a content of 700 liters or less and store in Japan for 3 years or more.
  • Allow the use of caramel for fine-tuning the color tone.

Please note that this rule has a three-year grace period.


  • “Hibiki” – Blended whisky, Very high evaluation. Only sold to bars due to lack of goods.
  • “Yamazaki” – Single-malt whisky, Most famous in Japan. Yamazaki is place name where the distillery is located.
  • “Hakusyu” – Single-malt whisky, Hakusyu is place name where the distillery is located.
  • “Chita” – Grain whisky, Chita is place name where the distillery is located.


  • “Yoichi” and “Miyagikyo” – Single-malt whisky.
  • “Taketsuru” – Blended whisky. Mr. Masataka TAKETSURU studied abroad in Scotland 103 years ago to learn how to make whiskey and made the first whiskey in Japan.

In Japan, more and more people drink whiskey as “highball” with carbonated water. This is what people who originally drank beer and shochu started to drink. Highballs in cans are also sold at convenience stores and food supermarkets.

People who drink whiskey at home drink whiskey while eating. This may also be a custom different from other countries.

Try to drink Japanese Whiskey!

How much ?

  • Bar: $ 10 per oz
  • Liquor shop: $ 50-100 per a 750ml bottle

Where can I drink Japanese Whiskey ?

  • Bar
  • Liquor shop and duty-free shop

Precautions when drinking Whiskey


Whisky uses gluten-containing grains as a raw material, but because it is distilled, it is gluten-free.

Japanese writer’s comment for Whiskey

If you want to taste Japanese Whiskey, it’s a bit expensive, but we recommend drinking it at the bar inside the hotel.

In addition to the major brands of Japanese Whiskey, you may also be able to drink popular products that have been discontinued due to lack of stock. Bars in the city are not recommended for first-timers as the quality varies greatly from store to store.

Do not order Whiskey at izakaya or restaurants. Originally, few people drink whiskey at izakaya and restaurants, so they often have only one type of whiskey, and it may be is poor quality whiskey.

Whiskey can be purchased at drug stores and liquor shops. Most of the whiskeys are from overseas, but there are also Japanese whiskeys, so please look for them.

If you want to buy it as a souvenir, please buy it at the duty free shop at the airport. Whiskey is subject to a liquor tax of 278 yen (= $ 2.5) per 750 ml and a 10% consumption tax.