Contributing to the Renewal of Suntory Yamazaki Distillery: Bridging the History and Passion of Osaka's Whisky Making to the Future

Relocating the Renowned Bar Tsuyoguchi, One of the Nation's Premier Establishments, on Its 100th Anniversary Milestone

Funajo Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Daisuke Yashima; hereinafter referred to as Funajo) contributed to the renewal of the Suntory Yamazaki Distillery in Mishima-gun, Osaka, carried out by Suntory Corporation (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President: Nobuhiro Torii; hereinafter referred to as Suntory), in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Suntory Whisky. Funajo was involved in the design and construction of the new guest rooms, the creation of gates using copper material from retired stills, and the relocation of the iconic bar 'Bar Tsuyoguchi' from Ehime Prefecture. Over the course of a century, the history of whisky and the passion for craftsmanship have evolved into a culture that connects people. The Suntory Yamazaki Distillery has been reborn as a place where the charm of Japanese whisky can be more deeply experienced.

1.New Guest Room "The YAMAZAKI"

Funajo was responsible for the design and construction of the new guest room, "The YAMAZAKI," which is utilized in some tours. "The YAMAZAKI" provides a space for tasting while overlooking the bamboo groves of Yamazaki. The counter was crafted and installed using reused materials from whisky barrels (oak) and copper material from retired whisky stills. This allows visitors to appreciate the color changes in the barrel material due to the permeation of the original spirit. Additionally, barrel material was repurposed for sliding doors.

2.Upcycling of Distillation Pots

Copper whisky distillation pots (pot stills) require periodic replacement, and Suntory aimed not only to recycle the retired pots as copper but also to reuse them in a way that conveys the sentiments and history of their predecessors. To mark the 100th anniversary of the new Yamazaki Distillery, they created a "gate" at the facility's entrance using the copper material from the distillation pots. This gate welcomes visitors with the tangible history of the past and allows them to enjoy the future history through the copper's aging changes.

Additionally, the nameplates of past master blenders, displayed in the whisky museum, were created by rolling and processing the copper material from the distillation pots. The same material was also utilized for the counter in the new guest room. Suntory has passionately reused the distillation pots throughout the facility, allowing visitors to sense the dedication to craftsmanship.

3.Bar Tsuyuguchi" Counter and Other Installations for Relocation

Established in 1958 in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, "Bar Tsuyuguchi" has been renowned as the "Holy Land of Highballs" due to the highballs crafted by the owner, Mr. Tsuyoguchi, and the warm hospitality of the Tsuyoguchi couple. Having closed its doors in September of last year after 64 years of operation, the bar, cherished by fans nationwide, sought to preserve its legacy and significant contribution to the development of Western liquor culture in Japan. Consequently, the bar has been relocated and recreated within the "Suntory Yamazaki Distillery," Japan's first malt whisky distillery.

Funajo, in collaboration with its group company Equipment Co., Ltd., undertook the relocation of "Bar Tsuyoguchi." Given the advanced woodworking techniques required for handling the aging components, Equipment, with its expertise in high-level woodworking, carefully dismantled and repaired the bar components with a focus on restoration, making the relocation possible. The iconic 6-meter-long counter made of solid lauan wood, chairs, pendant lights, and various other furnishings symbolizing the bar were transported to the new location, faithfully recreating the ambiance of the original setting.

"Bar Tsuyuguchi" has been installed in a seminar room within the Yamazaki Distillery and is intended to be utilized as a space conveying the legacy of Western liquor culture (general public access is under consideration).

⚫︎About Suntory Yamazaki Distillery:

The Yamazaki Distillery, which commenced construction in 1923, was born as Japan's first authentic malt whisky distillery. Utilizing various fermentation tanks, stills, and aging barrels, the distillery continues to produce a diverse range of original spirits that are unique to Japanese whisky.

In this project, Funajo resonated with ethical design principles that embrace a considerate perspective toward people, local communities, and the natural environment. They were involved in creating spaces, including the relocation of the bar and the repurposing of retired distillation pots and barrels, providing an environment where the journey of whisky-making can be experienced. Funajo continues to strive, along with clients and partners, to contribute to a better society and proposes the creation of spaces that are environmentally friendly for the future.

【About Senba】

Funajo provides comprehensive support for various space creation projects, including commercial facilities, offices, education, healthcare, leisure facilities, and more. From research and planning to design, construction, and maintenance, Funajo covers the entire spectrum of services. Since 2021, their vision has been centered around being a "Good Ethical Company," with a mission to create "spaces that are friendly to the future." They advocate for ethical design with a perspective of "consideration" towards people, local communities, and the natural environment, aiming to collaboratively create a better society throughout the entire supply chain.

  • Company Name:Senba Co., Ltd.
  • Location: 9th Floor, Shibaura 1-2-3 Seavans S Building, Minato-ku, Tokyo
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