This Week in Yamanashi and Nagano – 19 October 2021
This week, I was honoured to be invited to explore the drinking culture of Yamanashi and Nagano Prefectures as part of my consulting work related to our sister platform, Kanpai Planet. Around that, I got to experience world-class art, some of Japan’s most unique collections, chat with amazing people and much more. Selecting five photos for ‘This Week in’ to capture everything I experienced was the hardest part of the week!
Featured image – Keith Haring Motorbike: Keith Haring, the legendary street artist of 1980’s New York City, left an indelible mark on the global art scene in his 31 years on this planet. The world’s only permanent collection dedicated to Haring’s art and energy can be found in the midst of the beautiful nature of the Yatsugatake Mountains. The Nakamura Keith Haring Collection was established in 2007 by Dr Kazuo Nakamura, who first began collecting Haring’s work in 1987.
Moegi no Mura Music Box Museum Hall of Halls: Joji Funaki is one of the most unique characters I have met in my 15 years living in Japan. Every day, the 73-year-old wears a Superman T-shirt as he tends to and manages Moegi no Mura, the quasi, pseudo and hyper-European theme park of a sort that he opened 50 years ago to support the development of his beloved home of Kiyosato. As well as an incredible whisky collection, he has the world’s biggest collection of working music boxes, which can be seen at the Moegi no Mura Music Box Museum Hall of Halls. They have 300 units for you to enjoy, with regular concerts throughout the day for you to experience.
Yamanoma Brewery: Just look at this building! It was formerly a restaurant, owned by the parents of Yamanoma’s co-owners. Now it is home to Yamanoma Brewing. Currently, their beers are made in Niigata, but they are hoping to be brewing in this building next year. I’m looking forward to seeing how their operation develops!
Mars Shinshu Distillery: A visit to the Mars Shinshu Distillery will make you thirsty. Luckily, they have a very well-stocked bar to satisfy that! COVID-19 measures mean you can order once, and that order can contain a maximum of three drams. It was a tough choice, but I eventually settled on these three beauties. Good calls all round, if I may say so myself!
Outsider Brewing: I enjoyed a fantastic tasting flight at Hops and Herbs, the taproom of Outside Brewing in Kofu, Yamanashi. They have a superb range of core beers, developed by owner Mark, Head Brewer Momo and their team. Kanpai!