With its four distinct seasons, Japan's climate is ideally suited to the cultivation of ume, and as such the fruit has been a vital part of daily life for the Japanese since ancient times, used and enjoyed in a myriad of ways.
Umeshu, made by steeping ume fruit in spirit, is one of these ways. Umeshu has been made and enjoyed by many families over the centuries, as a reviving tonic that kept well over long periods.
More than half a century has passed since CHOYA began producing Umeshu. Today, it is a brand with country-wide recognition, available across the whole of Japan. As the head of this company, I am keenly aware of the weight of the responsibility placed in me; it is my job to see that the culture and tradition of Umeshu, developed and refined here in Japan, is passed down to the future. We can achieve this by guaranteeing our production is always safe and reliable, and always fully focused on product quality; we will also concentrate on outstanding product development rooted in knowledge and innovation in our own industry and beyond.
Umeshu has undergone significant changes over the years, particularly in terms of the alcohol in which the ume are soaked to produce the final beverage. At first, the fruit was soaked in koshu, a type of aged sake; this was later replaced with single-distilled shochu, then multiple-distilled shochu. These changes have been significant, and driven by the desire to make the most of the natural properties of ume. Here at CHOYA, we are committed to meeting the ever-changing needs of our ever-diversifying customer base by using our knowledge as Umeshu experts to create ever better products. We will continue to work with a large number of ume growers in Japan, making full use of the fruit they cultivate with such care and expertise, in order to realise innovation and excellence in our Umeshu.
CHOYA is responsible for the development of Umeshu into a commercially viable product. There are many brands on the market today, and their products are of varying quality. In the midst of this competition, we are committed to protecting our fundamental approach to Umeshu production and to providing customers with products they can trust and they can enjoy. We don't want people to buy Umeshu; we want them to buy CHOYA. As Umeshu pioneers, we want that to happen beyond Japan, too, throughout the rest of the world. Going forward, we will be concentrating on ensuring that customers all over the world can enjoy a life overflowing with CHOYA innovation.
Daily life in Japan is given colour and beauty by the country's four distinct seasons. The beginning of summer brings with it the rainy season, which leaves the fruit of the ume trees ripe and rich with organic acids. Umeshu and umeboshi, dried ume fruit, are the result of this natural bounty of the season — with the addition of some human innovation. Ume has been celebrated in Japan since ancient times; the fruit is praised in many of the works in Manyoshu (An Anthology of Ten Thousand Leaves), Japan's oldest collection of poetry. The ume is an integral part of Japan's culture and nature, and the importance that Japanese people have placed in the ume over the years is testament to the central role of cuisine and of well-being in their daily lives.
CHOYA was launched in 1914, as a viticulturist. An encounter with ume, a fruit grown in Japan to world-leading quality, led the company to begin developing a wide variety of products. We are determined to continue to exploit our boundless appetite for exploration and our impressive technical expertise, developed through pioneering research, in order to deliver outstanding products to consumers all around the world. Umeshu is the tool we have chosen to communicate the spirit of Japan to the rest of the world. This is our mission at CHOYA.
CHOYA has strict standards in place for each stage of our production, from the careful selection of ume fruit, to the steeping process, through to maturation. These standards allow us to keep our products tasting delicious, always. We hope to prompt our customers to want to come back to us, to seek out that delicious taste and that wonderful aroma they know we can provide.
At CHOYA, we have primarily marketed our Umeshu as best enjoyed as an aperitif, not least because we believe in encouraging the responsible consumption of alcohol. But we do not believe this is the only possibility for enjoying Umeshu. Just as the dinner table is a place of lively conversation in many Western countries, we would like to see any countries' families gathered together around the table to communicate, to enjoy each others' company, and to smile. Which is why “Serving Up Smiles” is one of our mottos at CHOYA.
To make delicious Umeshu, the first requirement is high-quality ume fruit. Here at CHOYA, however, we go much further, working with ume growers to research and develop ume ideally suited for use in Umeshu. This dedication is rooted in our strong sense of mission: to deliver delicious Umeshu, perfected in Japan's climate and culture, to the rest of world.
There are few things in this world which can truly enrich our lives, providing us with long-term satisfaction and pleasure. We are always thinking about how CHOYA can improve the lives of our customers: how can our products bring joy to our customers? What recipes and styles can we suggest to enhance the relaxation and enjoyment of our customers? We will continue to be committed to innovating and improving in order that our customers can recognise the value of our products.
CHOYA was founded by the Kondo family in 1914, and at first focused on viticulture. In 1959, the company made the historic decision to start production of Umeshu. Today, CHOYA is the biggest producer of Umeshu in the world.
