My most favorite beer is the SUNTORY beer. SUNTORY is a super famous beverage company in Japan. Other than beer, SUNTORY also produces juice, natural water and so and so. This time I will visit SUNTORY’s Musahino beer factory in Tokyo to understand the beer making procedures and attend their seminar. The most important thing is to enjoy the free beer. Free reservation
SUNTORY’s factory visit is very popular. It takes weeks in advance to make the reservation for weekend visit. SUNTORY’s factory visit has different choices like the juice, red wine, water, beer and so and so. Amongst these choices beer factory visit has the highest ranking. Beer factory visit have three locations, Tokyo, Kyoto and Kumamoto. So whether you travel in Kanto, Kansai or Kyushu, you still have the chance to visit the factory
You do not need to know Japanese for making the SUNTORY factory visit reservation. SUNTORY’s official website covers the Chinese, English and other foreign languages and you can make the reservation online. You only need to visit their website to make the registration and reservation, then go to SUNTORY beer factory on the reserved date. Please remember do not make the reservation at the very last minute. You cannot make reservation through the website if your reservation is just one day before the visit.
Except making reservation online, SUNTORY also provides the phone reservation. As my visit was impromptu, I made my reservation just a day before. I could only use the phone reservation service. As heard the reservation hotline also have staff whose can speak English. If you did not reserve online and want to do an impromptu factory visit, you can try your luck through phone reservation. If you neither made the reservation nor had the brave to call. The website actually specified you can sign up onsite if there are vacancies on the visit day. Of course, I will not suggested to do that. It would be a terrible feeling that cannot join the factory visit after taking a long way to go to there.
In addition, you can reserve the 70 minutes beer-making factory visit or the 90 minutes seminar. The difference between the two options is not much. The latter one just has an additional introduction seminar, which is for adult only (visitor over 20 years old). If you do not know Japanese, only want to see the factory and do the beer tasting. It is good enough to reserve the 70 minutes beer-making factory visit. How to get there? This time I visited the Tokyo Musahino beer factory, which has the longest history and it is also the biggest one among the three SUNTORY beer factories. It takes around an hour from downtown of Tokyo. Visitors can take the JR 『府中本町 / Fuchu-hommachi Station』then from there just 15 minutes walk or take the shuttle bus at the JR『分倍河原 / Bubaigawara Station』 (Timetable and details, please refers to their official website)
As I wanted to the opportunity to see the sceneries of the Fuchu city, so I chose to walk there from the府中本町 / Fuchu-hommachi 』station.
There is a famous horse race course in Fuchu city. The day I went was a horse racing day, the place was flooded with people. Fortunately, there is a direct route to the factory, just a short walk from the footbridge，go straight after coming out of the subway, and thats it!Registration After arrival, you need to register you name at the reception counter to get the visitor pass and a pamphlet (has Chinese version). Then you can wander around wait for the start of the factory tour. If you did not make any reservation, you can sign up your name onsite.
Near the registration counter, there are small shops that sell many beer related gifts, beer glasses, snacks and so and so. I highly recommended the SUNTORY assorted nuts and smoked cheese. They tasted amazingly with beer (you can try them in the wine tasting session later)
Seminar When the tour starts, visitors will take the elevator to go different exhibition halls in groups to learn the SUNTORY beer history (the 70 minutes tour does not included this). The seminar is conducted in Japanese only but the content is same as the pamphlet that you had on hand, so with help of the animations and pictures, you will understand most of the content. In short, it is something about how refine of the three SUNTORY beers …
SUNTORY the premium malt’s beer is made of the strictly selected malts, hops and natural water. The beer with the smooth beer bubbles, it is super cool to have a glass of the beer in summer… want more details? Go and join the seminar.
Production Tour After the seminar, visitors will follow the guide to see the beer making processes. The whole making processes are explained in Japanese, but tourists can borrow the English navigator at the counter in advance. So you can listen to the explanation to have an in-depth understand the beer making processes.
From beer aging, filtering to canning so and so, you will understand how a can of beer is born.
Wine Tasting After the 30 minutes production tour, now it’s the most important session – the free beer tasting. SUNTORY is very generous on this. Visitors can taste three glasses of different taste SUNTORY the Premium Malt’s beer. The tasting beer capacity is almost same as a normal beer glasses. If you are not good at drinking, probably get a bit drunk at the second glasses.
In addition to beer, the factory also provides three snacks for visitors to enjoy. You can enjoy the relax beer time while taking photo with friends. As visitor age under 20 is not allowed to drink alcohol, factory provides apple juice, orange juices for kids. No need to worry the kids will get bored.
Before the beer tasting comes to the end, the guide will introduce SUNTORY’s new products and the special onsite purchase discount. Although the beer can be delivered to your hotel, then redirect to Hong Kong, but it is still too troublesome for most people. If you do not want to buy, you can skip this part. After filling out the questionnaire, then the whole factory visit is finished. You can move on to your next itinerary with half drunk happily. (There are small shopping malls and supermarket nearby the Fuchu-Hommachi and Bubaigawara Station. You can buy cosmetics, medicines and commodities. It’s more relaxing to do shopping there when compare to Tokyo) Need stable WiFI connection when travel in Japan? Want to check out the map and train timetable at anytime? Ninja WiFi is your friend! Softbank’s latest model Hybrid 4G LTE, unlimited broadband data, 187Mbps speedy network connection, unbeatable speed, connecting up to 10 devices simultaneously is the best application to share with companion and friends. National-wide coverage, stable connection, Pick up at major airports or get by couriers. It’s simple and convenient. No deposit, No cheating. Now only cost HKD45 per day. Come and visit NIINJA WiFi for more details！ After arriving the airport, only takes 1 minute to pick up the WiFi egg. Then you can travel around Japan right the way. Service in year-round! Super fast and convenient.