The birthplace of “Mugi Shochu”(Barley Shochu). Iki Shochu of Iki Island.

Ikinokura Distillery Co., Ltd

Ikinokura Distillery Co., Ltd.
  • Ikinokura Distillery Co., Ltd
  • Ikinokura Distillery Co., Ltd
  • Ikinokura Distillery Co., Ltd
  • Ikinokura Distillery Co., Ltd
  • Ikinokura Distillery Co., Ltd
  • Ikinokura Distillery Co., Ltd

Iki Island and Iki Shochu

Iki Island, “a dream island”, with many gods, rich history and great nature.

japan map

Iki island is a small island stretching 17km from north to south and 14km from east to west in the Genkainada sea, north of Kyushu. Iki Island is illustrated as “IKIKOKU” in the writings of “Gishiwajinden”, a 3rd century historic document. Since ancient times, Iki Island has served as a marine transportation hub connecting the Eurasian continent with Japan. It is believed that this is the birthplace of Shinto religion and has more than 1,000 small and large Shinto shrines.


Iki Island, surrounded by the clear waters from the Japan Sea, is gently covered with grasses and trees. Not only can visitors enjoy Iki Beef, which is raised amidst the untouched natural beauties of the island, the clear unpolluted waters from the ocean yields rich bounties of fresh seafood, such as wild sea urchin and squid, which is itself another attraction of Iki Island. As a result, many people also refer this island as “The Dream Island”.

island photo

The birthplace of “Mugi Shochu”(Barley Shochu), combined with 500 years of pride.

Rice farming has historically been one of the major industries of Iki Island, which boasts the second largest area of rice paddies in Nagasaki Prefecture. Thanks to the rich rice production and abundant mineral water, refined sake culture had flourished and many farmers had been making unrefined sake.


In the 16th century (from the Muromachi Period to the Azuchi-Momoyama Period), the islanders started using barley to produce Shochu with the distillation methods introduced from continental Asia. In the 17th century (during the Edo Period), farmers were heavily taxed on their land and were required to pay a large amount of their rice yield to the local authorities (Hirado-Han), they eventually started to cultivate barley as their main crop. Iki Shochu was originally developed with the combination of home-distilled barley Shochu and rice malt. Iki Island people are proud of retaining the traditional usage of rice malt, which is the signature of the unique Japanese Sake making method.

Iki Shochu joins the collection of high quality reputable liquors of the world

iki map

Combining rice malt’s sweetness with rich barley flavor originating from its 500 year old traditional production method, Iki Shochu gained high recognition from the WTO (TRIPS agreement) in 1995, and was designated as one of the few liquor products awarded with an authentic origin certification. Only Shochu made in Iki Island can be referred as Iki Shochu. Even if a Shochu is made from the same ingredients and with the same methods as Iki Shochu, it can not be referred as Iki Shochu if not made in Iki Island.


Currently only very few liquor in the world carry the authentic origin certification. Iki Shochu is one of them, granting it a world class status same as that of Scotch and Bourbon Whiskey, Cognac Brandy, or Bordeaux and Champagne Wine.

Ikinokura Distillery, faithful to tradition and continuously advance the Shochu making methodology

55 Shochu distilleries had opened on Iki Island since 1899, when the liquor tax law was enacted. Due to continuous consolidations, only 7 distilleries are left to make Shochu at present. Iki distillery Co., Ltd. is one of the 7 distilleries in Iki Island, located on a small hill in the center of the island. In 1984, 6 distilleries merged and established Iki Shochu Cooperative Association. In 2010, it changed its name to Ikinokura Distillery Co., Ltd. to achieve the company’s further advancement and the growth of Shochu.


The Ikinokura Distillery has always been faithful to the traditional Shochu making methods handed down for centuries since the 16th century, and will continue to further develop and refine our skills, such as decompression distillation or flower yeast. Iki Shochu will continue to strive for further development and betterment of the Shochu products.

ikinokura photo

Making Process

Introduction to Iki Shochu Making Process

Rice Preparation

1. Rice Preparation

Rice, one of the main ingredients, is pre-processed as follows before the malting process
1) Washing
2) Soaking
3) Draining
4) Steaming

Malting Process

2. Malting Process

The steamed rice is first cooled, and then a specific type of yeast called Koji-kin (White Koji-kin or Black Koji-kin) is spread over it. This malting process takes about 40 hours.

