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The Suntory Yamazaki Distillery in western Japan has become a magnet for the world's whisky aficionados. (Photo by Tomoki Mera)
Business Spotlight

Suntory, Asahi and Kirin face sober reality in Japan

Big three brewers move abroad as domestic alcohol consumption dries up

NANA SHIBATA, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO/OSAKA -- The town of Shimamoto, near Kyoto, is known as the site of a bloody 16th-century samurai battle and as a source of pure water for traditional tea ceremony. These days, however, travelers come for the tipple.

The Suntory Yamazaki Distillery has become a pilgrimage destination for the world's whisky connoisseurs. Around 9,300 foreign visitors walked its hallowed halls in 2019, up from just 800 a decade earlier.

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