Notable sake lists
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Sake tasting bars, standing bars

Yamachan - Bar: Shinjuku Gyoen-mae
Open 6-10pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays.
A very casual, all-you-can-drink premium sake bar, Yamachan combines the best aspects of an industry sake-tasting event (lots of varieties freely available, at a reasonable all-inclusive price) and a...
Open 6-10pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays.
Moto - Bar: Shinjuku
Open 3-11:30pm daily.
Nihonshu Stand Moto is a very informal bar that specializes in nihonshu, in this case quite a good selection of it at reasonable prices. The food menu is more extensive than you'd expect, dominated...
Open 3-11:30pm daily.
Hasegawa Saketen - Liquor shop: Harajuku
Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
A very well-stocked sake shop, plus a small stand-up bar where you can try samples in small 50ml tasting sizes. Usually there are around ten sakes open for tasting, priced Y200-400. There's also a...
Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Buri - Bar: Ebisu
Open 5pm-3am daily.
This stand-up bar specializes in one-cup sake from around the country; the selection perhaps isn't as exciting as a regular sake bar, but the atmosphere is convivial and the shop makes a good first...
Open 5pm-3am daily.
Kimijimaya - Liquor shop: Ebisu
Open 10am-9:30pm daily.
This Yokohama-based liquor store not only stocks an excellent selection of sake, but they also run a small standing bar where you can sample the featured sake, wine and beer of the day. Over a dozen...
Open 10am-9:30pm daily.
Shusaron - Bar: Shinagawa
Open 5-11:30pm (3-11:30pm Sat/Sun) daily.
This small but stylish bar specializes in koshu (vintage sake), and they offer several different tasting sets to guide your explorations. The Y1260 set features three different types of koshu, and...
Open 5-11:30pm (3-11:30pm Sat/Sun) daily.
Fukumitsuya - Liquor shop: Roppongi
Open 11am-9pm daily.
Hidden away in the back of this well-appointed shop is a six-seat bar area where you can drop in for a quick glass of sake. The shop is run by the Fukumitsuya Brewery in Kanagawa, and besides...
Open 11am-9pm daily.
Anpuku - Udon: Toranomon
Open 11am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Novel, fusion-style udon is the specialty here, but what first attracted our attention was the inviting little sake bar standing at the front of the shop. A couple dozen well-chosen craft sakes from...
Open 11am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Sake Plaza - Retail: Uchisaiwaicho
Open 10am-6pm. Closed weekends.
Although the atmosphere at this sake-industry information center is rather utilitarian, they do offer sake tastings during the day (Y300 per tasting) along with occasional special events. And of...
Open 10am-6pm. Closed weekends.
Shinshu Osake Mura - Bar: Shimbashi
Open 11am-9:30pm (LO). Closed weekends.
People don't come to Shinshu Osake Mura for the atmosphere, or the music (there isn't any). There aren't even any chairs. The reason to visit this hole-in-the-wall, standing-only sake bar, located...
Open 11am-9:30pm (LO). Closed weekends.
Tabibito - Bar: Shimbashi
Open 5-11pm. Closed weekends.
Premium sake is the focus at this charming drinking spot, and proprietress will construct three-part tasting flights based on your preferences. Flights generally cost around Y1500-1700 - perhaps a...
Open 5-11pm. Closed weekends.
Kimijimaya - Liquor shop: Ginza
Open 10:30am-9pm (Sat -8, Sun -7) daily.
A branch of the huge Kimijimaya liquor store in Yokohama, this Ginza outpost offers a good selection of sake and runs an informal standing bar corner as well. Fourteen types of sake range from...
Open 10:30am-9pm (Sat -8, Sun -7) daily.
Marugoto Kochi - Antenna shop: Ginza
Open 10:30am-8pm daily.
Food products from Kochi Prefecture are sold in the first-floor "Tosa Market" retail shop, including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Unusual items include rice ice cream and yokan candies in...
Open 10:30am-8pm daily.
Hiroshima Brand Shop TAU - Antenna shop: Ginza
Open 10:30am-8pm daily.
One of the largest single-prefecture antenna shops in Tokyo, this four-story shop sells a big selection of food and drink as well as other local Hiroshima products. There's a regional-cuisine...
Open 10:30am-8pm daily.
Kengyo - Bar: Ginza
Open 5-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Run by a liquor retail shop, this stand-up bar offers a small selection of sake, inexpensive small plates of food, and jazz on the sound system. The attached liquor store is open from 10am.