Our mission is to produce and promote the finest Umeshu, made with only natural ingredients. We want our products to make you smile.
The CHOYA team is not very large but every member is very proud of our products and is highly motivated to promote the delicious and unique Japanese drink that is Umeshu around the globe.
We control all production processes including the selection of ume, aging, and blending. These efforts ensure the consistent quality of CHOYA. We always strive to make the best.
|Company Name:||CHOYA UMESHU CO., LTD.|
|Address:||160-1 Komagatani, Habikino-shi, Osaka 583-0841, Japan
TEL: +81 72-956-0515 FAX: +81 72-958-2561
(overseas sales TEL: +81 33-786-0906 FAX: +81 33-784-1008)
|Main Business:||Production and sale of Umeshu, fruit liqueur, brandy, sake, wine, food, non-alcoholic beverages|
|Affiliated Companies:||CHOYA FOODS CO., LTD.||129-1 Komagatani, Habikino-shi, Osaka, Japan|
|CHOYA UMESHU (DEUTSCHLAND) GmbH||Heesenstraße 70 40549 Düsseldorf, Germany
TEL: +49 211-569-219-0
FAX: +49 211-569-219-11
|CHOYA UME LIQUEUR (SHANGHAI) CO., LTD.||Room No. 9-C Yan Dang Building, 107 Yan Dang Road,
TEL: +86 21-61416508
FAX: +86 21-61416518
|CHOYA UMESHU USA INC.||533 Airport Blvd. Suite 216 Burlingame, CA 94010, USA
TEL: +1 650-343-0515
FAX: +1 650-343-0545
|CHOYA UMESHU SOUTH EAST ASIA PTE. LTD.||60 Kaki Bukit Place, Eunos Techpark, #10-14 Suite 3, 415979, Singapore
Tel / FAX: +65 6546-7417
|Branch offices in Japan:||Sapporo
|Factories:||Iga Ueno Factory
Osaka Honsha Factory
Osaka Kawamukai Factory
|1914||Started cultivating grapes.|
|1924||Company was established by Mr. Sumitaro Kondo.
Started producing and selling grape wine.
|1949||Started producing and selling brandy.|
|1951||Started producing and selling fruit wine.|
|1959||Started producing and selling ume-fruit liqueur.|
|1962||Established CHOYA YOSHU JOZO CO., LTD. (Capital of JPY8,500,000 raised)|
|1966||Opened Nagoya Branch, Aichi Pref.|
|1968||Started producing and selling Medicinal Herbal Liqueur.
Started exporting ume-fruit liqueur.
Capital increased to JPY17,000,000.
|1971||Opened Tokyo Branch.|
|1973||Started producing and selling medicinal liqueur.|
|1983||Completed second factory.|
|1985||Started importing and exporting various liquors.|
|1989||Opened German branch in Dusseldorf, Germany.|
|1990||Established CHOYA YOSHU JOZO GmbH in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Opened Sendai Branch, Miyagi Pref. Japan.
|1991||Capital increased to JPY28,000,000.|
|1992||Opened Sapporo Branch, Hokkaido, Japan.
Opened Kishu Factory, Wakayama Pref. Japan.
Opened Osaka Branch, Japan.
|1993||Opened Fukuoka Branch, Fukuoka Pref. Japan.|
|1994||Opened Taipei Office, Taiwan.|
|1995||Opened Taichung Branch, Taiwan.
Opened Shanghai Branch, China.
Opened Hiroshima Branch, Japan.
|1996||Completed first phase of the construction plan of Iga Ueno Factory, Mie Prefecture,. Japan.|
|1997||Opened CHOYA YOSHU JOZO Shanghai Laboratory, China.
Founded new office building for CHOYA YOSHU JOZO GmbH, Germany.
Established CHOYA YOSHU JOZO (Taiwan) CO., LTD., Taipei, Taiwan.
|1998||Completed second phase of the construction plan of Iga Ueno Factory, Mie Prefecture, Japan.
Established of CHOYA UMESHU USA Inc., San Francisco, USA.
|2000||Changed company name to CHOYA UMESHU CO.,LTD.
Completed new head office building, Osaka, Japan. Changed registered name to CHOYA UMESHU (Deutschland) GmbH, Germany.
Changed registered name to CHOYA UMESHU (Taiwan) CO.,LTD, Taiwan.
Established CHOYA UMESHU (Korea) CO.,LTD, Seoul, Korea.
|2001||Completed new Tokyo branch office building, Tokyo, Japan.|
|2006||Established ume culture laboratory.|
|2010||Established CHOYA UMESHU SOUTH EAST ASIA PTE. LTD., Singapore.|
|2014||Opened Warsaw Office, Poland.|