Each year, Hokkaido's Tanaka Sake Brewing Kikkogura hosts the Otaru Umeshu Festival, which serves as a celebration of this much-loved beverage. Made from steeping unripe ume plums with sugar in alcohol, umeshu has a sweet, slightly sour taste, and can be found all across Japan from bars to convenience stores.
The Otaru Umeshu Festival allows visitors to participate in umeshu tastings, along with offering umeshu varieties for purchase. There's also some unique plum-inspired foods available at the event, including the likes of plum cheesecake, plum vinegar, and plum miso.
The Tanaka Sake Brewing Kikkogura is located around 10 minutes on foot from the JR Otaru Station, which is served by the Hakodate Main Line.
For those who opt to drive, there is a small parking lot available on site for 15 vehicles.
I'm an expat who has lived abroad for almost a decade, including 7 years in Japan. I've also visited 44 of 47 prefectures and hope to get to the last three someday! I'm particularly fond of exploring off the beaten path destinations, gardens, and tea houses, and have a real interest in Japan's gr...