8 Best Japanese Gin | Top Craft And Artisanal Gin Fron Japan To Try

8 Best Japanese Gin | Top Craft And Artisanal Gin Fron Japan To Try

May 05, 2024Rasmiya Assadi

Want to try the best Japanese gin? Check out this curated list of top artisanal and craft gin that is extremely popular and flavoursome. Read further to know more about it. 

Forget the ordinary! Dive into the world of Japanese gin, where botanical innovation meets meticulous craftsmanship.

Explore our guide to the finest Japanese gins, boasting unique flavor profiles and local ingredients. Find your new favorite for a taste of Japan in every sip.


Which is the best Japanese gin?

We tried over 10+ Japanese gins and found that Suntory Roku Gin is the best Japanese gin. Here’s why:

Roku gin is made with six Japanese botanicals, including sakura flower and leaf, green tea, gyokuro (premium green tea), sansho pepper and yuzu peel. It has a smooth, refreshing flavor that is perfect for cocktails. It has a 47% ABV in Japan and 43% ABV outside of Japan

Best Japanese Gin: Quick Summary

Best Japanese Gin Ingredients Alcohol by volume (ABV)
KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin Yellow yuzu, Hinoki wood chips 45.7%
Roku Craft Gin Sakura flower, Sakura leaf, Sencha tea 43%
Nikka Coffey Gin  Yuzu, Kabosu, Amanatsu, Shequasar 47%
Benizakura 9148 Kombu, Shiitake mushrooms, Dried Daikon, Horseradish 45%
Sakurao Original Yuzu, Oyster shells, Cypress, Red shiso, Sakura, Coriander seeds 47%
KI NO TEA Kyoto Dry Gin Tencha, Gyokuro tea, Yuzu, Lemon, Hinoki, Juniper berries 45.1%
Sakurao Japanese Dry Gin Limited Japanese sakura, Japanese juniper berries, Kuromoji, Kinome, wasabi 47%


Best Gin In Japan


Etsu Pacific Ocean Gin

Etsu Pacific Ocean Gin is a unique gin that is made with fresh botanicals, including juniper berries, bitter orange peel, yuzu, saltwood root, angelica, and coriander. 

The gin is distilled with fresh spring water from the mountains and seawater from the Sea of Japan. This creates a gin that has a fresh, yet slightly salty aroma. 

The flavor of the gin is still dominated by the yuzu, but the delicate saltiness from the seawater balances it out nicely. The finish is smooth, silky, and well-rounded.

The gin is bottled in a 70cl bottle that is made of 100% recycled glass. The bottle has a blue-green color that represents the Pacific Ocean. The bottle is also not 100% perfect, as it has bubbles and a rough "orange peel" texture. This is because the bottle is made from recycled glass.

Etsu Pacific Ocean Gin is a great gin for both sipping and cocktails. It is smooth enough to be enjoyed neat, but it also has enough flavor to stand up to other ingredients in a cocktail. I would recommend trying it in a classic gin and tonic or a more modern cocktail like a Negroni.

Overall, Etsu Pacific Ocean Gin is a unique and delicious gin that is perfect for both sipping and cocktails. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new gin to try.

Here are some pros and cons of Etsu Pacific Ocean Gin:


  • Unique and delicious flavor
  • Smooth and well-rounded
  • Perfect for both sipping and cocktails
  • Made with fresh botanicals
  • Bottled in a recycled glass bottle


  • Can be slightly pricey
  • Bottle is not 100% perfect (due to being made from recycled glass)



135 East Gin Dry Hyogo

135 East Gin Dry Hyogo is a Japanese gin that is made with a blend of traditional and Japanese botanicals. 

The gin is named after the 135th meridian east, which runs through the city of Akashi in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. 

The gin is distilled using a copper pot still and is bottled at 42% ABV. The nose of 135 East Gin Dry Hyogo is fresh and citrusy, with notes of juniper, lime, and grapefruit. The palate is smooth and well-balanced, with a hint of sweetness from the botanicals. The finish is long and refreshing.

135 East Gin Dry Hyogo is a versatile gin that can be enjoyed straight or used in cocktails. It is a great choice for martinis, gin and tonics, and other classic cocktails. The gin is also delicious on its own over ice or with a splash of tonic water.

Overall, 135 East Gin Dry Hyogo is a well-made and enjoyable gin. It is a great choice for gin lovers who are looking for a unique and flavorful gin.

