Haggis is served at the 2009 fest
The fifth Whisky Festival will be held at the Hotel Nikko Tokyo in Odaiba (1-9-1 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo 135-8625) on Nov. 20., from 11 am to 6pm.
Of the two main Tokyo whisky gatherings, the Whisky Festival is the smaller and has more of the feel of a meeting of Japan's whisky world, rather than the international bash that is Whisky Live. Many of the Japanese makers--Suntory, Nikka, Kirin, Ichiro Akuto's Venture Whisky as well as Hombo Shuzo, who have just reopened Shinshu distillery--will have booths at the event beside an array of importers. As always with these events, there are free tastings and the chance to interact with some very well informed people
Two of the foremost of those experts, Hideo Yamaoka and Mamoru Tsuchiya, will be giving seminars. Yamaoka will discuss Islay malts (40 places, 5,000 yen; 11.30am-12.30pm), while Tsuchiya will review the past decade in the whisky world (80 seats, 4,000 yen now or 5,000 yen on the day; 1.30pm-2.45pm). There will also be a discussion of tasting by 4 prominent experts including Yamaoka and Tsuchiya (80 seats, 2,000 yen or 3,000 yen on the day; 4pm-5pm). The booking instructions are on this page. Remember that all these talks are going to be in Japanese.
General entry to the festival costs 3,500 yen (or 4,500 yen on the day) and can be obtained by returning this pamphlet.