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Japanese Sake and Pocky! 9 Factory Tours to Enjoy in Kansai for Free

Kansai is a place where there are many facilities that will let people observe the manufacturing processes involved in creating the popular products that everybody loves. Aside from tours on the production lines that are not usually open to the public and the Exhibition Corners inside plants that help deepen the knowledge about the products being manufactured, there are also observation tours where guests can have a sip or taste of the products being made. Below are nine factories that we can enjoy touring for free! Check the Factory Tour Data and make sure to bring along your family, relatives or friends with you! Note that there are facilities that require reservations, so it would be best to inquire ahead of time.

2017.07.20

Kizakura Fushimigura

Opened in August 2016, Kizakura Fushimigura in Fushimi is the first facility in Japan that allows visitors to tour the Japanese sake and local beer production lines at the same time. Here, there is an Exhibition Corner, as well as a restaurant and shop where you can get Japanese sake, local beer and bento (Japanese box lunch). Go on this tour and have a good time created by sake.

Phone: 075-644-4488/No. of people allowed in the tour: At least one person (※For groups of 40 persons or more, please consult with the factory)/Possible tour time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm/Closed: New Year holidays/Required time for tour: 60 minutes/Reservation method: Reservation by phone is required/Age limit: None/Souvenir: None/Shop: 1 shop/Precautions: None in particular/Tour fee: Free/Parking area: Free (one parking area for 31 vehicles)/Access: [Train] About a 20-minute walk from Chushojima Station in the Keihan Electric Railway, or a shuttle bus from the Kizakura Kappa Country that is a 7-minute walk

Kizakura Fushimigura

Yamasa Kamaboko’s Kamaboko Workshop, Yumesenkan

Yamasa Kamaboko’s Kamaboko Workshop, Yumesenkan is a facility that is located in Himeji, Hyogo. This food factory that is surrounded by lush greens and clear streams is where chikuwa (tube-shaped fish cake) and kamaboko (steamed fish paste) are produced and shipped to different destinations in Japan. The tour will allow guests to observe the flow of production, and purchase the products of the company from the Yumesenkan that sells the kamaboko that has just been made, and the Chikuwa Kobo (Chikuwa Workshop).

Phone: 079-335-1055/No. of people allowed in the tour: At least one person (※Please consult with the factory)/Possible tour time: From 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, Sundays and national holidays: From 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm (※Interactive tour is 9:00 am – 3:00 pm)/Closed: Saturdays, day before a national holiday and irregular closures on Tuesdays (※Interactive tours are held on Tuesdays)/Required time for tour: 20 minutes (observation tour only)/Reservation method: Reservation is not required (※For interactive tours with 20 or more people in the group, reservation is required)/Age limit: None/Souvenir: None/Shop: 1 shop/Precautions: There are some stairs along the path of the tour participants/Tour fee: Free/Parking area: Free (one parking area for 40 vehicles)/Access: [Car] 20 minutes from the Sanyo Himeji-Nishi IC on the Sanyo Expressway

Yamasa Kamaboko’s Kamaboko Workshop, Yumesenkan

Glicopia Kobe

Glicopia Kobe is an extremely famous spot where visitors get to observe the production of Pocky and Pretz that boast huge popularity in the country. Aside from watching the approximately 100m production line, this tour is also filled with facilities that kids will surely enjoy, such as 3D animation and Exhibition Corner for toys.

Phone: 078-991-3693/No. of people allowed in the tour: 2 – 70 persons/Possible tour time: From 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm/Closed: Fridays/Required time for tour: About 80 minutes (13 minutes for watching videos, 52 minutes for the factory tour, and 8 minutes for the 3D Theater)/Reservation method: Reserve on the website or by phone (reservations by phone are accepted at 9:30 am – 4:30 pm)/Age limit: None/Souvenir: Chocolate master certificate and Glico (candy) for elementary school students and younger guests, and Pretz for middle school students and older guests/Shop: 1 shop/Precautions: Beware of calling the wrong phone number when making reservations/Tour fee: Free/Parking area: Free (one parking area for 20 vehicles)/Access: [Car] 15 minutes from the Zenkai exit of Kita-Kobe Line on the Hanshin Expressway [Train] About 8 minutes on the No. 23 City Bus or No. 12 Shinki Bus from Seishin-Chuo Station in the Subway Seishin-Yamate Line, and then right next to Takatsukadai Itchome Stop

Glicopia Kobe

Coca-Cola West Kyoto Factory

Coca-Cola West Kyoto Factory is a much-loved factory tour where guests get to learn while having fun, such as when they watch the production process from the zone that looks like a huge can. Tour participants will be allowed to sample the drinks of Coca-Cola, as well as shop for souvenir goods such as unique merchandise.