Here are some of the pros and cons of 135 East Gin Dry Hyogo:


  • Fresh and citrusy nose
  • Smooth and well-balanced palate
  • Long and refreshing finish
  • Versatile gin that can be enjoyed straight or used in cocktails


  • Can be a bit pricey
  • Not as widely available as some other gins


Yuzugin Japanese Gin

Yuzugin Japanese Gin is a unique and refreshing gin that is made with yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit. 

The yuzu gives the gin a bright, tart flavor that is balanced by the juniper and other botanicals. The gin is perfect for drinking straight up or mixed in cocktails.

On the nose, Yuzugin Japanese Gin has a strong aroma of yuzu, with hints of juniper, citrus, and spice.

The gin has a smooth, slightly oily texture on the palate. The flavor is bright and tart, with notes of yuzu, grapefruit, lemon, and juniper. The gin has a long, lingering finish with a hint of spice.

Yuzugin Japanese Gin is a great gin for drinking straight up. It can also be used in a variety of cocktails, such as the gin and tonic, the martini, and the Negroni. 

The gin is also a good choice for making cocktails that call for citrus flavors, such as the margarita and the mojito.

Yuzugin Japanese Gin is a well-made gin that is perfect for people who enjoy the flavor of yuzu. The gin is smooth, flavorful, and versatile. It is a great addition to any home bar.

Here are some of the pros and cons of Yuzugin Japanese Gin:


  • Bright, tart flavor
  • Smooth, slightly oily texture
  • Long, lingering finish
  • Versatile
  • Good value for the price


  • Not as juniper-forward as some other gins
  • May not be to everyone's taste


Kyoya Shuzo Premium Yuzu Gin

Kyoya Shuzo Premium Yuzu Gin is a Japanese gin that is made with yuzu, a citrus fruit that is native to Japan. 

The gin is also flavored with sansho pepper, juniper berries, and other botanicals. The result is a gin that is both refreshing and flavorful.

The gin has a light yellow color and a strong yuzu aroma. The flavor is a combination of yuzu, juniper, and sansho pepper. The yuzu flavor is the most dominant, but the juniper and sansho pepper add a nice balance and complexity.

The gin is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks. It can also be used in cocktails, such as the Gin and Tonic or the Martini.

Overall, Kyoya Shuzo Premium Yuzu Gin is a delicious and refreshing gin that is perfect for enjoying on its own or in cocktails.

Here are some of the pros and cons of Kyoya Shuzo Premium Yuzu Gin:


  • Refreshing and flavorful
  • Made with yuzu, a citrus fruit that is native to Japan
  • Can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks
  • Can be used in cocktails


  • Can be a bit pricey
  • Not as widely available as other gins


KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin

Best Japanese Gin

First up on our list is the first Japanese gin made in Kyoto. KI NO BI is probably one of the most popular and the best Japanese gin in Japan. 

It stays true to the dry style but also combines the flavours of Japanese ingredients like yuzu, gyokuro tea, Japanese cypress wood chips, bamboo, and green sansho peppercorns. 

It has a slight gingery spice at the finish that gives it its unique taste. It is bottled at 45.7% and is created using pure groundwater from the sake brewing district of Fushimi and a rice spirit base. 

What is unique about this gin is that the botanicals are separated into six elements- base, citrus, tea, herbal, spice, fruity and floral- and they are distilled individually. 


Roku Craft Gin 

japanese gin price,

Roku is Japanese for the number six. Roku is the best Japanese craft gin gets its name from the six Japanese botanicals that go into creating it. 

They are cultivated over four different seasons and are harvested at peak season so that the best flavours may be extracted. This gin is by Suntory that is known for its world-class whiskies and is often considered the best Japanese gin. 

Traditionally crafted by skilled Japanese artisans, this spirit is filtered through bamboo charcoal and this results in a smooth and slightly sweet flavour. Like Kyoto Distillery, Suntory distils their botanicals individually. 

It is bottled at 47% ABV in Japan and 43% ABV outside of Japan. Another Japanese accent is the bottle. It bears impressions of the six botanicals and the label is made of washi paper. Do try out this best Japanese gin.


Nikka Coffey Gin

Roku gin,

The Miyagikyo distillery is known for its highly sought after whiskey. Coffey Gin was introduced to the world in 2017. It is crafted with a lovely blend of eleven traditional botanicals and the silky texture of Coffey distillates. 

