[Cultural Event] Discover Japanese Whisky (November 5th-6th)

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Monday, November 5th, marked the beginning of our special event “Experience Japanese Whisky”, featuring Hajime Kunai, whisky expert and Director of the Mars Shinshu Distillery in Japan's Yamanashi prefecture. The day began with a private showcase to a variety of industry professionals at Nashville’s Otaku Ramen. Mr. Kunai answered questions regarding the distilling process and also explained how each of the whiskies varied based on the location of their respective distilleries and the differing climates surrounding each distillery.

An evening event was open to the public, located in Vanderbilt’s Alumni Hall. Opening to the sounds of bluegrass, played by the Japanese duo Hiroshi Yoshizaki and Hiroki Maeda, Consul-General Kobayashi gave some remarks highlighting how the love of whisky can bond American and Japanese people together in friendship. After Mr. Kunai explained the history of whisky in Japan and Mars Distillery, guests were brought downstairs for their own whisky tasting session. Through Mr. Kunai’s expertise, everyone learned the proper whisky tasting technique before sampling each of the four whiskies present. It was a wonderful night full of laughter and warm conversations, and we are happy to say that all in attendance were able to truly experience Japanese whisky.

The following day consulate staff accompanied Mr. Kunai’s team on a tour of local Tennessee distilleries. The group visited both Pennington Distilling Co. and Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery and experienced guided tours led by the owners of said companies. Sharing industry techniques and exploring product differences resulted in a productive day and a newly shared respect between the two styles of whisky production.

Hajime Kunai continued his United States tour in Washington, D.C. from November 7th through the 10th.

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