1st Preparation

3. 1st Preparation

Add water and Shochu yeast to Koji (malt).This fermentation process takes about 1 week. This process’s main purpose is to cultivate the yeast.

Barley Preparation

4. Barley Preparation

Barley, another main ingredient, is processed as follows before cooling and 2nd preparation.
1) Washing
2) Soaking
3) Draining
4) Steaming

2nd Preparation

5. 2nd Preparation

Add water and barley to Moromi (Main fermenting mash), which was produced during the 1st preparation process. This fermentation process takes about 2 weeks.

Distillation

6. Distillation

Put the Moromi after the 2nd preparation process into distillation device, and heated for distillation. Authentic (Honkaku) Shochu is distilled only once (single distillation). There are two types of distillation methods - atmospheric distillation and decompression distillation.

Aging/Storage

7. Aging/Storage

Store the original Shochu in tank, jar or barrel for aging after the distillation process. Some Shochu is kept aging for more than 5 years. Different containers create different flavors of Shochu.

Bottling

8. Bottling

Bottling aged Shochu and attaching the label on the bottle for completion. Enjoy our Iki Shochu, which we are proud of.

Our Shochu

IKINOSHIMA

Our Signature Shochu
IKINOSHIMA

This Shochu is made to be consumed with various types of cuisines as ultimate alcohol drink during a meal time. This is our signature Shochu. You can enjoy the Iki Shochu, feeling the perfect harmony with rice sweetness and barley fragrance. Its refreshing and well balanced taste goes very well with every meal.

MUICHIMON

Our Signature Shochu
MUICHIBUTSU

“Muichibutsu” is a Zen word for the mind status of renouncing all worldly passions. Made from carefully selected ingredients, we keep it in old sherry barrels sherry for more than 5 years. Once opened, its mellow vanilla fragrance of the barrel comes out. Enjoy the mellow fragrance, and the generous and deep taste.

We make maximum use of the pure ingredients’ characters with our traditional but advanced skills. Here are our Shochus, which we are proud of.

  • IKINOSHIMA 25%

    IKINOSHIMA 25%

    Smooth, Clear taste The IKINOSHIMA is a perfectly balanced blend product, between the traditional Shochu made through atmospheric distillation, and the modern Shochu made by the new methods of decompression distillation. With the soft texture and the mild barley flavors on the palate, this Shochu is made to be consumed with various types of cuisines.

    Decompression Distillation

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    • IKINOSHIMA 25% 1800ml
    • IKINOSHIMA 25% 900ml
    • IKINOSHIMA 25% 720ml
  • IKINOSHIMA DENSYOU

    IKINOSHIMA DENSYOU

    Smoky, Traditional taste Traditional style Iki Shochu, distilled by traditional techniques from the Edo-era to enjoy the original flavor of barley. Produced in Iki island with professional skills for you to enjoy the sweetness of Koji rice and the beautiful aroma of Barley.

    Atmospheric Distillation

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    • IKINOSHIMA 25% 1800ml
    • IKINOSHIMA 25% 900ml

  • IKINOSHIMA 20%

    IKINOSHIMA 20%

    Low alcohol version of Ikinoshima with harmony of the sweetness of Koji rice and the beautiful aroma of Barley. It’s the local people’s favorite.

    Decompression Distillation

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    • IKINOSHIMA 20% 1800ml
    • IKINOSHIMA 20% 900ml

  • IKIKKO

    IKIKKO

    Low alcohol version of IKINOSHIMA with harmony of the sweetness of Koji rice and the beautiful aroma of Barley. It’s the local people’s favorite.

    Decompression Distillation

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    • IKIKKO 25% 720ml
    • IKIKKO 25% 900ml
    • IKIKKO 25% 1800ml
    • IKIKKO Carton 25% 900ml
    • IKIKKO Carton 25% 1800ml
    • IKIKKO 35% 1800ml
  • IKIKKO Deluxe

    IKIKKO Deluxe

    Original Shochu is matured for long time in old sherry barrel, which is imported from Spain, and it becomes ruby colored Shochu. Smooth texture and rich taste.

