If you come to Japan, you’d see most of the Japan dishes go very well with the typical drink: Sake. It is a Japanese rice wine made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran. Unlike wine, in which alcohol (ethanol) is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in grapes, sake is produced by a brewing process more like that of beer, where the starch is converted into sugars, before being converted to alcohol. Below is the list of 5 places you can enjoy the very authentic sake in Tokyo:
1. Amanogawa (天乃川) in Shinjuku
Amanogawa is a traditional Japanese restaurant where they pair food and sake. If you want, the sommelier always ready to suggest the brands that best goes with your selected meal, regardless of whether the diner is seafood or meat dishes. The cook and sake master invite you for a glimpse of the sake world. Be sure to make reservations as the capacity of the restaurant is only ten guests.
Keio Plaza Hotel Honkan 2F, 2-2-1 Nishishinjuku Shinjuku Tokyo
2. Kanda Nihonsyu bar “Shu-Shu” (神田 日本酒バル 酒趣) in Kanda/Akihabara
This is still the only sake-bar night of its kind in Tokyo, and very near the famous sightseeing spots in Akihabara. It offers a tempting variety of the choicest brands of sake, carefully selected by a sake sommelier. Each kind of sake is selected in accordance with the current season, and this array allows even beginners to enjoy the very best from sake breweries all over Japan in a casual environment.
Yano Building 1F, 5-5 Kanda Konyacho Chiyoda Tokyo
3. SAKE HALL HIBIYA BAR (サキ ホール ヒビヤ バー) in Ginza
It’s the first bar in the world devoted to cocktails made from sake. The usual method of drinking sake is to have it warm or cold, from sake cups and special ceramic bottles called tokkuri, but here it is drunk from wine glasses, and on the rocks. The bar is divided into seven rooms, the idea being to enjoy sake from a different brewery in each room.
SAKE HALL HIBIYA BAR also offers various cocktails using Japanese sake which is not common in Japan. Why don't you try sake in a new style?
Miyuki Building B1F, 5-6-12 Ginza Chuo Tokyo
4. Kamachiku (釜竹) in Yanesen
Kamachiku is located in the famous sightseeing area Yanesen, and having the interior looks like a century-old redbrick storehouse, with a view to the garden, such a delicate and classic way to enjoy bar style. Of course, it’s only Kamachiku, besides the delighted sake, you can enjoy the shop’s most popular dish: zaru udon, which is cold noodles with cold dipping sauce!
2-14-18 Nezu Bunkyo Tokyo
5. Kanda Koju (かんだ光壽) in Kanda/Akihabara
The exterior is a bit modern-shabby, with a small overhead sign that makes it look quite acceptable. The snacks were quite satisfying in their own way, and of course, amazing sake list! It’s not outlandishly large; they just focus on having the good stuff, probably 50 varieties of it. It’s absolutely a nice thing is that you can get it in 120ml wine glasses or 80ml (60ml?) ‘shots’, which are actually more like liqueur glasses! It’s not simply just a snacks and drinks places, but also good food plates.
2-9-7 Kajicho Chiyoda Tokyo
6. KURAND Sake Market in Shibuya
KURAND Sake Market's concept is a "tasting bar" where you can enjoy varieties of Japanese alcoholic beverages not only sake. The price is fixed, and you can enjoy as much as sake you want from their over 100 kinds of storage within the designated time you have purchased. So if you're going to compare different flavors, KURAND Sake Market Shibuya is the place to go!
2-chome-9-10 Dogenzaka, Shibuya City, Tokyo
7. Sake Sakana Zuburoku (酒さかな ずぶ六) in Asakusa
Sake Sakana Zuburoku is a cozy Izakaya with various Japanese sake and delicious delicacies that matches perfectly with sake. The place is famous by locals and tourists alike, as it got Bib Gourmand of the Michelin Guide 2019. However, this place might be challenging to get in as they only have a small number of seats. Be sure to get early and indulge in their delicacies and sake.
3-34-3, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
8. Ebi to Basashi to Nihonshu no Izakaya (エビと馬刺と日本酒の居酒屋) in Ikebukuro
As the name of the restaurant suggests, their specialties are shrimps, horse meat sashimi, and Japanese sake. Horse meat? Yes, horse meat is some regions' local specialty. Popular ways to have horse meat is sashimi (Basashi), and hotpot (Sakura Nabe), and this restaurant offer both of them. As for Japanese sake, they also offer sake flights, so choose that if you are not sure about your likings yet.
1-13-1, Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
9. Towa in Ueno
TOWA is a soba restaurant offers various Japanese craft beer and Japanese sake. They offer 15 kinds of Japanese craft beers from different areas in Japan all the time, so this is also a place for beer lovers. Of course, they offer plenty of Japanese sake from all over Japan. They also have Japanese whiskey on the menu, so those who wanted to have liquors from Japan should taste everything at Towa in Ueno!
6-11-12, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
10. KUDAKA (久高) in Roppongi
KUDAKA is an ideal place for a vegetarian sake lover. They stock fresh vegetables from contracted farmers every morning and offer various vegetarian Japanese dishes. They also offer seasonal Japanese sake, so you can encounter different bottles in every visit.
6-8-29, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
More articles related to sake
*Thumbnail image is from Flickr
Information in this article is as of the time it was published