Open 5-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Hasegawa Saketen - Bar: Yaesu
Open 7am-10pm daily.
There's no sake menu at this small counter-bar, so it can be a little intimidating for sake novices. If you know what you like though you can find some interesting limited-edition sakes here - just...
Open 7am-10pm daily.
Akita Pure Rice Sake Bar - Yakitori: Yaesu
Open 11am-10pm (LO; Sat, Sun -9pm) daily.
Craft sake from Akita Prefecture is the specialty at this comfortable counter bar, which stands at the front of a chicken specialty restaurant called Honke Abeya. You can just drop by for a quick...
Open 11am-10pm (LO; Sat, Sun -9pm) daily.
Midette - Antenna shop: Mitsukoshimae
Open 11am-8pm (Sat, Sun -6pm) daily.
In addition to the usual local food and booze, this large prefectural antenna shop offers a good assortment of crafts - tableware, glassware, wooden dolls and other decorative items. The sake area...
Open 11am-8pm (Sat, Sun -6pm) daily.
Suzuden - Liquor shop: Yotsuya
Open 9am-9pm. Closed Sundays.
A well-stocked sake specialty store; don't miss the refrigerated rooms down in the basement. There's also a stand-up bar in back with around a dozen sake by the glass along with simple, inexpensive...
Open 9am-9pm. Closed Sundays.
Kanda Izumiya - Bar: Ogawamachi
Open 5-8:30pm (LO). Closed weekends.
Open since April 2015, this former sake retailer is now a standing sake bar, with a formidable collection of sake by the tasting-size glass and a small food menu to go with it. Sake is served in...
Open 5-8:30pm (LO). Closed weekends.
Hasegawa Saketen - Liquor shop: Futago-tamagawa
Open 10am-9pm daily.
Located inside the Tokyu Foodshow food hall, this specialty liquor shop offers an excellent selection of craft sake as well as beautifully designed servingware. Individual small glasses and...
Open 10am-9pm daily.

Sake specialists

Zaian - Izakaya: Ikebukuro
Open 11:30am-2, 5pm-midnight (LO). Closed Mondays.
The funky basement space and sixties-jazz soundtrack give this cozy little izakaya the relaxed atmosphere of a neighborhood drinking spot. The food menu offers good, solid fare - down-to-earth...
Open 11:30am-2, 5pm-midnight (LO). Closed Mondays.
Manaita - Izakaya: Takadanobaba
Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Manaita is a small, friendly neighborhood izakaya with a very good sake selection. The decor is totally unpretentious, with seating at a slightly cramped counter that's occupied by local customers...
Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Yoshimoto - Izakaya: Nishi-Shinjuku
Open 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
The "kikizake set," or sake tasting flight, is a great invention - instead of just one kind of sake you get to try three different varieties at the same time, comparing flavors and aromas as you sip...
Open 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Galali - Izakaya: Omotesando
Open 6pm-3am daily.
This stylish little izakaya offers excellent food, a good sake selection, and an entire menu page devoted to different varieties of salt - 12 of them in all. Charcoal-grilled seafood and vegetables...
Open 6pm-3am daily.
Zokkon - Izakaya: Shibuya
Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Zokkon is a tastefully decorated, upscale izakaya with good food and an impressive sake selection. The sake list emphasizes daiginjo and other higher grades of sake, with three-part tasting flights...
Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Maishin - Izakaya: Shibuya
Open 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Maishin is worth knowing about for their serious sake selection and their Sunday hours, a day of the week when many sake specialists are taking a holiday. You'll find lots of limited-edition...
Open 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Sake to Sakana - Izakaya: Shibuya
Open 4pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
This small, mostly counter-bar shop serves creative cuisine and an interesting sake selection, with an emphasis on the dry, karakuchi end of the scale. (This is the new incarnation of Sakanatei, a...
Open 4pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Ippo - Izakaya: Ebisu
Open 6pm-1am (LO) daily.
If it weren't for the illuminated sign advertising "Fish and Sake" in English, you might have trouble finding this second-story hideaway in Ebisu. The interior is modestly appointed with a few small...
Open 6pm-1am (LO) daily.
Igarashi - Japanese: Ebisu
Open 11:30am-1:30, 6-10pm. Closed Sundays.