Phone: 0774-43-5522/No. of people allowed in the tour: 2 – 50 persons/Possible tour time: Tuesdays to Fridays starting at 10:00 am, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm, and Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays starting at 10:00 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm (※May change depending on the season)/Closed: Mondays (factory will be open if Monday is a national holiday and on the first Monday of the month) ※Temporary closure of the factory may also take place/Required time for tour: 90 minutes (15 minutes for drink tasting, 10 minutes for watching videos, 40 minutes for the factory tour, and 25 minutes for food tasting up to product purchase)/Reservation method: Request by phone after checking the reservation status on the company’s website/Phone calls accepted between 9:30 am - 5:00 pm/Age limit: None/Souvenir: None/Shop: 1 shop/Precautions: The merchandise, photo booth, and bottle vending machines are not free (paid)/Tour fee: Free/Parking area: Free (one parking area for 19 vehicles)/Access: [Car] 10 minutes from Kumiyama IC in the Keiji By-Pass [Train] About 20 minutes on the Kintetsu Okubo-bound Keihan Bus from Chushojima Station in the Keihan Electric Railway, and then right next to Shintamaki Stop

Coca-Cola West Kyoto Factory

UCC Rokko Island Factory

The UCC Rokko Island Factory is a place that allows guests to tour the site where regular UCC coffee for households is manufactured, the production lines, and the quality checks done on the coffee, as well as taste and compare different coffees. There are also corners that kids will enjoy, including the spot where they can experience extracting green coffee beans. The factory tour is only available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so take note of that.

Phone: 0120-156-587 (for inquiries only)/No. of people allowed in the tour: 1 – 18 persons (※Please consult with the factory)/Possible tour time: From 10:00 am and 1:00 pm/Closed: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays – Sundays, and factory holidays/Required time for tour: 70 minutes (10 minutes for watching videos, 40 minutes for the factory tour and 20 minutes for taste testing)/Reservation method: Reservation through the company’s website is required. Reservations are accepted up to 4:00 pm on the day prior to scheduled tour./Age limit: None/Souvenirs: Assorted UCC drip set and spoon/Shop: 1 shop/Precautions: Taking photos and bringing in of food and drinks inside the factory are prohibited, and the entire factory is a non-smoking zone/Tour fee: Free/Parking area: Free (one parking area for 10 vehicles)/Access: [Car] 5 minutes from the Rokko Island Kita Exit on the Hanshin Expressway Wangan Route [Train] About a 15-minute walk from Rokko Liner Island Kitaguchi Station

UCC Rokko Island Factory

Kirin Beer Kobe Factory

Kirin Beer Kobe Factory is a beer factory that is loaded with fun for visitors, as they get to explore the production lines and sample the beers and soft drinks there, among other activities. There is also a restaurant and a shop, so the whole family will have a lot of fun the whole day.

Phone: 078-986-8001/No. of people allowed in the tour: 2 – 40 persons/Possible tour time: Tuesdays – Sundays and national holidays: From 9.30 am, 10:00 am, 10:40 am, 11:00 am, 11:30 am, 12:10 pm, 12:30 pm, 1:10 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:10 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:00 pm and 3:40 pm/Closed: Mondays (factory will be open if Monday is a national holiday) and New Year holidays/Required time for tour: 60 minutes (40 minutes for the factory tour and 20 minutes for drink tasting)/Reservation method: Reservation can be made by phone or on the company’s website up to three months in advance/Age limit: None/Souvenir: None/Shop: 1 shop/Precautions: If the production lines are not running, then guests will be made to watch videos only. The production lines are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays./Tour fee: Free/Parking area: Free (one parking area for 100 vehicles)/Access: [Car] 5 minutes from the Kobe-Sanda IC on Chugoku Expressway [Train] About 15 minutes on the shuttle bus from JR Sanda Station

Kirin Beer Kobe Factory

Yakult Hyogo Miki Factory

Yakult Hyogo Miki Factory, the largest factory in Western Japan, is a facility where people can learn about how lactobacillus works while observing the processes for making Yakult’s raw material liquid, Sofuru and Mirumiru. The tank that increases the lactobacilli and lactobacillus bifidus is overwhelming and packs a punch!

