Sakimoto Distillery Corporation

Common name: 
Sakimoto Distillery
362-1 Yonaguni, Yonagumi Tow, Yaeyama-gun
Sakimoto Distillery Corporation
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The aroma typical of awamori is a feature of the liquor produced in subtropical Yonaguni.

The distillery was founded in 1927 by 17 farmers on Yonaguni Island. It was taken over in 1972 by the present owner, Hajime Sakimoto, and is the oldest distillery on the island. Its brand, Yonaguni, named after the island, is a liquor that is now indispensable to the lives of the islanders.

Hajime Sakimoto is now elderly, but she continues to make awamori herself. When letting the koji sit, she doesn't sleep around the clock in order to adjust the room temperature, and she crumbles the steamed rice into flakes very carefully by hand.

Sakimoto Distillery's distilled liquor is made with special attention and care. It also produces 'hanazaki', which is an essential part of ceremonial functions on the island. Hanazaki is a spirit with an alcohol content of 60 degrees, made from the first drops of distillate. It has a sweet, rich flavor. Ms. Sakimoto suggests drinking the liquor after keeping it in a freezer for a while. Because of the high alcohol content, the liquor does not freeze, but instead thickens when cooled to low temperatures. The liquor, with unbelievable sweetness and rich taste, goes well with salty snacks.

The owner says that the sweetness can be thoroughly tasted when sipped carefully, because of the fine quality of the liquor. True to her words, an increasing number of women have become fans. Especially popular as a present is Hanaorizake-hanazaki wrapped in Okinawan 'hanaori' fabric. Hanazaki is heavy, yet gentle and very tasty, and it maintains all the attractive features of awamori. Much to the delight of its fans, the distiller will be coming out with a Hanazaki kusu in the near future.