Sake tasting bars and stand bars
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Here are some of our favorite small bars devoted to sake tastings, along with sake retail shops and prefectural antenna shops with standing corners where you can try before you buy.

See also our listings for Sake-specialty izakaya.

About sake

sake
Please see our Sake drinking guide to learn more about how sake is made and how to order and enjoy it.
Here are some of our favorite small bars devoted to sake tastings, along with sake retail shops and prefectural antenna shops with standing corners where you can try before you buy.

See also our listings for Sake-specialty izakaya.

About sake

sake
Please see our Sake drinking guide to learn more about how sake is made and how to order and enjoy it.

Sake tasting bars

Bucho featuring Yamachan - Sake 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.
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.
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.
Gem by Moto - Sake bar: Ebisu
Open 5pm-midnight. Closed Mondays.
The original Moto standing bar in Shinjuku has been a longtime favorite thanks to their top-notch sake selection and creative food menu, so we came to this smaller, boutique branch of the bar with...
Open 5pm-midnight. Closed Mondays.
Kimijimaya - Liquor shop: Ebisu
Open 10am-9:30pm daily.
Around a dozen different sake varieties are ready for tasting at this casual standing bar, along with a dozen wines, several types of shochu, and Japanese liqueurs like yuzushu. The standing-bar...
Open 10am-9:30pm daily.
Shusaron - Sake 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.
Tabibito - Sake 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.
Hasegawa Saketen (Palace Hotel) - Liquor shop: Marunouchi
Open 10am-9pm daily.
This relatively quiet branch of the popular Hasegawa sake retail specialist is furnished with a small counter area where you can try out a tasting set of three sake of the month, along with a tiny...
Open 10am-9pm 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.
Fukushima Prefecture is justifiably famous for their excellent sake, and you can try several of them in one sitting in the sake-tasting corner of this antenna shop. Three-part tasting flights are...
Open 11am-8pm (Sat, Sun -6pm) daily.
Meishu Center - Sake bar: Ochanomizu
Open 11am-9:30pm (Sun -7pm). Closed Mondays.
This casual, very lively tasting bar offers more than 100 types of sake along with a small menu of sake-compatible snacks. All sake is served in tiny 45ml glasses, so you can try several different...
Open 11am-9:30pm (Sun -7pm). Closed Mondays.
Sake Lover - Sake bar: Kanda
Open 5:30-10:30pm daily.
Sake Lover is one of a trio of self-service, non-standing sake-tasting bars in Tokyo; the others are Nomel (also in Kanda) and Bucho featuring Yamachan (near Shinjuku Gyoen). The system is the same...
Open 5:30-10:30pm daily.
Nomel - Sake bar: Kanda
Open 6-10pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays.
Nomel is a sake-tasting bar offering sixty different premium sakes for you to sample and compare. They have an open-bar system with no time limit, and since you pour your own sake you can try out...
Open 6-10pm. Closed Sundays, Mondays.
Hasegawa Saketen - Liquor shop: Futako-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.

Standing bars with good sake

Moto - Sake 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.
Kikuya - Tempura: Ebisu
Open 4-11:30pm (LO; Sun, Mon -10:30) daily.
Kikuya is Tokyo's first stand-up tempura and craft-sake bar, an extremely specific culinary niche that we didn't realize needed filling until we visited. Most standing sake bars provide some sort of...
Open 4-11:30pm (LO; Sun, Mon -10:30) 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.
Meishu Center - Liquor shop: Hamamatsucho
Open 11am-9pm. Closed weekends.
A down-to-earth little shop that offers an impressive variety of sakes for tasting. There are two brightly lit, stand-up counters where a mostly neighborhood crowd gathers for an after-work drink -...
Open 11am-9pm. Closed weekends.
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, along with occasional special events. Tastings are just Y300, and...
Open 10am-6pm. Closed weekends.
Shinshu Osake Mura - Sake 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.
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 - Sake 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.
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 - Sake bar: Ogawamachi
Open 5-8:30pm (LO). Closed weekends.
This long-established sake retailer runs a standing sake bar a few nights a week, and it's well worth a visit if you can catch them when they're open. The formidable collection of sake is served in...
Open 5-8:30pm (LO). Closed weekends.
Sake Sanwa - Liquor shop: Asakusa
Open noon-6pm. Closed Wednesdays.
This small sake retailer has a stand-up counter where you can try before you buy - there are usually around seven different sake bottles open, with two-part tasting flights priced from Y500 or single...
Open noon-6pm. Closed Wednesdays.
Tokyo Shoten - Sake bar: Ryogoku
Open 11am-10:40pm (LO) daily.
There are thirty different types of sake to sample at this casual standing bar, and surprisingly all of them are made by breweries within Tokyo city limits. To add to the novelty factor, the sake is...
Open 11am-10:40pm (LO) daily.
See also our listings for Sake-specialty izakaya.
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Updated 2017-09-27