Higa Distillery, Inc.

Common name: 
Higa Distillery
1061 Aza Nagahama, Yomitan Village, Nakagami-gun
Higa Distillery, Inc.
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An awamori with transparency, bred in a scenic area overlooking the East China Sea.

Yomitan Village is located on the majestic and scenic Cape Zampa, which overlooks the East China Sea. It is famous for its agricultural produce, including red potatoes. It has also promoted tourism and other means to develop the area. The Higa distillery has been engaged in producing awamori since 1948.

At the time of its founding, the distillery bought massive amounts of ladles from the U.S. Army to make distilling machines. It finally got its business going after overcoming a number of hardships. The A Class shochu boom in Okinawa in 1955 became a major turning point for the distillery. It meant that many awamori distillers were forced to close down, but the second owner, Takeshi Higa, believed otherwise. He overcame the crunch by turning it into a business opportunity. He launched studies into the popular, mild-flavored A-class shochu.

The distiller pursued the development of awamori of a lighter texture, while maintaining its rich aroma. The end result was the Zampa brand, which came on to the market about 30 years ago. The brand did not do well at first, but gradually the transparent nature of the brand met the needs of the times, and it has been one of the most popular brands of awamori ever since. Mr. Higa says that the awamori of the future must have new characteristics, rather than be just a beverage with strong local features. He looks at the entire Japanese market when developing new brands and says he has produced awamori that matches the taste of women and those new to awamori in terms of flavor and aroma.

The transparent and refreshing liquor reminds you of the deep blue sea you can see from Cape Zampa. It's a brand with many fans, centered around the younger generation.