Seasonal Japanese cuisine plus a special menu of limited-edition sake and wines. Full-course menus are Y6000-8000, or you can order a la carte.
Open 11:30am-1:30, 6-10pm. Closed Sundays.
Bakushuan - Beer bar: Ebisu
Open 4-11:30pm daily.
If you like both craft beer and craft sake, and you find yourself in Ebisu, this branch of Otsuka's legendary Bakushuan beer bar is the place for you. Ten mainly Japanese craft beers are served on...
Open 4-11:30pm daily.
Toki no Ma - Izakaya: Ebisu
Open 4:30pm-5am (to 10:30pm Sundays). Open every day.
The impressive sake list includes a number of small-kura limited-edition seasonal sakes; there's also plenty of shochu. The food is also top-notch, with unusual specalties like satsuma-age...
Open 4:30pm-5am (to 10:30pm Sundays). Open every day.
Kiraz - Spanish: Ebisu
Open 6:30-11pm. Closed Mondays.
It's an inspired idea - matching the distinctive flavors of Spanish tapas with bold, assertive styles of craft sake. The tapas dishes here are perhaps a bit more refined than average, ranging from...
Open 6:30-11pm. Closed Mondays.
Ibiza - Izakaya: Hiroo
Open 6pm-midnight.
Ibiza calls itself a "fisherman's diner," and this unpretentious neighborhood spot offers a great selection of fresh-caught fish and seafood. Simple home-style recipes rely on the high quality of...
Open 6pm-midnight.
Wattaribozu - Japanese regional: Gotanda
Open 11:30am-2, 5pm-1am daily.
Akita Prefecture is famous for its excellent sake, but its regional cuisine isn't as widely known. Wattaribozu, a cozy little basement izakaya near Gotanda Station, is a great place to explore both...
Open 11:30am-2, 5pm-1am daily.
Waniya - Izakaya: Gotanda
Open 6-11pm. Closed Sundays.
An amazing selection of sake and top-rate food in a cozy setting. The sake list changes with the season, and it helps if you know what you're looking for.
Open 6-11pm. Closed Sundays.
Ukyo - Izakaya: Azabu-Juban
Open 6pm-4am daily.
The fantastic sake list here (more than 200 varieties) is supported by a solid sake-friendly food menu, including many Okinawan dishes and luxurious items like foie gras and uni. Budget around Y7000...
Open 6pm-4am daily.
Kagura - Japanese regional: Akasaka
Open 4-11pm. Closed Sundays.
Kagura is run by the Fukumitsuya sake brewery in Kanazawa, and it showcases their line-up of premium sakes. The food menu focuses on Kaga-ryori - the regional cuisine of Kanazawa. Prix-fixe menus...
Open 4-11pm. Closed Sundays.
Ishii - Izakaya: Shimbashi
Open 6-11pm (LO). Closed weekends.
If you're a sake afficianado you'll be delighted by the stellar selection at this unpretentious little izakaya. Chances are you'll make some interesting discoveries, and perhaps even meet a brewer...
Open 6-11pm (LO). Closed weekends.
Shutei Kikuhime - Izakaya: Shimbashi
Open 5-10:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Managed by the famous Kikuhime sake brewery in Ishikawa Prefecture, this izakaya showcases Kikuhime sake and shochu. You can try twenty-one types of Kikuhime sake, plus a few more seasonal specials,...
Open 5-10:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Kuri - Bar: Shimbashi
Open 4-11:30pm (drink LO). Closed Sundays.
Run by the Moto-Azabu liquor shop Kurihara, this is a larger branch of the original Kuri in Ginza, specializing in sake and shochu. For your tasting cnovenience, sake comes in small (60ml) glasses...
Open 4-11:30pm (drink LO). Closed Sundays.
Nozaki - Izakaya: Shimbashi
Open 5-11:30pm (Sat, Sun -10:30) daily.
Fine food and an excellent sake selection at this very unpretentious after-work izakaya. Budget around Y3000 for food and drink.
Open 5-11:30pm (Sat, Sun -10:30) daily.
Hakobune - Japanese regional: Shimbashi
Open 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Charcoal-grilled fish and seafood from the Hokuriku region of northern Honshu are the specialty at this robata-style izakaya. They also stock more than 100 kinds of sake. The food is good, but the...
Open 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Kohju - Izakaya: Shimbashi
Open 5:30-11:30pm. Closed weekends.
