Sake and shochu retail shops
Miyagi Furusato Plaza "Coco Miyagi" (Ikebukuro - Antenna shop). 5956-3511
The highlight of this mid-sized prefectural antenna shop is probably their big selection of Miyagi-ken sake - some fifty or sixty varieties on sale in the second-floor liquor area. Down on the ground floor you'll find lots of natto, pouches of tongue stew and tongue curry, and a small beef-tongue restaurant at the back of the shop.
SunmapHigashi-Ikebukuro 1-2-2, Higashi-Ike Bldg 1/2F. Open 11am-8pm daily.
Hasegawa Saketen (Harajuku - Liquor shop). 5785-0833
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 small snack menu - prosciutto, cheese, dried mentaiko. The retail side of the shop stocks over 100 premium brands of sake, and unlike many shops that seem to specialize in those humongous isshobin bottles that won't fit in your fridge, most of the sake here is in convenient 720ml bottles or in tiny single-serving mini-bottles.
no smokingSunmapJingumae 4-12-4, Omotesando Hills 3F. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Omotesando Niigata Kan N'espace (Omotesando - Antenna shop). 5771-7711
Niigata is well known for its sake, and this large prefectural antenna shop carries over 100 varieties, with many available in 300ml mini-bottles and one-cup sizes. There's also non-alcoholic amazake, several kinds of craft beers, and lots of sake-friendly snack foods such as smoked tongue.
SunmapJingumae 4-11-7. Open 10:30am-7:30pm daily.
Shinkawaya (Gaienmae - Liquor shop). 3401-4462
A small but well-chosen selection of sake and shochu, with lots of shochu available for tasting.
mapJingumae 2-4-1. Open 9am-9pm. Closed Sundays.
Meishu Center (Hamamatsucho - Liquor shop). 5405-4441
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 - this is as unpretentious as it gets.
mapHamamatsucho 2-3. Open 11am-9pm. Closed weekends.
Yomo (Akasaka - Liquor shop). 3585-6711
Going strong since 1624, Yomo offers a very nice selection of sake and shochu on the first floor and an impressive collection of mainly French wines down in the basement.
SunmapAkasaka 3-12-21. Open 10am-1am (Sat 10-9, Sun 12-8) daily.
Shochu Authority (Shiodome - Liquor shop). 5537-2105
To say that this retail liquor specializes in shochu is an understatement: they stock 2300 varieties of the potent Kyushu spirits, and are ready to offer expert advice and tastings.
SunmapHigashi-Shimbashi 1-8-2, Caretta Shiodome B2F. Open 10am-9pm daily.
Kaga, Noto, Kanazawa Edo Honten (Hibiya - Antenna shop). 3500-3883
Food products and crafts from Ishikawa Prefecture are sold at this antenna shop. Local delicacies include several varieties of tsukudani (seaweed, fish, walnuts, etc. simmered in soy sauce and mirin); ponzu and ishiru (fish sauce); nine types of salt; and more than two dozen kinds of sake.
SunmapYurakucho 1-5-2. Open 11am-7pm daily.
Akita Furusato-Kan (Yurakucho - Antenna shop). 3214-2670
An impressive selection of local Akita Prefecture sake is the main reason to visit this crowded retail shop, one of a dozen antenna shops located in the same building. They also sell ready-made kits for preparing kiritambo - a type of nabe stew famous in the region - as well as rice and rice cakes, chicken meatballs, pear and grape juices, natto, pickles, honey, miso and black garlic.
SunmapYurakucho 2-10-1, Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan 1F. Open 10am-7pm daily.
!Mura Kara Machi Kara Kan (Yurakucho - Antenna shop). 5208-1521
While most antenna shops specialize in food and drink from one prefecture, Mura Kara Machi Kara Kan offers a selection of interesting local foods from the entire country, so you'll find everything from artisanal salts and hot-pepper sauces to meats (sausages and hams), seaweed products and many, many styles of pickles.
SunmapYurakucho 2-10-1, Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan 1F. Open 10:30am-7:15pm (Sun -6:45pm) daily.
Iki Iki Toyama-kan (Yurakucho - Antenna shop). 3213-1244
This small Toyama prefectural antenna shop sells mostly sake - more than seventy varieties. Other items include fish cakes and tulip bulbs.
SunmapYurakucho 2-10-1, Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan B1F. Open 10am-7pm (Sun -6pm) daily.
Ibaraki Marche (Ginza - Antenna shop). 5524-0818
Sake, fresh produce and specialty foods from Ibaraki Prefecture are on sale at this large antenna shop; they also serve regional food and drink in the attached bar-restaurant (03-5524-0827). You can sample several local sake brands while you're here - 70ml tastings are Y200-300 - and more than sixty types of sake are sold by the bottle.
