Yoshinaga Distillery

Koshiki Island, Kagoshima Prefecture

Perched on the southern end of the Koshiki Island chain, Yoshinaga Distillery was founded by Goro Yoshinaga in 1902 and today is operated by the current master brewer-distiller, Keisuke Kawabata. One of just two distilleries on the islands, all of Yoshinaga’s shochu is made with their famed spring water, known as ‘firefly water’ because it’s so pure that fireflies thrive in the areas where it bubbles to the surface.

Available from this distillery

Toji Profile: Keisuke Kawabata

Master brewer-distiller Keisuke Kawabata (standing in the fermentation jar on the left of the photo) makes uncompromisingly old-school sweet potato shochu in one of the more remote regions of Kagoshima Prefecture. One of his most sought-after expressions, Goro, is rarely available in larger cities like Tokyo and is famed for its pairing capabilities with all types of food.