Good food and an excellent selection of hard-to-find premium sakes make this hidden-away basement spot worth looking for. The ceiling is plastered with sake labels, and customers include serious...
Open 5:30-11:30pm. Closed weekends.
Sake no Ana - Izakaya: Ginza
Open 11:30am-10:30pm (LO; Sun -9:30) daily.
The excellent sake list (some 130 labels are generally in stock) is supported by a reliable menu of standard izakaya fare - charcoal-grilled meats and fish, yakitori, and sake-friendly nibbles like...
Open 11:30am-10:30pm (LO; Sun -9:30) daily.
Hakarime - Izakaya: Ginza
Open noon-2:30, 5:30-11:30pm daily.
Anago eel and warm sake are the specialties at this popular spot. Budget around Y6000-8000 for food and drink. No lunch on Saturdays.
Open noon-2:30, 5:30-11:30pm daily.
Kuri - Bar: Ginza
Open 5pm-2:30am (LO; 3am Fri, midnight Sat). Closed Sundays, 3rd Sat.
Sliding open the door of Kuri feels like unearthing a secret treasure. Hidden on the second floor of a drab building in Ginza, this cozy bar seats a scant twelve, yet boasts a menu featuring over 100...
Open 5pm-2:30am (LO; 3am Fri, midnight Sat). Closed Sundays, 3rd Sat.
Musshu Mizuki - Izakaya: Ginza
Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-11:30pm (Fri -2am) daily.
Among the ranks of craft-sake specialty pubs in Tokyo, Musshu (the name means "sake dream") stands out for its balance of cozy atmosphere, good food, and decent prices. The eclectic food menu is...
Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-11:30pm (Fri -2am) daily.
Hakobune (Ginza Chuo-dori) - Japanese regional: Ginza
Open 5-11:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Hearth-grilled seafood fresh from northern Honshu is the specialty at this attractive "slow-food" izakaya. Prix-fixe menus feature several types of grilled fish, sashimi and locally grown chicken...
Open 5-11:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Daruma - Izakaya: Yaesu
Open 11am-9:30pm (LO; 9pm weekends) daily.
A small, hole-in-the-wall shop in Tokyo Station's underground shopping complex, Daruma boasts a surprisingly large selection of hard-to-find premium sake - 80 kinds in all - including multiple...
Open 11am-9:30pm (LO; 9pm weekends) daily.
Higasa Amagasa - Izakaya: Yotsuya 3-chome
Open 5:30pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Craft sake from small, often obscure, breweries in Nagano Prefecture and elsewhere is the focus at this popular sake specialty bar. Servings are in small-size glasses and sharing is encouraged, so...
Open 5:30pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Asama - Izakaya: Yotsuya 3-chome
Open 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
The sign outside this old-school sake pub entices with the promise of jizake - local sake - and makes good on that offer. On Friday nights, the crowd consists mainly of beer-drinking salarymen, but...
Open 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Talkin' Loud - Izakaya: Yotsuya 3-chome
Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
It's finally here, the world's first acid-jazz sake bar, playing an invigorating soundtrack of early-nineties acid jazz and triphop while pouring an impressive mix of rare-groove premium sake. The...
Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
All That Jazz - Izakaya: Yotsuya 3-chome
Open 6pm-midnight (LO). Closed Sundays.
Nearly thirty well-chosen craft sake from relatively obscure small breweries are on offer at this cozy neighborhood drinking spot. There are also sake-friendly nibbles like grilled dried fish and...
Open 6pm-midnight (LO). Closed Sundays.
Ringo no Hana - Japanese regional: Yotsuya 3-chome
Open 11:30am-1, 5:30-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Aomori Prefecture in Northern Japan produces some very nice sake, and Ringo no Hana is a good place to try it out. Some twenty different types of local craft sake are served either in ichi-go flasks...
Open 11:30am-1, 5:30-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Katakura - Izakaya: Ichigaya
Open 5-11pm. Closed Sundays.
This charming, traditionally appointed izakaya near Ichigaya station offers an enormous selection of craft sake, shochu, and Okinawan awamori. The sake list includes a dozen or so specials of the...
Open 5-11pm. Closed Sundays.
Seigetsu - Izakaya: Kagurazaka
Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Unlike many sake-connoisseur pubs, the food here stands on its own, and would make Seigetsu worth a visit even if they only served tea. The charcoal-grilled chicken is especially outstanding, and...
Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Unikura - Izakaya: Suidobashi
Open 5-11:30pm daily.
