Sake Tasting in Tokyo?
- Yuko from SF May 9, 2006 09:22 PM
I will be in Tokyo on business for 3 weeks in July. Are there any places where we could go to do a sake tasting? I am not sure if there is a sake brewry in Tokyo, but if not, maybe there are events at the restaurant, or sake shops?? Thank you for your help!
Sake writer John Gauntner puts together a monthly sake-tasting dinner which includes an informative talk about sake. Check his website (http://sake-world.com/ ) for dates.
Much more informally, there's a sake shop called Hasegawa in the new Omotesando Hills complex that has a little stand-up counter where you can try out a dozen or so sake, along with a very light food menu. They speak a little English as I recall. But it's a tiny place, so I wouldn't recommend bringing a big group there.
I'm not sure if there will be any official tastings, but there is a temporary sake shop called Kura 70 near Tokyo station where you will be able to try various sakes (different ones are featured each week,I think) until 8/5. Might be worth checking out.
Also, there are a couple of sake breweries near tokyo, accessible by train. Ishikawa Shuzo has tours in English. Ozawa Shuzo doesn't, but they have English brochures and a tasting spot.04-2878-8215.
Have you done a google search? I found all the information you are enquiring about in just two searches. I assume that you have looked at Ishikawa Shuzo's website which has information in English, right?
To try Ozawa Shuzo's sake (Sawanoi, etc..) you can go to their tasting room (きき酒処 -kikisakedokoro) which is open 10:30-4:30 (closed on Mondays).
Nearest station is Sawai Station, on the JR Ome line, which is about a 90 minute train ride from Shinjuku. Their website has all the phone numbers and various locations (kura, restaurants etc..), so just print out the map for navigation once you get there (Japanese only).
John`s next seminar is July 8th and you get an omiyage at this one, a sake cup to take home with you! 7,000 yen for the dinner and sake and omiyage cup.
>you get an omiyage at this one, a sake cup to take home
A minor quibble, but I think the sake cups are free to use at the tasting, and for sale at a reasonable price, not free to take home.
Still though, John Gauntner's monthly tasting/ seminar dinner is well worth checking out if you're in town (and still reading this thread). And Kura 70 is amazing.