Locations, Travel

The Shikoku Files – Mutemuka Sake and Shochu Distillery

In the previous post I detailed how we stayed in a lovely guest house called Kuro Usagi in Kochi prefecture, and also how they brew their own potent form of bathtub rice wine called doburoku. Well, during dinner we managed to sample a few pitchers of the stuff and things got somewhat blurry after all that, although I do remember yelling at Rod from Shikoku Tours about how Dragonball Z is to Japanese pop culture like Shakespeare was to the English language. I don’t think he understood or accepted my position.

I do remember waking up the next morning at 6am feeling awful, and upon staggering to the car we then proceeded to drive two hours through an interminable stretch of mountain roads whose twists and turns threatened to make me hurl on more than one occasion. I’m not sure how Rod managed to keep us on the road, as he had had quite as much as I had the previous night, but thanks to him we arrived at our next location largely unscathed, albeit much grayer in the face.

Our next location was actually another brewery ensconced in the hills of Kochi prefecture, called Mutemuka. They are quite famous in their area for the unusual types of distilled liquor (known as shochu) they produce, a notable example of which is the chestnut shochu. Being savagely hungover as I was, I declined to sample the wonderful product, however the marvelous old wooden construction of the distillery, plus the crisp mountain air served to perk me right up, and I was happily snapping photos of the place.

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (2)

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (6)

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (8)

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (10)

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (12)

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (13)

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (18)

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (20)

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (21)

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (23)

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (24)

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (28)

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (32)

Due to the hungover nature of the entire group, we decided to take it easy that afternoon, and whiled away several hours at a delightful public hot spring, before taking a jaunt to the Shimanto river, whereupon Rod promptly stripped down and jumped into the river. We also saw some of the traditional riverboats taking a leisurely dusk cruise with tourists on board. It was quite a tranquil scene. Alas, that night we were to leave Kochi and drive up to Ehime prefecture for the last leg of our long journey, but I will always have fond remembrances of my first visit to Kochi and I definitely can’t wait to be back for another photoshoot!

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (35)

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (36)

Tokyo Photographer Irwin Wong Shikoku (37)