Indulge yourself with a big tray of fresh uni or ikura to accompany your favorite sake at this cozy little izakaya. If you're not in the mood for a whole box of uni (Y2980) there are delicate small...
Open 5-11:30pm daily.
Jusanya - Yakitori: Ogawamachi
Open 11:30am-1:30, 5:30 to closing. Closed Sundays.
Jusanya is a small neighborhood yakitoriya with above-average chicken and an unusual sake selection. The sake list isn't huge, but it's deeper than usual, with two or three varieties of some small...
Open 11:30am-1:30, 5:30 to closing. Closed Sundays.
Surugaya Kahei - Izakaya: Akihabara
Open 11am-11pm daily.
There's a nice selection of some three dozen craft sake to explore at this stylish little bar, with an unusual fish and seafood-centered food menu to accompany your drinks. It's run by a...
Open 11am-11pm daily.
Odako - Oden: Ueno
Open 5:30-11pm daily.
Odako is a place where oden finally gets the respect it deserves, presented with top-grade small-producer sake. Here, oden is prepared fresh daily in a Kansai-style broth, which is not nearly as...
Open 5:30-11pm daily.
Kushikoma - Izakaya: Otsuka
Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Mondays.
The specialized sake selection at this small neighborhood izakaya is beyond reproach, while the food menu is notable for its sake-infused dishes such as ginjo-steamed chicken with apricots and wasabi...
Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Mondays.
Bakushuan - Beer bar: Otsuka
Open 6pm-1am. Closed Mondays.
Although it looks like an old-fashioned izakaya inside, Bakushuan serves a modern selection of ten Japanese and US craft beers on tap in addition to its very respectable sake list. The food menu is...
Open 6pm-1am. Closed Mondays.
Souten (Minami-guchi) - Yakitori: Otsuka
Open 5:30-11pm. Closed Mondays.
Tokyo has no shortage of good yakitori shops, but Souten really stands out from the the crowd thanks to the quality of both their chicken and their craft sake. The entrance sports an extra-large...
Open 5:30-11pm. Closed Mondays.
Ajisen - Izakaya: Tsukishima
Open 5:30-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays, Mondays.
A tiny, legendary sake pub with an unusual selection, including many rare koshu (aged sakes). There's also a big list of shochu made from sugar cane. Food highlights include the anago dishes and...
Open 5:30-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays, Mondays.
Omasa-komasa - Izakaya: Higashi-Nakano
Open 5pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
The extensive sake collection here includes a good range of Juyondai, including some rare bottles. The master is quite exacting in his recommendations, so be prepared to be quizzed about your tastes...
Open 5pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Kushibeh - Yakitori: Koenji
Open 5-11:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
The entryway is plastered with sake labels (usually a good sign), and the sake selection is from all over Japan, with well-chosen seasonal brews that change every month. The yakitori is outstanding,...
Open 5-11:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Sasagin - Japanese: Yoyogi-Uehara
Open 5-11pm (to 10:30pm Sat.) (LO). Closed Sundays.
Once known for their amazing sake selection, excellent food, and good prices, Sasagin still offers an amazing sake selection. There's some decent food too, but the menu is hit-and-miss, as is the...
Open 5-11pm (to 10:30pm Sat.) (LO). Closed Sundays.
Tsukushi no Ko - Izakaya: Ikejiri-Ohashi
Open 5-11pm. Closed Sundays.
An astonishing selection of sake, with a full menu page of new, limited-edition arrivals every week. The food tends towards simple, country-style fare, and the atmosphere is very down-home - it's a...
Open 5-11pm. Closed Sundays.
Akaoni - Izakaya: Sangenjaya
Open 5:30-11:30pm (LO) daily.
One of Tokyo's premier sake pubs, with around 100 varieties at any given time. You can order a sashimi platter ahead of time, when you make your reservation, to get a better selection of fish. No...
Open 5:30-11:30pm (LO) daily.

Good sake lists

Himonoya - Izakaya: Takadanobaba
Open 5pm-4am daily.
This cozy izakaya specializes in himono (grilled dried fish), with a big menu of different varieties from around Japan. There's also plenty of good regional sake. Budget around Y2-3000 per person.
Open 5pm-4am daily.
Cocoro Musubi - Izakaya: Shinjuku Gyoen-mae
Open 5:30-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Sake is the star at this friendly little izakaya, with a smallish menu of charcoal-grilled seafood, meat and vegetables designed to go well with your drinks. Budget around Y6000 in the evening for...
