Karuizawa Distillers is the result of the vision and passion of Koji Shimaoka,
entrepreneur, and co-founder and Master Blender, Ian Chang.
Together, with the help of a few hand-selected individuals,
our aim is to deliver to the world
the best Japanese single malt whisky that is
as clean as the fresh breeze of Komoro, yet as full of flavour.
'To produce the best Japanese single malt whisky.' With this objective in mind,
I established Karuizawa Distillers in 2019.
Just around the same time,
I met a whisky-maker who would share this passion and drive - the legendary Ian Chang.
Then after finding Komoro, a place that has some of the best natural resources for whisky-making,
I now feel it as my life's mission and destiny to make this happen.
Distilling will begin at our Komoro Distillery in spring 2023,
with the aim of raising the bar for Japanese whisky-making to the next level.
Every drop of spirit we make will reflect the unparalleled level of knowledge,
passion and experience at our fingertips and the incredible surrounding natural environment.
We are confident that everyone who tastes our whisky - and might perhaps come to the distillery -
will be delighted and become a lifelong friend of Komoro.
We look forward to you joining us on our journey.

CEO / Koji Shimaoka


  • 代表取締役社長(CEO) 島岡高志/KOJI SHIMAOKA
  • CEO


    After graduating from Yokohama National University Graduate School, Koji joined a global finance company. Later, he ascended to executive management. In order to fulfill his dream of owning a whisky distillery, he started looking for the perfect location to build it. After searching for many years, Koji finally came across Komoro, and the site where the distillery is being built.
After my previous success as a whisky-maker in my native Taiwan,
I wanted to challenge myself in a new and different environment.
That is the reason why I have decided to join the project and come to the new world - Japan.
It is great to be here, immerse myself in the rich culture and
to find the Japanese whisky industry so buzzing and buoyant.
We are honoured to be in such good company and are determined to do you and Japan proud,
as we seek to make our own incredible Japanese single malt whisky.

Vice President, Master Blender / Ian Chang


  • 副社長/マスターブレンダー(Vice President/Master Blender) イアン・チャン/IAN CHANG
  • Vice President / Master Blender


    Ian's expertise and reputation as one of the finest whisky-makers of modern times precede him. His awards, and those for whiskies made by him, are numerous and include IWSC Global Distiller of the Year, six-times winner of the IWSC Spirits Producer of the Year and countless other awards


  • 最高財務責任者(CFO) 島岡良衣/YOSHIE SHIMAOKA
  • CFO


    Yoshie developed her professional career at McKinsey & Co. and bulge bracket investment banks. After running a reputable international M&A boutique, she joined the management team to contribute her strong consulting and corporate finance capabilities.
  • チーフエデュケーター兼コンサルタント(Chief Educator&Consultant) エディ・ルドロー/EDDIE LUDLOW
  • Chief Educator & Consultant


    Author of best-selling book, 'Whisky - A Tasting Course' and founder of UK whisky events company, The Whisky Lounge, Eddie will oversee Whisky Academy courses.


We, at Karuizawa Distillers,
will work to achieve 6 of the 17 goals
set out by the United Nations, under the theme of
'Growing Forests and Connecting with the Local Community'.
  • 1.Responsibility in production

    Karuizawa Distillers aims to achieve zero waste emitted during the production process.

    6.安全な水とトイレを世界中に 7.エネルギーみんなにそしてグリーンに 12.つくる責任つかう責任
  • 2.Maintenance and protection of the surrounding environment

    In order to maintain the surrounding natural bounty for the future, we are planning to work with forest protection and forest education groups. We are planning to allocate a certain percentage of sales to donations for forest protection activities, and other activities to raise awareness of the need for forest protection.

  • 3.Contribute to the creation of attractive cities where people can gather.

    Not only are we operating a distillery, but also a visitor center. Our distillery, that is in harmony with nature and adapted to the landscape, will not only offer unique whisky experiences, but will also promote the creation of links with the local community.

    8.働きがいも経済成長も 11.住み続けられるまちづくりを


Corporate name Karuizawa Distillers Inc.
Headquarter Tokyo Toranomon Global Square 5F 1-3-1, Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan
CEO Koji Shimaoka
Established December 25th, 2019
Business Overview Alcohol Production and Sales (Whisky)