• Shochu liquor's photo

Shochu liquor

Kagoshima City

Shochu – a Japanese spirit distilled from wheat and potatoes.

The two major Japanese spirits are sake and shochu. While sake can only be brewed from rice, shochu can be distilled from a variety of sources, including wheat, potatoes, brown cane sugar, Japanese chestnuts, and buckwheat – this also gives shochu a much wider variety of flavors. Shochu also has a higher alcohol content than sake at around 25%. As such, shochu is often drunk diluted with cold or hot water rather than straight. In comparison with sake, shochu tends to have a cleaner flavor, making it easy to pair with almost any cuisine.

  • Shochu liquor's photo
  • Shochu liquor's photo

The biggest shochu drinkers in Japan are Kagoshima natives?!

Kagoshima consumes the most shochu annually out of any prefecture in Japan. Not only that, it is far and away number one in this category, with a huge gap between Kagoshima and the next biggest annual consumer of shochu. The shochu that Kagoshima natives love most of all is imojochu, made using local sweet potatoes, one of the prefecture’s top products. It is quite rare to find spirits anywhere in the world distilled from sweet potatoes; Kagoshima’s Shirasu Plateau, however, formed from continual falls of pumice and volcanic ash, cannot grow rice but is the perfect for raising sweet potatoes – this in turn resulted in the ancient residents of this area creating Kagoshima’s distinctive imojochu.

  • Shochu liquor's photo
  • Shochu liquor's photo
  • Shochu liquor's photo
  • Shochu liquor's photo
  • Shochu liquor's photo

Make the shochu you drink taste even more delicious by touring a shochu distillery.

There are over 100 shochu distilleries in Kagoshima, but Meijigura, located on the southern tip of the Satsuma Peninsula, is particularly famous. The distillery is owned by the Satsuma Shuzo company, known for its popular Satsuma Shiranami imojochu. As one might expect from the distillery’s name, Meijigura has been operating since the Meiji period; not only the distilling process but also the clay pots and wooden barrels as well as the distillation cellar itself are still in use unchanged from the time of the establishment of Meijigura, conveying the site’s 100 years of history. Meijigura also offers tours where visitors can observe the shochu-making process. Participants can experience the atmosphere of an old time shochu distillery and gain new insights into the flavor of shochu, as well as sample various shochu verities at the end of the tour.

  • Shochu liquor's photo
  • Shochu liquor's photo
  • Shochu liquor's photo
  • Shochu liquor's photo
  • Shochu liquor's photo

For reference


  • Address
    26 Tategamihonmachi, Makurazaki-shi, Kagoshima-ken
  • Telephone
  • Opening hours
    9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
  • Closed
  • Website


Kagoshima Airport is a 115 minute flight from Haneda Airport
  • Kagoshima Airport is a 75 minute flight from Osaka International Airport
  • Kagoshima Airport is a 95 minute flight from Chubu Centrair International Airport
  • Kagoshima Airport is a 75 minute flight from Naha Airport
Makurazaki Station is about 105 minutes by bus from Kagoshima Airport.
  • Meijigura is a 20 minute walk from Makurazaki Station.


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