At the turn of the Millennium, as shoshu acquired a better image throughout Japan, it was only natural that some Sake Breweries in Shizuoka made use of their skills and facilities to distill the heady drink.
They started by making shochu from rice, that is, they simply distilled the « kasu », or white lees/residual matter left after filtering sake. As the sake itself is of superior quality, you can easily imagine the delight of shochu lovers! Shizuoka Rice Shochu must rank as one of the best in Japan! Compared to wholesale brands, they are comparatively pricey.
The next step was to develop shochu from more traditional ingredients such as « imo » (potato/tuber) and « mugi » (wheat/grain), but also from more exotic plants such as « wasabi » (Japanese green horseradish), another product Shizuoka Prefecture is famous for all over Japan, and « kuromai » (black rice)!
Now, a single piece of advice:
Ignore the stuff made WITH Shizuoka products as opposed to shochu made IN Shizuoka Prefecture! Here is not the place to point the finger at other Prefectures, but I’m certainly not very happy with Shizuoka names and products such as tea, wasabi and what else, being used to the detriment of our image, and moreover probably without any right to do so!