Is homebrewing wine or beer / making moonshine legal in Japan?

In a nutshell, no. Not without a liquor production license. Even making infused or mixed drinks not for immediate consumption is prohibited (except Umeshu / plum wine, which has an explicit exemption due to its historical cultural popularity).

Beer Kegs from https://unsplash.com/@elevatebeer

For reference, see the National Tax Authority’s page on Homebrewing, which roughly translates as:

You can also read https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E9%85%92%E9%A1%9E%E8%A3%BD%E9%80%A0%E5%85%8D%E8%A8%B1 for more information about Liquor Manufacturing Licenses, and the limited cultural or religious exemptions.

In practice, there are many home-brew stores in Japan, and enforcing the prohibition against non-commercial home-brewing does not appear to be a priority. One legal way to try home-brewing is to “borrow” a licensed facility’s equipment and brew onsite, such as at https://www.sharedbrewery.com/.

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Personal interests in literature, SF, and whisky/whiskey/scotch, Software Engineer by Trade

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Elliott

Personal interests in literature, SF, and whisky/whiskey/scotch, Software Engineer by Trade