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Japan’s whisky region: Experience Chichibu’s food and malt

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By Cassandra Lord

Walking around the mountainous region of Chichibu, you would have no idea that you were just a 90-minute train ride away from the crowded streets of Tokyo. Not only is Chichibu great for mountain treks and outdoor adventures, but that abundant nature also lends itself well to the local cuisine and variety of alcoholic drinks.

While other regions of Japan might be known for certain types of alcohol, like wine in Yamanashi, Chichibu is known for its wide variety. From local wines to quality whisky, there are lots of options.

Here we’ll look at some of the gourmet highlights in Chichibu.

Make your own noodles

Try your hand at making udon from scratch. Photo: Cassandra Lord

Before you get carried away with the delicious drinks the region is known for, don’t forget to eat your fill of udon noodles. What better way to do that than to experience making your own?

Udon noodles (along with soba) are a Chichibu specialty. Udon noodles are thick noodles made with flour and are most commonly served in soup. Saitama, the prefecture Chichibu is in, is known as one of the top udon producers in Japan, thanks to excellent natural resources for growing wheat.

At Nagatoro Furusawa-en, the udon master shows you how to make your very own in the multi-step process that involves you actually stepping on the dough at the start! One of the great things about this experience is that the more people you have making udon at the same time, the more variation you can see in the noodles when you eat them at the end.

Nagatoro Furusawa-en - Map

Sake at Buko Brewery

Many say that the key to good sake starts with the best water. Photo: Cassandra Lord

Once you’ve had a taste of Japan’s traditional food, it’s time to have a taste of a traditional drink: nihonshu (Japanese rice wine), commonly also referred to as sake. Especially in Chichibu, with its annual Chichibu Night Festival.

Click here to read more.

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I like Japanese whiskey, but it is just way too overpriced when you can get better tasting scotch for a lot cheaper.

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