    Decompression Distillation Barrel Aging

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    • IKIKKO DELUXE 25% 720ml
    • IKIKKO DELUXE 38% 720ml
  • 2000NEN-NO-YUME

    2000NEN-NO-YUME

    Original Shochu made by the method of decompression distillation is stored and matured for long time in old sherry barrel imported from Spain. You can enjoy thick and smooth sweetness and rich aroma.

    Decompression Distillation Barrel Aging

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    • 2000NEN-NO-YUME 42% 720ml
  • TAISO GENSHU(in a wooden box)

    TAISO GENSHU
    (in a wooden box)

    Original of the original Barley Shochus, made by the method of atmospheric distillation. The proud of THE original Barley Shochu. Masterpiece of harmonized barley fragrance and original Shochu’s richness.

    Atmospheric Distillation

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    • TAISO GENSHU 40% 720ml
  • NADESHIKO

    NADESHIKO

    Sweet flavor of flower yeast The NADESHIKO is the first Barley Shochu in Japan, to be made using a strand of yeast extracted from dianthus flower. Controlled fermentation through low temperature is the key to creating this Shochu with refined and light flavors. It is light with a slight sweetness on the palate and easy to drink.

    Decompression Distillation Flower Leaven

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    • NADESHIKO 25% 720ml
    • NADESHIKO 25% 1200ml
  • TAMAHIME

    TAMAHIME

    Named after Iki's legendary good wife. Tamahime is the first barley Shochu, using flower’s yeast extracted from catharanthus roseus. Elegant and smooth taste.

    Decompression Distillation Flower Leaven

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    • TAMAHIME 25% 720ml
    • TAMAHIME 25% 1800ml
  • YUZU LIQUEUR

    YUZU LIQUEUR

    Sweet, Rich YUZU flavor
    One of our best selling Shochus since our foundation. Decompression distillated Shochu is infused with the refreshing flavor of natural Yuzu. Full of vitamin c to keep you healthy and beautiful. Keep refrigerated and drink chilled. (No additional chemicals or flavors added)

    Liqueur

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    • YUZU LIQUEUR 7% 500ml
  • SHISO LIQUEUR

    SHISO LIQUEUR

    Decompression distillated Shochu is infused with plenty of Shiso from selected local farmers. Delicate aroma and slight sweetness are the main features. No additional chemicals or flavors added.

    Liqueur

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    • SHISO LIQUEUR 7% 500ml
  • REISHI LIQUEUR

    REISHI LIQUEUR

    This is researched and developed by the assignment of “Home Industry Promotion Project of Nagasaki Prefecture”. Reish is soaked in the decompression distilled Shochu for long time. Delicious liqueur.

    Liqueur

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    • REISHI LIQUEUR 20% 720ml
  • YURIWAKA

    YURIWAKA

    Made from local Iki rice and barley, this has unique taste and umami of black barley malt (black Koji). Named after Iki's folktales that Iki island used to be called “Oniga Shima (Demon's island)”.

    Limited Decompression Distillation

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    • YURIWAKA 25% 720ml
  • SHIMAKURA

    SHIMAKURA

    Made from local Iki rice and barley. Carefully matured in jar after low temperature fermentation with black rice malt and atmospheric distillation processes. Smooth and rich taste.

    Limited store

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    • SHIMAKURA 30% 720ml
    • SHIMAKURA 30% 1800ml
  • MUICHIBUTSU

    MUICHIBUTSU

    Made from carefully selected ingredients, kept in aged sherry barrels for more than 5 years. Amber colored Shochu with mellow fragrance, and mild yet deep taste.

    Limited Decompression Distillation Barrel Aging

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    • MUICHIBUTSU 25% 720ml
  • MUICHIBUTSU Original

    MUICHIBUTSU ORIGINAL

    You can enjoy more the mellow fragrance and mild taste of Muichibutsu with this Muichibutsu Original. Deep and well-rounded taste like whisky.

    Limited Decompression Distillation Barrel Aging

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    • MUICHIBUTSU ORIGINAL 42% 720ml
  • Iki Tsukumo

    IKI TSUKUMO

    We researched and developed this together with a liqueur shop, where staffs are passionate about alcoholic drinks. Two original Shochus, which are carefully selected, are blended with our expertise. Its sharpness stands out.