Phone: 0794-89-8960/No. of people allowed in the tour: 1 – 70 persons (※For groups with more than 70 persons, please consult with the factory)/Possible tour time: From 9:30 am, 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 2:30 pm/Closed: Sundays/Required time for tour: 90 minutes (20 minutes for watching videos and 70 minutes for the factory tour)/Reservation method: Reservation can be made by phone or fax (0794-89-8976) up to a week in advance. Reservations are accepted from Monday through Saturday at 9:00 am – 4:00 pm./Age limit: None/Souvenirs: Plastic recycled products, etc. /Shop: None/Precautions: Taking photos of the production processes is prohibited and pets are not allowed inside/Tour fee: Free/Parking area: Free (one parking area for 30 vehicles)/Access: [Car] 10 minutes from the Miki-Higashi IC on the Sanyo Expressway [Train] About 15 minutes by taxi from Midorigaoka Station in the Kobe Electric Railway

Yakult Hyogo Miki Factory

Asahi Soft Drinks Akashi Factory

At the Asahi Soft Drinks Akashi Factory, guests will be able to observe the production of famous drinks such as Mitsuya Cider, 16 Cha and Wonda. Here, you will get to see the production lines of the company’s products in PET bottles and cans, and will be given easy-to-understand information and guidance about the products. Make sure to take advantage of the spot for souvenir photos!

Phone: 078-941-2309/No. of people allowed in the tour: 2- 120 persons (※Please consult with the factory)/Possible tour time: 9:30 am – 3:00 pm/Closed: There are specially designated holidays (check and inquire through the company’s website)/Required time for tour: 90 minutes/Reservation method: Reservation by phone is required at least a day in advance (first-come, first-served basis). Reservations are accepted from 9:00 am./Age limit: None/Souvenir: Soft drinks/Shop: Available/Precautions: Taking photos of the lines is not allowed/Tour fee: Free/Parking area: Free (slots for 30 vehicles available, but they need to be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis)/Access: [Car] 15 minutes from the Akashi-Nishi IC on the Daini-Shinmei Road [Train] About 10 minutes by taxi from the Higashi-Futami Station in the Sanyo Electric Railway

Asahi Soft Drinks Akashi Factory

Mentai Park Kobe Sanda

Mentai Park Kobe Sanda is the theme park dedicated to mentaiko (salted roe of walleye pollack) that is run by Kanefuku, a well-established mentaiko manufacturer that is headquartered in Fukuoka. Here, you will be able to tour the production processes and sample the products for free! Make sure to drop by the Mentai Land (paid), where you can have fun learning about mentaiko.

Phone: 078-986-1137/No. of people allowed in the tour: Around 40 persons/Possible tour time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm/Closed: None, open throughout the year/Required time for tour: About 20 minutes/Reservation method: Reserve on the company’s website or by phone for groups (10 or more people). Reservations are accepted at 9:00 –6:00 pm/Age limit: None/Souvenir: None/Shop: 1 shop/Precautions: Reservation is generally not required for individuals, but tour buses and groups need to make a reservation in order to secure parking space for their buses/Tour fee: Free (※For the Mentai Land, 500 JPY for middle school students and older guests, and 300 JPY for 4-year-old children to elementary school students)/Parking area: Free (one parking area for 260 vehicles)/Access: [Car] 3 minutes from the Kobe-Sanda IC on Chugoku Expressway [Train] About 20 minutes on the complimentary shuttle bus from Sanda Station in the JR Kobe Electric Railway

Mentai Park Kobe Sanda

[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 06.30.2017]

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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Writer: KansaiWalker

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