Have You Ever Been to Toyama Prefecture?

Have You Ever Been to Toyama Prefecture?

Toyama is a prefecture along the Sea of Japan coast in the the Chubu Region. Surrounded three sides by steep mountains and faced to the deep sea, Toyama is blessed with rich nature (30% of its overall land designated as National Parkland) where people can enjoy sublime scenery and tasty foods at the same time.


If you have ever visited Toyama Prefecture, you have probably enjoyed the sights like Kurobe Gorge, one of Japan's deepest V shaped gorges, drive through the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route and its 20 foot high snow walls, or discovered the lesser-known part  of Toyama's ancient architecture, like the thatched-roof Gokayama Gassho styled houses.

After sightseeing activities, you might have filled your stomach with Toyama delicacies, such as Toyama Black Ramen, made from thick soy sauce and black pepper, masuzushi pressed sushi with salt-pickled and thinly sliced flavored fresh trout, wrapped in a bamboo,  and had a drink of local Toyama sake, or even whiskey from the very special Saburomaru Distillery in Toyama. It is the only distillery along the coastline of Japan that is run by a sake brewing company.

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Unique Blend of Whisky and Ume

Saburomaru Distillery stands at the site of a famous Japanese sake brewing company, Wakatsuru Shuzo in Toyama. high season of brewing Japanese sake is in winter. Most sake craftspeople lose their jobs during hot seasons. Wakatsuru Shuzo broke the tradition. It hired craftsmen as full-time workers and started distilling whiskey to generate jobs for them.

Wakatsuru Shuzo Umesky is a unique blend of whisky and ume fruits. Every July unripe ume is steeped in the whisky made in the distillery, slowly drawing out the sweetness and sourness of ume. Ume is harvested in Toyama Prefecture and it is steeped for around a year in the whisky. The result is hard to describe but the delicate aroma of ume and the smooth whiskey are the characteristics of Umesky. At the first sip, you will feel the acidity of ume (which is a little bit stronger that regular umeshu), and then the smooth taste of whisky will follow soon after.

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