It has a citrus flavour and a tingling finish from the sansho peppercorns. It also has a hint of apples that hold an important place in the history of Nikka. It is bottled at 47% ABV  and is a great choice for a martini.

The best way to drink Japanese gin is to add some tonic water in proportion and enjoy it. 


Japanese Gin vs Regular Gin

Gin and Japanese gin are both distilled spirits made from grain or malt and flavored with juniper and other botanicals. However, there are some key differences between the two types of gin.

  • Botanicals: Japanese gin typically uses a wider variety of botanicals than traditional gin, including Japanese herbs and spices such as sakura (cherry blossom), hinoki (Japanese cypress), gyokuro (a variety of shade-grown green tea), and sanshō (Japanese pepper). 

This gives Japanese gin a more complex and nuanced flavor profile than traditional gin.

  • Distillation process: Japanese gin is often distilled in a pot still, which gives it a smoother and more delicate flavor than gin that is distilled in a column still.
  • ABV: Japanese gin typically has a higher ABV than traditional gin, ranging from 40% to 50% ABV.

As a result of these differences, Japanese gin has a more unique and flavorful profile than traditional gin. It is often described as being more floral, citrusy, and refreshing than traditional gin. Japanese gin is also a popular choice for cocktails, as it can add a touch of complexity and nuance to drinks.


Why is Japanese Gin good?

Japanese gin is highly regarded for its meticulous craftsmanship, unique botanical selection, subtle and harmonious flavors, reflection of Japanese culture, innovation, and commitment to excellence. It offers a captivating and exceptional drinking experience for gin enthusiasts.


Which is the most expensive gin in Japan?

The most expensive gin in Japan is Watenshi Gin, which retails for around $2,500 USD per bottle. It is made by the Cambridge Distillery in the UK and is distilled using a unique process that captures the "angel's share" of the gin, which is the portion that evaporates during distillation. This results in a very pure and delicate gin with a complex flavor profile.


How do you drink Japanese gin?

There are many ways to drink Japanese gin, but here are a few of the most popular:

  • Gin and tonic: This is the classic way to drink gin, and it's a great way to showcase the botanical flavors of the gin. To make a gin and tonic, simply combine equal parts gin and tonic water in a glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge or slice of ginger.
  • Martini: The martini is another classic cocktail that can be made with gin. To make a martini, combine gin and dry vermouth in a shaker with ice. Shake until well-chilled, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an olive or lemon twist.
  • Highball: A highball is a refreshing drink that's made with gin, sparkling water, and a slice of fruit. To make a highball, combine gin and sparkling water in a glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of your favorite fruit.
  • Stirred cocktails: Gin can also be used to make a variety of stirred cocktails, such as the Negroni, the Old Fashioned, and the Manhattan. These cocktails are typically made with gin, sweet vermouth, Campari, or bitters.



Can you drink Japanese gin straight?

Yes, you can drink Japanese gin straight. It is a good idea to try it straight before adding it to cocktails to get a sense of the flavor profile. 

Some people prefer to add a splash of water or tonic water to open up the flavors of the gin. You can also garnish your gin with a slice of fruit or a sprig of herbs.

Here are some tips for drinking Japanese gin straight:

  • Use a high-quality gin. The quality of the gin you use will make a big difference in the taste of your drink.
  • Use a chilled glass. A chilled glass will help to preserve the flavor of the gin.
  • Add a splash of water or tonic water. This will help to open up the flavors of the gin.
  • Garnish your gin with a slice of fruit or a sprig of herbs. This will add visual appeal and flavor to your drink.


Japanese Gin

These best Japanese gins are unlike other gins. They have distinct flavours that set them apart. Each gin is bursting with its own unique blend of Japanese flavours. 

While most of them are 47% ABV, it is always best to check before you make your purchase to see what suits you best. ABV or alcohol by volume is the measure of alcohol in a given volume of the alcoholic spirit. 

Another thing to check for is the ingredients used. Since Japanese gins use many natural herbs and botanicals, it is always advisable to check them in case you are allergic to any of these ingredients. 

This curated list of the best Japanese gin are extremely famous and are also flavoursome. You can enjoy them with your friends, family as well as in your own time. 

Hope you loved these best Japanese gin, cheers!

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