    Limited Blended

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    • Iki Tsukumo 25% 720ml
    • Iki Tsukumo 25% 1800ml
  • MURAMASA

    MURAMASA

    Muramasa is made through decompression distillation and bamboo charcoal filtration. It carries a sharp yet rich taste. This Shochu is named after the famous sharp samurai sword.

    Limited Decompression Distillation

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    • MURAMASA 25% 720ml
    • MURAMASA 25% 1800ml
  • DOUTANUKI

    DOUTANUKI

    An elegant Shochu made from high quality natural water through low temperature fermentation and bamboo charcoal filtration. This Shochu is given the name “Doutanuki”, which is a sword artisan group of the Edo period, due to its sharpness of taste.

    Limited Decompression Distillation

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    • DOUTANUKI 25% 720ml
  • YUZU KOMACHI

    YUZU KOMACHI

    Plenty of natural yuzu juice and finest fruit sugar are mixed into decompression distillated Shochu. Ladies especially enjoy its yuzu fragrance and refreshing taste.

    Joint Development Liqueur

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    • YUZU KOMACHI 7% 500ml
  • YUZU KOMACHI TORICO

    YUZU KOMACHI TORICO

    Soda is added to Yuzu Komachi. Feel the fresh aroma, modest stimulus to throat, and original ingredients. No additives is used.

    Joint Development Liqueur

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    • YUZUKOMACHI TORICO 7% 500ml
  • YUZU KOMACHI

    YUZU KOMACHI NIGORI

    Plenty of natural citrus fruit (Shikuwasa:C itrus depressa) juice and finest natural sugar are added to Yuzu Komachi. Good for health, with a refreshing taste.

    Joint Development Liqueur

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    • YUZU KOMACHI NIGORI 7% 500ml
  • JYUSUI DENSETSU

    JYUSUI DENSETSU

    Original Shochu is matured for 5 years in oak barrel imported from Spain. Premium Shochu through low temperature fermentation is blended. Bamboo charcoal filtration makes its taste and fragrance better.

    Joint Development Barrel Aging

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    • JYUSUI DENSETSU 25% 720ml
  • YUME SHINO

    YUME SHINO

    Our low temperature fermentation method makes the taste and aroma pure yet elegant. Genuinely tasty liquid is extracted through distillation process, combined with a light texture created through the bamboo charcoal filtration.

    Joint Development Decompression Distillation

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    • YUME SHINO 25% 720ml

How to enjoy Iki Shochu

On the Rocks

On the Rocks

To enjoy the straight forward taste and flavor of Shochu, on the rocks is the best style. Strong aromas and flavor profiles will flow out from the glass when the Shochu is poured over ice. The tastes will slowly changes as the ice melts. Enjoy a more subtle and gradual change when using a larger piece of ice. With a nice glass of Shochu, relax and allow the flavors to wash over your palate like a gentle stream.

With Water

Enjoy Shochu simply by adding water and ice. With water, Shochu tastes milder and lighter while retaining its solid flavor. This is the best style when you want to drink slowly at your own pace, as you can adjust the strength of alcohol with the amount of water being added. This drinking method is recommended for first time Shochu drinkers to enjoy the fine spirit.

With Water
With Hot Water

With Hot Water

This is the most common way Shochu is enjoyed in Japan. However, just pouring boiling hot water into the Shochu will not do the trick. Mixing with overheated water spoils the delicate flavors of the Shochu. It is better not to boil the water in order to enjoy the mild sweetness of the Shochu, as well as the gradual soft sensation of the alcohol. The order of pouring is also essential. Hot water must come first, and then the Shochu is poured. These simple tips will make a huge difference in the flavor profile of the Shochu.

Cocktail

ORCHARD KISS

ORCHARD KISS

Like a bite of early summer fruit, the IKINOSHIMA™ Shochu’s delightful flower blossom aromas and soft finish add refreshing flavors to the natural sweetness of fruit juices and liqueurs. In the Orchard Kiss, the trees pay respect to the flowers who gave their fruit life.

