Miyanohana Distillery Co., Ltd.

Common name: 
Miyanohana Distillery
Founded: 
1948
Address: 
158-1 Aza Nakachi, Irabu Town, Miyako-gun
Tel: 
09807-8-3008
Fax: 
09807-8-3559
Miyanohana Distillery Co., Ltd.
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The awamori, produced by a female master distiller, has a deep and subtle taste.

Most of the staff at this distillery are women. The Miyanohana Distillery is on Irabu Island, a 20-minute ferry ride from the main Miyako Island. It is located near the bridge that connects the islands of Irabu and Shimoji, where a pilot training site is located, and is surrounded by vast sugar cane fields. It was a pig farm until the Okinawa reversion in 1972.
The distillery was named 'Miyanohana' ('Flower of Miya') in the hope that it would become a flower in the Miyako Islands that would never wither. It was founded by Seiko Shimoji in August 1948, and is now run by his third son, Seiryo. The Kiku no Tsuyu Distillery on Miyako Island is now run by his brother. The members of the family are widely acknowledged to be master awamori-makers.
The present owner says that making liquor is often likened to the raising of young children, which is why his distillery employs women to carry out the 'child rearing'. The distillery makes extra efforts to keep its factory clean. Everything has a waterproof coating, and quality is managed with strict standards. The master distiller is Yoko Shimoji, the owner's wife. The distillery produces an elegant awamori that is fruity and richly sweet, typical of grain liquor.

The distillery was the first to produce liquor matured in barrels. It produces white bottles of 'oak awamori' with an alcohol content of 25-30%, bottles with labels featuring nearby scenic spots such as Sunayama beach and Higashi-hennazaki, and a brand named after Yaebishi with an alcohol content of 35%. Popular brands include Toyomiya, with an alcohol content of 30%, which is sold only on the island, and a 10-year-old awamori with an alcohol content of 35%, sold in black bottles.

The Miyako Islands are very particular about awamori. In fact, the islands are called 'the Islands of Drinkers'. The islanders drink kusu in black bottles in their favorite bars and pubs. The liquor made on the island uses hard water from dams under elevated coral reefs, and it is said to be perfect for producing awamori. The Miyanohana brand has a poised and subtly sweet taste.