Kagoshima Shochu Makers Association

Making Shochu


Koji Rice Making

Koji rice is a key element in shochu production and is made with steamed rice and koji mold.

First Stage Mashing

Known as ichiji moromi, the first mash comprises of koji rice, water, and yeast. This mixture forms the first stage of fermentation and ferments for about a week.

Second Stage Mashing

Once the first mash has run its course, the key ingredient, such as sweet potato or kokuto sugar, is added. This new mix forms the second mash known as niji moromi and ferments for about two weeks.


Two types of distilling are employed in shochu production. These are known as atmospheric and vacuum distillation. Each offers its own set of distinct characteristics; atmospheric distillation is regarded for its ability to draw out the innate qualities of the key ingredients, while vacuum distillation is regarded for its delivery of a crisp and clean liquor.


Shochu is aged to mellow the raw product after distilling. This maturation process helps improve the drinking quality and is typically conducted in stainless steel tanks. Traditional earthen pots and wooden barrels may also be used and offer their own unique characteristics.

Bottling & Shipping

After shochu has undergone aging, it is then blended to attain the prescribed profile encompassing flavor, aroma, texture, and ABV before being bottled and shipped.

Satsuma Shochu

Satsuma Shochu

“Satsuma Shochu” was registered as a geographical indication standard on December 22, 2005.

Any shochu bearing the “Satsuma Shochu” geographical indication mark is a single distillation honkaku shochu made from Kagoshima sweet potatoes and water and is distilled and bottled within Kagoshima Prefecture.

Amami Kokuto Shochu

Amami Kokuto Shochu