To elaborate on yesterday's post... The bullet train to Kyoto was quite a unique experience, especially compared to travel in the US. The train left on the minute – it’s so smooth it’s hard to believe you’re moving until you look out the window and see the countryside whizzing past. The Japanese are so polite it’s scary. And the bowing never stops. Sometimes they will bow to each other three or four times in quick succession.
Kyoto is the most beautiful and historic of Japanese cities. There’s an elegance and almost Parisian feeling to the place. Maybe it’s the river that runs through it.
The Yamazaki distillery is actually in a town called (drum roll) Yamazaki. It’s about half an hour by train outside of Kyoto. It’s a sleepy little town dominated by the huge distillery. The Yamazaki operation is very much like a Scottish distillery – I guess they had a good model; they own Bowmore as well as 25% of The Macallan – only it’s much bigger and much neater. I tasted through ten different whiskies and was totally impressed. This was just a few days after the Yamazaki 12-year-old AND the 18-year-old both won Double Gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.