Ikema Distillery, Inc.

Common name: 
Ikema Distillery
Founded: 
1946
Address: 
57 Aza Nishihara, Hirara City
Tel: 
09807-2-2425
Fax: 
09807-2-4383
Ikema Distillery, Inc.
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A stylish distillery where the simple and refreshing taste of awamori is carefully produced.

Niko Niko Taro ('Smiling Taro'), the uniquely named awamori brand of the Ikema Distillery is very popular at taverns on Miyakojima ('Miyako Island'). According to President Taro Ikema, efforts have been made to produce a sweet and smooth liquor that is free of the distinctive awamori odor.
Needless to say, awamori has been an indispensable part of the lives of the Miyako Islanders since olden times. However, it was originally not the type of liquor found today on restaurant menus, but a liquor that people drank at home. Mr. Ikema says that Niko Niko Taro helped to trigger the opportunity for awamori to be introduced at restaurants and taverns, and to reach people who were not previously acquainted with the liquor. The company works to produce 'an easily acquainted liquor for the general public and kusu for the awamori experts'. But it is the careful attention paid to detail, regarding both the ingredients and the production methods, that has achieved 'a smooth awamori free of odor'.
President Ikema, who took over from his father, Kinjiro, in 1986, has enthusiastically been taking part in international fairs, such as the Mondo Selection and International Wine & Spirits Competition, since 1985. The company has won a number of awards at home and abroad. At present, five employees work at the Ikema distillery to produce 100,000 liters of awamori per year, most of which is sold in Okinawa. As President Ikema says, liquor is part of our eating habits, and awamori is best enjoyed when drunk at its place of origin together with local food. On the other hand, the president also makes continuous efforts for his products to be sampled by visitors at souvenir shops on the main island of Okinawa. His enthusiasm is sure to increase the number of true awamori fans in various parts of Japan, far away from its place of origin.