Although lesser known overseas, shochu, a refined vodka-like beverage that is made from a variety of sources including sweet potato, molasses and rice, is as widely drunk in Japan as sake. Oita is renowned for its wheat variety and has a number of large and many small, boutique distillers of which Kanehachi is one of the most prized. Shochu, which is potent at either 20 or 25% proof, is best enjoyed the local way on the rocks with a squeeze of kabosu citrus fruit or diluted with hot water.

Distilleries open to the public include:

You will find these and many other establishments on Discover Oita's Road Trip: Oita's Sake, shochu and wine country. A full list of shochu distilleries is available here


Japan, 大分県

At a glance

Mugi-jochu, a refined wheat spirit, is Oita's version of Kyushu's famed shochu tipple.

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