RECIPE

  1. 1 oz (30 mL) IKINOSHIMA™ Shochu
  2. 1/3 oz (10 mL) Grapefruit juice
  3. 1/3 oz (10 mL) Cranberry juice
  4. Dash (2 mL) Cointreau™ White Curacaor
  5. Dash (2 mL) Grand Marnier™ Orange Liquor
  6. Dash (2 mL) Heering Cherry Liquor™
  7. Dash (2 mL) Grenadine
  8. 1 highball glass

In a tall mixing glass, stir the Couintreau™, Grand Marnier™, Heering Cherry Liqueur™ and Grenadine together to make a thick syrup. Add the IKINOSHIMA™ Shochu, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice and ice to the same mixing glass. Mix until uniform, then strain into the highball glass over ice.

TEA CEREMONY

TEA CEREMONY

The tea ceremony is an ancient and time-honored tradition for greeting guests. This version greets guests with a kick of IKINOSHIMA™ Shochu but softened with the slightly bitter green tea liqueur and neutral milk.

RECIPE

  1. 1 oz (30 mL) IKINOSHIMA™ Shochu
  2. 1/2 oz (15 mL) Green tea liqueur
  3. 1/3 oz (10 mL) milk
  4. A dusting of green tea powder (Macha)
  5. 1 martini glass

Pour the IKINOSHIMA™ Shochu green tea liqueur and milk into a martini glass; then strain into a chilled martini glass. Dust with green tea powder on top.

NINGER SKASHU

NINGER SKASHU

After a long day at the office, a Ninja needs something to get his mind off of work. The ninja refresher, with a punch of sour limes, a stab of shiso leaves, a karate chop from the spritzy ginger ale and a flying kick from the heat of the IKINOSHIMA™ Shochu, the Ninja refresher can calm even the most overworked Ninja.

RECIPE

  1. 1 1/2 oz (40 mL) IKINOSHIMA™ Shochu
  2. 1/2 (30 mL) Fresh squeezed limes
  3. Ginger Ale
  4. 1 or 2 Shiso leaves
  5. 1 Collins Glass

Put shiso leaves in bottom of glass. Add Lime and IKINOSHIMA™ Shochu. Muddle the mixture until leaves are fully crushed. Add ice and top with ginger ale.

JAPANESE PIÑATA

JAPANESE PIÑATA

The blend of the spicy, earthy IKINOSHIMA DENSYOU™ Shochu and vegetative, pungent Tequilla bursts, like a Piñata, with flowery aromas and a super smooth finish. The vegetable based sugar, adds sweetness without betraying the mix of IKINOSHIMA DENSYOU™ Shochu and Tequilla.

RECIPE

  1. 1 oz (30 mL) IKINOSHIMA DENSYOU™ Shochu
  2. 1 oz (30 mL) Premium silver tequila
  3. Beet sugar
  4. 1 Lemon wheel
  5. 1 Chilled Martini Glass

Pour one ounce of silver tequila and one ounce of IKINOSHIMA DENSYOU™ Shochu over ice into a martini shaker. Meanwhile, apply beet sugar to a chilled martini glass. Shake the liquor mixture until chilled then pour into the martini glass, and garnish with lemon wheel.

VIKING SAMURAI

VIKING SAMURAI

The warrior spirit screams from the Viking Samurai. The IKINOSHIMA DENSYOU™ Shochu adds richness and heat to a blend of fortified and unaltered white wine while the Orange Liqueur add a touch of citrus to the hearty mix of wines and IKINOSHIMA DENSYOU™ Shochu.

RECIPE

  1. 1 oz (30 mL) IKINOSHIMA DENSYOU™ Shochu
  2. 1/3 oz (10 mL) Noilly Prat™ Dry Vermouth
  3. 1/3 oz (10 mL) Unoaked white wine
  4. 2 Dashes (5 mL) Tio Pepe™
  5. Dash (2 mL) Cointreau™ White Curacaor
  6. 1 Rocks glass

Pour the IKINOSHIMA DENSYOU™ Shochu, and the other liquid ingredients in a rocks glass over ice. Stir until the blend is thoroughly mixed. Garnish with twist of grapefruit.

