Miyazato Distillery

Common name: 
Miyazato Distillery
645 Oroku, Naha City
Miyazato Distillery
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The distillery's Harusame brand expresses hope and blessings. Produced in an urban area of Naha, it passes on the flavor of the past to contemporary society.

The Miyazato Distillery, located in Koroku, a new residential neighborhood of Naha, is not so easy to find. But, upon arrival, the old wooden structure makes you forget that it is located in an urban area; it almost looks as if time has stopped there.
42-year-old Toru Miyazato is the third owner of the distillery. He says that he has learned the trade through practice and by watching what others do, relying heavily on perception and palate. He says that he collected a lot of data during the first three years and made graphs on the condition of the rice when it was washed, and how the weather, temperature, and amount of water influenced the process of awamori-making. Mr. Miyazato believes that the timing for placing the koji mold into the rice sets the tone of the resulting awamori. He carefully looks after the kusu from day to day.

The distillery mainly produces kusu and constantly ships products that are 10, 15 and 20 years old. About 20 percent of the kusu is shipped outside of Okinawa, reflecting an increased interest from fans outside the prefecture.
The distillery was the first in Okinawa to employ stainless tanks to store kusu. It now wants to preserve more kusu, but suffers from lack of space. Mr. Miyazato makes his own distillation machinery, and is also in charge of the inspection and repair of equipment.

The distillery is now run by three relatively young people. The master distiller, Shinya Tedokon, is only 26 years old. But the spirit of awamori-making, passed down from the distillery founder, Kisei Miyazato, lives on. The soothing texture and taste has won the hearts of local people and awamori experts outside Okinawa alike.