Open 5:30-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Sono - Yakitori: Shinjuku
Open 5-11pm daily.
Excellent grilled chicken, sushi and much more in this glitzy, high-rise branch of the popular Shinjuku yakitori restaurant. There's a good selection of premium sake to go with your food; dinner...
Open 5-11pm daily.
Donjaca (Suehiro-dori) - Izakaya: Shinjuku
Open 4pm-5am daily.
Superlative izakaya-style fare in a lively, noisy setting. They have an impressive and ever-changing selection of jizake (regional sake), plus good sashimi and grilled fish. Intriguing...
Open 4pm-5am daily.
Shousuke - Yakitori: Shinjuku
Open 5pm-midnight daily.
Shousuke is a spacious, two-story affair - downstairs there's a big sushi counter, and upstairs are several semi-private booths for two, four or more, separated by bamboo blinds for privacy. The...
Open 5pm-midnight daily.
Dora - Izakaya: Shinjuku
Open 5pm-5am daily.
This basement branch of the Donjaca chain offers a wide menu of izakaya-style fare and Japanese sake. The Japanese dishes are much better than their multi-cultural experiments.
Open 5pm-5am daily.
Donjaca (honten) - Izakaya: Shinjuku
Open to about 6am daily.
Inexpensive jizake (regional sake) and good grilled fish. Seating can get a little cramped during peak hours, so check out the much larger Suehiro-dori branch just around the corner. No...
Open to about 6am daily.
Himonoya - Izakaya: Nishi-Shinjuku
Open 11am-5am daily.
One of the few late-night spots on the west side of Shinjuku station, this budget izakaya offers a good selection of sake and a wide range of food, including many varieties of grilled himono (dried...
Open 11am-5am daily.
Kaasan Shinjuku ekimae - Izakaya: Nishi-Shinjuku
Open 11am-3, 4-11:20pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Who can resist a restaurant called "Mom's", especially when the kitchen and waitress staff is a squadron of fifty-ish, motherly types who look like they'd be disappointed in you for not finishing...
Open 11am-3, 4-11:20pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Donjaca (Nishiguchi-ten) - Izakaya: Nishi-Shinjuku
Open 5pm-3am (LO) daily.
Imaginative pub-style Japanese food and regional sake at great prices.
Open 5pm-3am (LO) daily.
Sangendou - Izakaya: Nishi-Shinjuku
Open 11:30am-2, 4:30-11pm daily.
Unlike some skyscraper restaurants, this place has the energy and atmosphere of a down-to-earth izakaya. The food menu is impressively diverse, including soba noodles, kushiyaki (both yakitori and...
Open 11:30am-2, 4:30-11pm daily.
Kazusaya Shinkichi - Izakaya: Jingumae 2-chome
Open 4-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Inexpensive sashimi and other fish dishes, offering good quality for the price. There's an assortment of premium sake brands as well as shochu to drink. (Formerly called Higashi-no-17.) Cash only.
Open 4-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Unosato - Izakaya: Shibuya
Open 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Unosato was a pioneering sake specialty pub that's been here for decades, although nowadays their list looks fairly dated - decent-enough regional brands that you'll find at a hundred other izakaya,...
Open 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Gyossantei - Kyushu: Shibuya
Open 11:30am-1:30, 5:50-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Gyossantei is a great place to sample the regional cooking of Miyazaki Prefecture, along with good sake from around the country. The dining space is comfortable and informal, and large windows on...
Open 11:30am-1:30, 5:50-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Himonoya - Izakaya: Shibuya
Open 11:30am-2, 5pm-5am daily.
Good-value grilled fish, snacks and sake in this lively late-night drinking spot. The specialty is himono (grilled dried fish) from around Japan. Budget around Y2000-3000 per person. There's often...
Open 11:30am-2, 5pm-5am daily.
Nakamura - Izakaya: Shibuya
Open 6-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Occupying the second floor of a newish office building, Nakamura is a very tastefully appointed modern izakaya, with sophisticated lighting and sleek furnishings. A full crew of chefs work in the...
Open 6-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Tetsugen - Izakaya: Ebisu
Open 6pm-3am (LO; 10pm Sun) daily.
The wide menu here covers a lot of ground, but particularly notable are the top-quality meat dishes featuring Hokkaido lamb, game birds and gourmet pork. The cozy dining room has mostly counter...
