Ikehara Distillery

Common name: 
Ikehara Distillery
Founded: 
1951
Address: 
175 Okawa, Ishigaki City
Tel: 
09808-2-2230
Fax: 
09808-2-2230
Ikehara Distillery
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The distinct aroma and refreshing flavor have won many fans, and this is also a popular brand outside Okinawa.

Since the distillery began business in the central area of Ishigaki Island in 1951, the Ikehara family has been engaged in producing the Shirayuri and Akauma brands.The present owner, Nobuko Ikehara, began awamori-making with her father, Kokichi, the founder. But he died suddenly only three years after the business was launched, and Nobuko took over the family business. She has done a fine job with a lot of hard work. At that time, awamori was sold by measure, but she collected empty beer bottles, washed and labeled them, and began selling awamori in bottles.

The main brand, Shirayuri, takes us to Ishigaki island in the early spring, where the shirayuri wild white lilies create a white carpet. The awamori has a refreshing yet deep taste, and a soft texture. The distillery washes the rice and distills it by hand, uses an earthen kiln for distillation. The kusu is matured in earthenware pots. The taste and even the label have remained unchanged since the product was first placed on the market, and the liquor has become part of the lives of the local people. Most of the customers are neighbors who order direct from the distillery. On average, one family is said to consume 18 liters of awamori every month.The distillery, managed by three family members, has not ventured into mass production. The owner laughs as she explains that they have not advertised their products much, either. But they are known for their repeat orders from tourists. The number of fans of this distillery who live outside the island has definitely increased. The smile on the face of the president who has watched the sales and management of the distillery since its foundation shows a certain confidence, as well as a great affection for the awamori produced by her husband and son.