Sasanokawa Shuzo Co, the oldest Sake brewer in the Tohoku region of Japan, obtained its license to produce whisky in 1946, after World War II. Cherry Whisky (nothing to do with real cherry but rather to do with the second part of their prior company name "Yamazakura Shuzo", which sounds like Sakura i.e. Cherry Blossom), a blended whisky was one of their first product releases. Around 2010, they released new products under the Yamazakura and "963" brands. They are also the distillery, which famously gave warehouse/storage space to Ichiro Akuto san for his Hanyu casks when they were about to be discarded by the new owners of Toa Shuzo. The first bottling of the Hanyu Card series in 2005 was also completed at Sasanokawa Shuzo itself.
Sasanokawa Shuzo established the Asaka Distillery in 2015, which started distillation in 2016 at the same site to produce Japanese Single Malt Whisky. Fukushima, the area where they are located is blessed with clean, "ultra"pure water from the melting snow due to the unique regional climate in the northeast part of Japan, making it an ideal environment for whisky production.