Open 6pm-3am (LO; 10pm Sun) daily.
Konbuya - Oden: Nishi-Azabu
Open 6pm-1am (LO; 11pm Sundays). Open every day.
Although it's best known in its convenience-store and yatai manifestations, oden can be a cuisine of great subtlety and refinement, and Konbuya in Nishi-Azabu is an excellent place to investigate the...
Open 6pm-1am (LO; 11pm Sundays). Open every day.
Himonoya (Meguro east side) - Izakaya: Meguro
Open 11am-2, 5pm-5am daily.
A relaxed late-night izakaya with good food and drink. One of the specialties is himono, various types of dried fish that are served grilled. Budget around Y2000-3000 for food and drink.
Open 11am-2, 5pm-5am daily.
Kaba - Izakaya: Hamamatsucho
Open 11am-11:30pm daily.
With its corrugated metal facade, utilitarian stools, colorful banners and noisily shouted greetings, Kaba strives for a down-home feel and is probably the most boisterous spot in the Hamasite...
Open 11am-11:30pm daily.
Zanmai - Yakitori: Akasaka
Open 11:30am-1:30, 5:30-11:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Very good yakitori and game-bird cuisine along with a respectable sake list. Budget around Y7000 for dinner, Y1000 for lunch.
Open 11:30am-1:30, 5:30-11:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Sake Bistro W - Izakaya: Toranomon
Open 11am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
A stylish izakaya-slash-dining bar serving modern Tokyo cuisine - a mix of Italian, Spanish and Japanese regional dishes made from premium ingredients. There's an excellent sake list that rotates...
Open 11am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Sandiya - Izakaya: Shiodome
Open 11am-3, 5-10pm (LO; Sat, Sun -9) daily.
If you're looking for a budget izakaya with decent food and sake amid the overpriced eateries of Shiodome, Sandiya is worth checking out. More than twenty different craft sake, from labels like...
Open 11am-3, 5-10pm (LO; Sat, Sun -9) daily.
Takara - Japanese: Marunouchi
Open 11:30am-11pm daily.
A joint venture between Mushu sake pub and several sake companies, Takara serves both Japanese food and Spanish tapas, plus sake, awamori, shochu, excellent Japanese microbrew beer (Baird's), and...
Open 11:30am-11pm daily.
Abeya - Yakitori: Marunouchi
Open 10am-9pm (LO) daily.
The famous Akita-based yakitoriya serves fantastic grilled chicken - an heirloom cross-breed called hinai-jidori - along with local Akita sake. Budget around Y3000 for food and drink at dinnertime,...
Open 10am-9pm (LO) daily.
Daedoko - Japanese regional: Marunouchi
Open 11am-2:30, 5-10pm (LO; Sat, Sun -9pm) daily.
The cuisine of Yamagata Prefecture is the specialty at this stylish upscale izakaya, along with a nice selection of local craft sake. A dozen or so special sakes of the day are featured on the...
Open 11am-2:30, 5-10pm (LO; Sat, Sun -9pm) daily.
Yamagata Sakanaichi - Japanese regional: Yaesu
Open 10am-10pm (LO) daily.
This is a good spot to explore Yamagata's most famous product, craft sake, with over 100 varieties available. The food menu focuses on Yamagata beef and other regional dishes, but it's generally not...
Open 10am-10pm (LO) daily.
Himonoya - Izakaya: Yotsuya 3-chome
Open 11am-1am (LO; Sat, Sun -12) daily.
There's a good selection of sake to go with your grilled himono (dried fish) and other izakaya fare, all at quite reasonable prices. Lunch is served until 4pm.
Open 11am-1am (LO; Sat, Sun -12) daily.
Abuzo - Izakaya: Akebonobashi
Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10:30pm (LO) daily.
A cozy neighborhood izakaya, Abuzo specializes in charcoal-grilled beef, pork, chicken and ocean trout, with a decent sake list alongside. The white chicken livers, fresh every day, are a...
Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Kurachan - Izakaya: Akebonobashi
Open 6-10pm. Closed Sundays.
A quiet, extremely unpretentious neighborhood drinking spot, Kurachan sports a classic old-school izakaya decor and serves an interesting selection of craft sake along with excellent grilled chicken....
Open 6-10pm. Closed Sundays.
Wagokoro - Izakaya: Yotsuya
Open 5pm-midnight daily.
