The Tokyo International BarShow, one of the biggest events in the alcoholic beverage and bar industries, has returned after a four-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The event, held on the 13th and 14th of May at Prism Hall,Tokyo Dome City, was hosted by the Cocktail Culture Foundation, which is chaired by STAR BAR GINZA legend Hisashi Kishi.
This year's event brought together 54 exhibitors from around the world, showcasing the very best in the industry. The world-renenowned Japanese whisky brands, including Suntory, Nikka, and Ichiro's Malt, were among the highlights of the event. The show buzzed with an electrifying atmosphere as industry insiders and passionate liquor enthusiasts came together to exchange knowledge, expertise, and revel in the sheer delight of cocktails, whiskeys, spirits, as well as the latest tools, glasses, and other bar essentials.
One of the main features of the Tokyo International Bar Show was a featured talk from five of the most renowned chef blenders from whisky distilleries in Japan. The discussion, titled "Whisky 100-year Project - Fellow Distillers - Japanese Blender Discuss the Future", saw presenters Jota Tanaka (Master Blender, Kirin Brewery Company Limited), Shinji Fukuyo (Chief Blender, Suntory Spirits Limited), Hiromi Ozaki (Chief Blender, Nikka Whisky Distilling Co., Ltd.), Ichiro Akuto (Master Blender, Venture Whisky Co., Ltd.), Hajime Kunai (Chief Blender, Hombo Shuzo Co., Ltd.) sharing their insights on the future of the industry.
The event also boasted some special guests, including Adal Márquez, who has years of experience as a bartender and is currently managing bars in both Barcelona and Madrid. Márquez, known for his "throwing" cocktail-making technique and artistic mixology, is also a university lecturer and the recipient of numerous awards, including "Timeless International Bar Awards 2020." During his appearance, he emphasized the importance of experiencing bar culture in Japan.
Another special guest was Dave Broom, an editor of alcohol and music and famously known for the publication of The 'World Atlas of Whisky.' Mr. Broom, who has made the trek to Japan for the Tokyo International Bar Show the fifth time and served as the official executive for the event in 2018, summed up the event as a "sense of celebration."
The Tokyo International Bar Show was a resounding success, bringing together industry insiders, liquor enthusiasts, and special guests to share knowledge, expertise, and the joy of cocktails, whiskeys, and spirits. The event served as a dazzling showcase of the industry's finest offerings, putting the spotlight on the remarkable rise in popularity of Japanese whisky. With ambitious plans to relocate to a larger venue in the coming year, the Tokyo International Bar Show is poised to become an eagerly anticipated fixture that will captivate the industry for years to come.