Taragawa Distillery Co., Ltd.

Common name: 
Taragawa Distillery
85 Sunagawa, Gusukube Town, Miyako-gun
Taragawa Distillery Co., Ltd.
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Awamori made with natural underground water full of minerals in Gusukube has a soft but powerful flavor.

The town of Gusukube on Miyako Island is blessed with a rich underground water source. The liquor is named after the underground Taragawa River. Being an island formed from elevated coral reefs, Miyako Island is mostly made up of limestone and red clay. It has many limestone caves and shares a similar geology and environment with the southern part of the main island of Okinawa. This is one of the reasons why the Taragawa Distillery has started a new attempt to produce liquor that is born on Miyako Island and raised in Tamagusuku Village. 88 proof unprocessed liquor made on Miyako Island is combined with the renowned water of Kakihana Hi-jah in Tamagusuku Village in the southern part of the main island of Okinawa. It is shipped out to markets on the main island as well as to mainland Japan. The Taragawa Distillery is also known for its use of a limestone cave in a sugarcane field on Miyako Island as its kusu cellar.
The company offers to keep the 'limestone cave liquor' for special occasions such as wedding anniversaries and birthdays. It takes responsibility for keeping 'San-sho' bottles (approximately 1.5 gallons) for between 5 and 12 years, enabling the customers to feel at ease and wait for their liquor to mature. Limestone caves, with a stable year-round temperature, are said to be ideal for storing kusu.
The present president of the Taragawa Distillery is the second generation, Keiichi Sunagawa. He says that sugarcane and barley koji were used to make liquor when the company started. It was hard to obtain Thai rice, which is the main ingredient of awamori, so they had a very hard time then.
The master distiller is 72-year-old Seikichi Ikemura, who works hard to take full advantage of the characteristics of Miyakojima's hard water to create a refined taste.