East Dunbartonshire – Yoichi

Yoichi is best known for its brewing, and the brewing of Nikka Whiskey in particular. Masataka Taketsuru, a resident of the town went to Scotland to study brewing techniques. Whilst he was there, he met and married a woman called Rita. Upon returning to Japan, they decided to set up a whiskey brewery using the techniques he had learnt in Scotland, and a lifetime’s work with whiskey and a Scottish connection began.

Rita began to exchange letters and works of art between Yoichi and her home town of Strathkelvin. In July, 1988 the then Mayor and his wife made a trip to Japan and in October of the same year a return trip was made by the Mayor of Yoichi. From then on, schools have corresponded with each other, children have sent over drawings, and good-will parties have visited the respective towns. Yoichi has dedicated an area of town to look Scottish, there are shops where Scottish goods can be bought, and there is even a Bagpipe Appreciation Society.

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