The village of Akaigawa 赤井川村

The red river


This village is part of the list of the most beautiful villages in Japan thanks to its unique location, in the heart of an extinct volcano. The inhabitants cover it with flowers in summer, to replace the winter snows.



In the heart of the volcano

Akaigawa is located west of Hokkaido, about sixty kilometers from the region's capital, Sapporo. Very extensive despite its 1,200 inhabitants, Akaigawa is spread over 280 km 2 for 80% of mountainous area and forests .

Akaigawa means the red river in the Ainu language, a name linked to this exceptional location of the village located in the crater of an ancient volcano , now extinct. All this forms a caldera, which is itself included in another caldera of even more imposing size, that of Mount Yoichi, which dominates the entire environment.


Akaigawa, la petite caldera au coeur de la grande

Akaigawa, the small caldera at the heart of the big one

Wikimedia Commons


At the highest degree of flavor

For dry throats and sharp taste buds, there's a brew here that the world envies, it 's Nikka whiskey . Located 13 kilometers from Akaigawa, in the neighboring town of Yoichi, the Nikka distillery concocts one of the best whiskeys there is, recognized worldwide and appreciated beyond these mountains .
On site, the visit of the installations is free , and guided tours are offered by reservation to know all the little manufacturing secrets. The final tasting will leave you with the best taste ever!

To read: Japanese whiskey


Les caves de Whisky Nikka

The cellars of Whiskey Nikka

Flickr Y.Gonden

Address, timetable & access

  • Address

  • Phone

    +81 (0)135-34-6211
  • Timetable

    From JR Yoichi Station, 20 mins by bus. From Otaru, 45 mins by bus. From Sapporo, 90 mins by bus.

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