Hakushu is the highest and remotest distillery in Japan. It stands over 700 metres (2300 feet) above sea level and is more than three hours from the coast. The name of Hakushu is translated as ‘white sand bank’ in Japanese and this is believed to refer to the white sand and stones that line the small streams and rivers in the local area. The distillery is located in the middle of dense forest in the foothills of Mount Kai-Komagatake. It stands on a plateau surrounded by mountains on three sides and this creates a unique and very localised climate, that is perfect for maturing whisky. The water used in production is extremely soft and comes from springs whose source is under the granite rich foundations of Mount Kai-Komagatake. Hakushu whisky is still relatively unknown outside of Japan but that is changing as Japanese whisky’s popularity grows rapidly. Currently there is only a 12 years old single malt available in Europe, as much of the whisky produced there goes in to blends.