Two hours by bus from Tokyo, nestled at the base of Mount Fuji, sits the Kirin Fuji Gotemba Distillery.

At a massive 155,000 square meters, the distillery is one of the largest in the world, and distills both malt and grain whisky. Most importantly for the curious visitor, the distillery offers free tours to the public. So, craving some fresh air and an escape from sweltering Tokyo, I headed out to the cooler climes of Shizuoka Prefecture.

At the distillery, I am greeted by a neatly dressed guide who leads our group into a cinema lined with barrel lids stamped with the date "1973," the year of the distillery's first bottling. The room lights up, and a video takes us through the history of the distillery and highlights the importance of its water source, Mount Fuji. The water used at the distillery filters through the mountain over a period of 50 years and brings a light, fresh taste to the spirit.