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Kudos to the Nonjatta Blog

31 Dec

My recent foray into listing some Japanese whisky distillers was facilitated greatly by Chris Bunting’s Nonjatta Blog. Just click “Japan” in the category cloud to see what listings we have for Japanese whisky. The magic of the web is that I can point to the good work he’s done, as he should feel able to do the same with any content I produce.

For each distillery, the name in the first line of my very brief summary is a link to that distillery’s page on the Nonjatta blog. Chris has compiled much more information than I care to do. What I was looking for was simply the names and postal addresses of each distillery. I feel like this is the bare minimum information I can cite for any distillery, since it is enough to locate them on the map, in the event that you would like to visit.

Again, the idea is that the Whisky2.0 community will add comments so we can build up a database of each distillery’s expressions. In the end, I stopped with just (what I think are) the market-leading in-production distilleries in Japan. If I’m wrong, please tell me…it’s easy to fix. And I have no objection with listing defunct or non-producing distilleries, but someone else will have to do the digging.

One thing I will say is that I found it difficult to get precise Japanese postal addresses. In some cases, even though Chris had what looked like an address but may have had the postal code wrong (it’s wrong if it’s not 7 digits, like xxx-yyyy) or something else that made me question it. I dug around for more authoritative sources, like the companies themselves if I could find English-language web sites. I also did dozens of Google Maps lookups trying to find a string that would resonate with reality. Ideally, I wanted to be able to type in the address and have it resolve to something that looked like a distillery. I had many opportunities to enjoy Google’s attempts to translate Japanese to English. 🙂

What I ended up with might have been inspired by Nonjatta, but you’ll notice that in no case did I just copy from Chris. Based on my research, I don’t think any of his postal addresses are correct, but he provided enough context that I was able to dig in the right places to get the correct address (or a close approximation thereof), and without context I got from Nonjatta I would never have made any progress at all.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 31-December-2008 in Announcements, Japan, Whisky2.0

 

2 responses to “Kudos to the Nonjatta Blog

  1. Nonjatta

    27-February-2009 at 08:24

    Thanks for properly acknowledging Nonjatta. So many people don’t. This is a great page and hopefully it will help people.

    By the way, I think you will find that all of the addresses were correct. An address is not wrong if it doesn’t have the seven digit postal code: Japanese addressing practise is not that predictable! However, they do have that number and I can see it would be useful if you want to easily plonk these things onto a Google map so I have now added it. Maybe you missed it but there has always been a feature on Nonjatta to find a google map of these places (go to the top right nav bar of Nonjatta and it is all there). All of the main distilleries locations are correct. Also, I think you have made a couple of errors of transcription from the usage the Japanese actually use (“cho” for “machi”, for instance). But great page, nevertheless.

     
  2. tmaufer

    27-February-2009 at 22:33

    Chris–

    I really appreciate Nonjatta and all the effort that I know has gone in to making it the premier source of information on Japanese whisky. It’s a blog of epic proportions!

    I was trying to triangulate between several representations of the addresses: The official corporate web site (when I could read it!), Nonjatta’s version of the address (which was often close to that), and the “address that you can type as a query to Google Maps and which will resolve to a satellite image of something that looks like a distillery” :-).

    The postal address is the only real meta-data I collect for distilleries, because I figure that comments can cover expressions, so the address (and web site, where available) are really the main non-expression-dependent data that I should have correct.

    I do know that Nonjatta has Google Maps links, but the URLs seemed to be based on the latitude/longitude, not the postal address. For the most part, I was able to get close enough to satisfy myself, but as you said, I learned that consistency is impossible.

    Thanks again for putting Nonjatta together. I didn’t attempt to make notes for more than the top 5 or 6 distilleries in Japan. I made this entry so that people who really want to dive in to understanding Japanese whisky can go straight to Nonjatta.

    All the best,
    ~tom

     

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