Forty brands of craft sake, all priced at a reasonable Y800 per ichigo flask, are offered at this small neighborhood sake specialist. The supporting food menu is quite reliable, with lots of...
Open 5pm-midnight daily.
Fuku no Hana - Japanese regional: Yotsuya
Open 11:30am-2, 5-11:15pm (LO) daily.
Regional cuisine, local sake and shochu from Yamaguchi Prefecture are served at this friendly after-work izakaya. The menu features premium-quality heirloom-breed chicken, Takamori beef, locally...
Open 11:30am-2, 5-11:15pm (LO) daily.
Konbuya - Oden: Kagurazaka
Open 4-11pm (LO) daily.
Oden is known as a fairly humble cuisine, but it reaches new heights of sophistication at Konbuya, where it's paired with well-chosen craft sake and shochu in an elegant dining room. In addtion to...
Open 4-11pm (LO) daily.
Notomi - Izakaya: Suidobashi
Open 3-11:30pm daily.
Super-fresh seafood from the Noto Peninsula, north of Kanazawa, is the specialty at Notomi. To go with the seafood, there's a decent selection of a dozen or so well-known sake from around the...
Open 3-11:30pm daily.
Sanjuro - Izakaya: Awajicho
Open 11am-10:30pm (LO; Sat, Sun -9:30) daily.
We were intrigued by the menu categories at this after-work izakaya - charcoal-grilled meats, charcoal-grilled small fish and charcoal-grilled big fish - all of them prepared over top-grade bincho...
Open 11am-10:30pm (LO; Sat, Sun -9:30) daily.
Ikoshi - Izakaya: Sugamo
Open 5:30pm-midnight (LO) daily.
Great sake, from a list that changes every week, at this local, hole-in-the-wall drinking spot. You'll find bottles from small breweries that are seldom seen in retail shops, and the staff are ready...
Open 5:30pm-midnight (LO) daily.
White Fox, The - International: Oji
Open 11:30am-11:30pm (from 2:30 Sat). Closed Sunday.
Chef Trevor Blyth, a veteran of several top-tier restaurants in France and the UK, has opened an unusual restaurant in Oji (6 stops north of Iidabashi on the Namboku line). Aiming to provide...
Open 11:30am-11:30pm (from 2:30 Sat). Closed Sunday.
Dojo - Yakitori: Kiyosumi-Shirakawa
Open 5pm-midnight daily.
Great yakitori, a few well-selected sakes, and reasonable prices at this neighborhood yakitoriya. No English menu.
Open 5pm-midnight daily.
Temae no Ippo - Izakaya: Adachi-ku
Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-11:30pm (LO) daily.
There's an impressive selection of craft sake to try out at this stylish izakaya, and you can put together your own tasting flights quite easily and economically, as small 60ml glasses are priced at...
Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Jidoriya - Japanese regional: Nakano
Open 4pm-12:30am (Sat, Sun 12-) daily.
Hakata cuisine - traditional cooking from Fukuoka in northern Kyushu - is the specialty of this rather boisterous izakaya in Nakano's bar zone. Besides serving excellent food, Jidoriya offers a...
Open 4pm-12:30am (Sat, Sun 12-) daily.
Toneri - Izakaya: Kichijoji
Open 5:30-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Seasonal izakaya fare and gourmet oden, plus very impressive lists of shochu and sake.
Open 5:30-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Aburiya Fudo - Izakaya: Naka-Meguro
Open 6pm-2am (LO; Sundays 10pm) daily.
Excellent charcoal-grilled meats and vegetables are served here with Korean-style sauces and side dishes. The quality of the meats is first-rate, and there are lots of grilled and stewed organ...
Open 6pm-2am (LO; Sundays 10pm) daily.
Gingin - Izakaya: Omori
Open 5-11pm. Closed Sundays.
Gingin specializes in seafood and offers a good selection of craft sake. Budget around Y4500 for food and drink at dinnertime.
Open 5-11pm. Closed Sundays.
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Tokyo Beyond Sushi - the guidebook
Tokyo Beyond Sushi
Explore the hidden side of Tokyo dining
Charcoal-grilled pork on skewers, udon noodles in curry-flavored soup, octopus dumplings, deep-fried beef cutlet -- there's a whole world of exciting food in Tokyo that food-loving visitors often miss out on.

This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From Bento.com.
 
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Updated 2016-08-20