It was announced last month that Yamagata City led all Japanese municipalities in household alcohol consumption in 2015. While not topping any of the seven individual alcohol categories measured, Yamagata City did finish in the top five on three of those lists.
By comparison, Tokyo’s downtown 23 wards only appeared on two lists, finishing third in household wine consumption and 10th in average chuhai/canned cocktail expenditure. Yamagata was sixth in both categories.
One of the three alcohol categories that Yamagata City had a strong showing in was shochu. Here is the data made public each year by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
The 2015 rankings are led, as usual, by some of the bigger cities on Kyushu Island, the center of honkaku (premium) shochu production. However, several northern cities such as Yamagata, Aomori, Akita, and Fukushima are in there to demonstrate shochu’s appeal across the country.
The most impressive stat in the table is undoubtedly Matsue City’s more than doubling its shochu consumption when compared with 2014. Matsue City is in Shimane Prefecture to the north of Hiroshima.
Miyazaki City led all municipalities with household purchases averaging ￥12,928 which is unsurprising when paired with the fact that Kirishima Distillery, maker of the ubiquitous Kuro Kirishima label of sweet potato shochu, is located in the Miyakonojo region of Miyazaki Prefecture. Kuro Kirishima was the best-selling honkaku shochu in the country last year.