BEE’S NECTAR

BEE’S NECTAR

Stolen from the queen bee, this cocktail is Japan’s answer to a White Russian. The IKINOSHIMA DENSYOU™ Shochu’s earthy and rich flavors are matched with the delicate taste of soy milk. Sweetened with honey, this drink is the perfect desert cocktail after a feast of Japanese delicacies.

RECIPE

  1. 1 oz (30 mL) IKINOSHIMA DENSYOU™ Shochu
  2. 1 oz (30mL) Soy milk
  3. 1 tsp (10 mL) Honey
  4. 1 chilled martini glass

Pour the IKINOSHIMA DENSYOU™ Shochu along with the soy milk and honey. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass.

TOKYO-TINI

TOKYO-TINI

A Japanese speakeasy drink of choice, the Tokyo-tini shows off the delicate NADESHIKO™ Shochu’s floral notes and soft finish with a little help from the orange bitters and dry vermouth.

RECIPE

  1. 2 oz (60 mL) NADESHIKO™ Shochu
  2. 2 dash Orange bitter
  3. 2 dash (5 mL) dry vermouth
  4. 1 Martini glass

In an ice filled martini shaker, pour the NADESHIKO™ Shochu along with the other ingredients. Stir until mixed and chilled. Strain and pour into a chilled martini glass.

RISING PASSIONS

RISING PASSIONS

From the land of the rising sun, the Rising Passions cocktail highlights the floral qualities of the NADESHIKO™ Shochu with delicate passion liqueur and sour lemons. A tropical drink, from the island people of Iki, this drink is for poolside evenings.

RECIPE

  1. 1 1/4 oz (40 mL) NADESHIKO™ Shochu
  2. 1/2 oz (15 mL) Passion Liqueur
  3. 1/4 oz (5 mL) Fresh squeezed lemon
  4. 1 Highball or Tropical cocktail glass

Add the NADESHIKO™ Shochu, passion liqueur and lemon juice to an ice filled mixing glass. Mix and pour mix into tropical cocktail glass. Garnish lavishly.

SALTY INU

SALTY INU

Inu (ee-new) is Japanese for dog, and of course this drink is a Japanese take on the seafaring drink served at harbors worldwide – the Salty Dog. The NADESHIKO™ Shochu is quite a bit softer than the traditional vodka drink and the yuzu freshens the flavors of the grapefruit.

RECIPE

  1. 1 oz (35 mL) NADESHIKO™ Shochu
  2. 1 oz (35 mL) Grapefruit juice
  3. 2 Dashes (3 mL) Yuzu juice
  4. Salt
  5. 1 Collins glass

In a ice filled mixing glass, mix together the NADESHIKO™ Shochu, grapefruit juice and yuzu juice. Pour the whole mix (including the ice) into a Collins glass. Add a pinch of salt directly to the drink or salt the rim of the glass.

Access/Transportation

Welcome to Iki Island! A treasure island with beautiful nature and delicious foods

Iki Island is a beautiful island located off of the northern coast of Kyushu, Japan.
Ferries and jetfoils run between the island and Hakata port, flights are available from Nagasaki Airport to Iki Island as well.

access map
By ferry

150 mins from Hakata Port

10 mins by taxi to Ikinokura Distillery

Kyushu Yusen website (Japanese) By jetfoil

60 mins from Hakata Port

10 mins by taxi to Ikinokura Distillery

Kyushu Yusen website (Japanese) By air

50 mins from Nagasaki Airport

10 mins by taxi to Ikinokura Distillery

Nagasaki Airport website

〒811-5753 Fure 520, Yutakehonmura, Ashibecho, Iki-shi, Nagasaki
TEL:+81-920-45-2111

Company Profile

Company Name
Ikinokura Distillery Co.,Ltd.
Address
〒811-5753 
TEL
+81-920-45-2111
Founded
May 1984
Capital
JPY 55.2 million
Business
Single distilled Shochu, Sake, Liqueur and related products
production and marketing (retail and wholesale)
Main Brands
Ikinoshima, Ikikko, Ikikkko Delux, Yuzu Liqueur
Representative
CEO Kazuyuki Harada
Director
Hikaru Shinozaki, Fukutaro Ishibashi, Taiki Yoshida