SunmapGinza 1-2-1. Open 10:30am-8pm daily.
!Marugoto Kochi (Ginza - Antenna shop). 3538-4367
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 flavors like eggplant, garlic and potato. Down in the basement you'll find a huge selection of sake plus a good number of fruit liqueurs. The small tasting counter offers single tastings for Y150 or three-part tastings with a miniscule otsumami snack for Y500, and there are usually 8-10 bottles open to pick from.
SunmapGinza 1-3-13. Open 10:30am-8pm daily.
Shoku no Kuni Fukuikan (Ginza - Antenna shop). 5524-0291
Highlights at this prefecutural antenna shop are craft sake from small breweries in Fukui (including lots of one-cup-size containers) and fresh sea urchin (priced Y3150-5250). Also on sale are sesame tofu, shallots and other pickles, craft beers, various vinegars and ponzu dressings, seaweed products and frozen fish.
SunmapGinza 1-3-3, Ginza-Nishi Bldg 1F. Open 10:30am-8pm (Sun -7) daily.
!Hiroshima Brand Shop TAU (Ginza - Antenna shop). 5579-9952
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 restaurant in the basement, an Italian restaurant (showcasing Hiroshima ingredients) on the third floor, an okonomiyaki counter on the second floor and a cafe space on the first floor.
SunmapGinza 1-6-10. Open 10:30am-8pm daily.
Kengyo (Ginza - Bar). 5159-1401
Run by a liquor retail shop, this stand-up bar offers an impressive selection of sake, inexpensive small plates of food, and jazz on the sound system. The attached liquor store is open from 10am.
mapGinza 3-8-12. Open 5-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Iwate Ginga Plaza (Higashi-Ginza - Antenna shop). 3524-8282
This rather expansive prefectural specialty shop sells everything from crabmeat, uni and ikura bento boxes at the front entrance to mochi rice cakes, Iwate beef and dairy products. There's a respectable sake selection as well as craft beers from three different local breweries (Zumona, Baeren, and Iwate Kura). The shop closes at 5pm on the last day of the month.
SunmapGinza 5-15-1. Open 10:30am-7pm daily.
Gunma-chan-ya (Higashi-Ginza - Antenna shop). 3546-8511
More than thirty types of sake from Gunma Prefecture are available at this small antenna shop. You can also find fresh garlic and shiitake mushrooms, sembei crackers and pickles, and a few local wooden crafts, but the selection is limited.
SunmapGinza 5-13-19. Open 10am-7pm daily.
Hasegawa Saketen (Palace Hotel) (Marunouchi - Liquor shop). 5220-2828
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 snack, for Y1260.
no smokingSunmapMarunouchi 1-1-1, Palace Hotel B1F. Open 10am-9pm daily.
Shimanekan (Mitsukoshimae - Antenna shop). 3548-9511
Sake and foodstuffs from Shimane-ken, in the far northwest corner of Honshu, can be purchased here. The attached restaurant (called Mondo) serves good regional cuisine and sake.
SunmapNihonbashi Muromachi 1-5-3. (across the street from Mitsukoshi dept. store) Open 10:30am-7pm daily.
Suzuden (Yotsuya - Liquor shop). 3351-1777
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 bar food (weeknights only).
mapYotsuya 1-10. Open 9am-9pm. Closed Sundays.
Kanda Izumiya (Ogawamachi - Liquor shop). 3294-0201
A good collection of hard-to-find sakes, plus many German wines. They also hold sake tasting classes (in Japanese).
mapKanda Ogawamachi 2-8. Open 10am-8pm. Closed Sundays, 3rd Sat.
Tochimaru Shop (Oshiage - Antenna shop). 5809-7280
More than seventy kinds of local sake are on sale at this large Tochigi prefectural retail shop, along with ciders (apple, pear and strawberry), eight craft beers (Preston and Utsunomiya), and wines. Food specialties include yuba, yuba miso, frozen gyoza dumplings, smoked tofu, fresh ramen, ayu (sweetfish) in a pouch, and fresh asparagus, okra and ginger.
SunmapOshiage 1-1-2, Tokyo Solamachi 4F East Yard. Open 10am-9pm daily.
Machidaya (Higashi-Nakano - Liquor shop). 3389-4551
This rather serious liquor store carries lots of limited-edition premium sakes from around the country, including a big selection of premium one-cup sake. They also handle shochu and awamori.
SunmapKami-Takada 1-49-12. Open 10am-6:30pm. Closed Tuesdays.