The Blessings of the Island Created by the Sun, the Soil, the Rain, and the People.

Black Diamond Shining in Kikai IslandBROWN SUGAR

To make Asahi Shuzo's kokuto shochu even more delicious and reliable, we started sugarcane cultivation using organic farming methods in 1999.

Taking care of the fields, planting, harvesting, and all the other processes require both time and effort when done by ourselves. However, it is this dedication that allows us to proudly say that our kokuto shochu is 'safe, secure, and of top quality.'

The brown sugar produced from organically JAS-certified sugarcane is rare and like a black diamond. While not all shochu is made from this ingredient yet, our ultimate goal is to produce all our shochu using brown sugar sourced from Kikai Island. We will continue to cultivate sugarcane unique to Kikai Island and to Asahi Shuzo.


Rice Cultivation Entrusted with the Wish for 'All Sourced from Kikai Island'UPLAND RICE

From the desire for 'all ingredients sourced from Kikai Island' in our shochu, we began cultivating rice in 2010.

However, there was a significant challenge in rice cultivation on Kikai Island. Kikai Island, formed by raised coral reefs, has excellent drainage, making it unsuitable for rice paddies. Therefore, we chose upland rice cultivation, which is a method of growing rice in fields that suits the local climate of Kikai Island.

Upland rice cultivation is not very common in Japan. We observe the condition of the fields and the rice plants daily, and conduct research by tasting the harvested rice, trying it as a raw material for shochu, and so on. The time and effort invested in research are condensed into our kokuto shochu, which we deliver to you.

Although the cultivation quantity is still small, we started using a portion of our rice in shochu production in 2017.


Fragrant White Sesame Nurtured by CoralWHITE SESAME

Following sugarcane and rice cultivation, we started white sesame cultivation in 2013.

While 99% of sesame distributed in Japan comes from overseas, Kikai Island is known as the top producer of white sesame in Japan. The fragrant white sesame is nurtured by the coral reefs that create and continue to rise within Kikai Island. The minerals in the soil and the warm climate cultivate a subtly sweet and gentle aroma.

Asahi Shuzo's white sesame, certified organic by JAS, is extremely rare and exceptionally delicious. With each seed resembling a piece of white diamond, you can surely sense the essence of Kikai Island.

White Sesame

Our Craftsmen to Present the Island Time

We want you to savor the reassuring, safe, and high-quality black sugar shochu that truly embodies Kikai Island.

We continue to craft shochu by hand even now, driven by this very sentiment. It's the shochu made by the hands of our craftsmen who live on the island. They feel the nature firsthand—the condition of the sugarcane in a given year, the temperature, humidity of the day—and nurture it with keen eyes and attentive ears.

The resulting drink is truly the essence of island time condensed into a glass. With every sip, you'll surely feel the landscape of Kikai Island right before your eyes.

Deliciousness that can only be found here.

'Shinki no Mezame (Awakening of the Gods),' an aged vintage organic kokuto shochu encountered with the barrel aromas from bourbon, red wine, Scotch and so on. 'Takataro,' described by younger consumers as perfect for soda. 'Asahi,' our flagship brand known for its rich flavor that epitomizes kokuto shochu.
Despite their completely different personalities, all these kokuto shochu varieties embody the essence of Kikai Island and Asahi Shuzo. As we continue to spread the charm of kokuto shochu and Kikai Island to the world, we will keep crafting flavors that are truly unique to this place.

The Process of Shochu Making

Thai rice or domestically sourced rice is used.
Washing, Soaking, Draining
The rice is washed, soaked in water, and then drained.
Steaming, Cooling, Inoculation
The rice is steamed, then cooled to the appropriate temperature before inoculating with koji mold spores and thoroughly mixing.
Koji Making
The rice koji is made over approximately 2 days.

Primary Fermentation (Approximately 7 days)

Water and yeast are added to the primary tank, along with rice koji. This is called primary fermentation, and the contents are referred to as 'moromi (mash).' Inside the tank, koji mold converts starch into sugar, and yeast converts that sugar into alcohol.

The fermented moromi is placed into a distillation apparatus and distilled.
After testing, the mixture is stored and aged in tanks.
Bottling and shipping.
Okinawan or our own organically cultivated sugarcane from Kikai Island is used.
Pressing (Kibishibori)
Lime is added to the squeezed juice, boiled down and concentrated, then cooled and solidified.
Kokuto (Brown Sugar)
The kokuto used by Asahi Shuzo is mostly sourced from Okinawa, but we also use brown sugar produced locally in Kikai Island, which we have been cultivating and refining.
The brown sugar soaked in water is dissolved with steam and then cooled to the appropriate temperature.
Secondary Fermentation

The dissolved brown sugar liquid is added to the mash that has been fermented for about a week. This is called secondary fermentation, and the contents are referred to as 'secondary moromi.' After the secondary fermentation, we monitor the alcohol fermentation for about 10-15 days.

The fermented moromi is placed into a distillation apparatus and distilled.
After testing, the mixture is stored and aged in tanks.
Bottling and shipping.
The fermented moromi is placed into a distillation apparatus and distilled.
After testing, the mixture is stored and aged in tanks.
Bottling and shipping.