Takazato distillery features plenty of local flavor

The awamori’s awamori, but in northern Okinawa’s Ogimi Village, the products from Takazato distillery are also focused on special bottles and labels that promote their region.

Ayako Ikehara explains the process of making awamori. She can arrange backyard tours in the distillery on weekdays upon request, which she can conduct in English.

Takazato Shuzo is located in the Takazato district of Ogimi village, just across the border between Ogimi and Kunigami Village. Yanbarukuina, the bird which is designated a natural monument, inhabits the Ogimi area and Takazato distillery’s most popular bottle is “Yanbarukuina”. A couple other home village oriented bottles, “Maruta” and “Basho-fu no Sato” are popular too.

The key for Takazato awamori’s taste is local water from nearby hills, smooth and sweet.

Takazato Shuzo is the northernmost Awamori distiller in Okinawa, and very popular throughout the villages and towns in the area.  Fans come to purchase Awamori to the distiller, even though some supermarkets sell Takazato Awamori. Ayako Ikehara, the press officer for Takazato Shuzo, says “Takazato Shuzo is running our own business with everyone’s support. Since we founded the Takazato Shuzo, everybody has helped and cooperated to make our own Awamori here, and it is still the situation”.

Ikehara notes that Takzato Shuzo was Takazato rice milling plant before, and was the place where people used to gather to chat and socialize long ago. During one of these gathering someone came up with and idea to create their own Awamori in their own village, and the rice milling plant became the Takazato Shuzo. Actually, Ikehara is the grandchild of the founder of Takazato Shuzo, and she is also from Takazato district and loves the place.

Takazato distillery is not the largest, but it truly is a part of the Ogimi community.

The specialty of Takazato Shuzo is “water”.  They use water for Awamori from near mountains and it is very smooth and sweet, but then Takazato Awamori also has a good smell and tastes smooth and sweet. Takazato Shuzo accepts backyard tours every day except weekends, but needs reservations. Ikehara can speak English, and the distillery has its own Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/takazatosyuzou1950.  The google map is http://goo.gl/maps/f0XJz  For tour reservations, call 0980-44-3297 or Email: takazato-maruta@kugani.jp