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.
Know by Moto - Sake bar: Shinjuku
Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
A sake specialty bar with several Tokyo branches, Moto is known for their well-curated craft-sake lists representing small breweries from all over Japan. Here they offer thirty different sakes by...
Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
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.
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.
Ginza Nagano - Antenna shop: Ginza
Open 10:30am-8pm daily.
If you're looking for sake, wine or specialty foods from Nagano Prefecture, you'll find an impressive selection here at this well-stocked antenna shop. There's a small bar area at the front of the...
Open 10:30am-8pm daily.
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.
Shiga's Bar - Sake bar: Nihonbashi
Open 10am-11pm daily.
Located inside the antenna shop for Shiga Prefecture, this tiny bar offers a selection of 28 different sake from Shiga, served in 45ml tasting sizes (Y300), with the option of a four-part tasting...
Open 10am-11pm daily.
Toyama Bar - Sake bar: Nihonbashi
Open 11am-8:30pm (LO) daily.
Attached to the Toyama Prefecture antenna shop, this very specialized bar serves seventeen different sake produced in Toyama. Sake is Y700 for a glass, or you can order a three-part tasting flight...
Open 11am-8:30pm (LO) 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.
Otonari - Sake bar: Kagurazaka
Open 5-11:30pm (LO; Sat Sun 3-10:30) daily.
This tiny neighborhood sake bar has a small but well-chosen sake list, a limited menu of sake-focused snacks, friendly service and fairly tight seating. There's also a standing bar at the front of...
Open 5-11:30pm (LO; Sat Sun 3-10:30) 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.
Washuya - Liquor shop: Awajicho
Open 11am-9:30pm (LO; Sat, Sun -6:30) daily.
A well-stocked sake retailer, Washuya also offers sake tastings by the glass in their small standing-bar area. The shop carries sells some 300 sake varieties, with around 25-30 sakes to try out at...
Open 11am-9:30pm (LO; Sat, Sun -6:30) daily.
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.
Tachinomi Kuri - Sake bar: Shimbashi
Open 5-9:30pm (LO). Closed weekends.
Kuri stands out among the crowd of funky standing bars in the Shimbashi Ekimae #1 Building for their well-chosen selection of sake from small craft breweries, offered at very reasonable prices. The...
Open 5-9:30pm (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.
Trois Bis - Sake bar: Ningyocho
Open 5-11:30pm (Sun 4-10) daily.
The setting at 3 Bis is charming and super-casual - the unfinished-plywood walls and bar are covered with marker-drawn messages from past customers, and the upstairs dining room is reached via a...
Open 5-11:30pm (Sun 4-10) 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 - 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.
Orihara Shoten - Liquor shop: Monzennakacho
Open 10:30am-10pm daily.
This neighborhood liquor shop runs a very popular sake-tasting standing bar where you'll find a decent selection of craft sake and a serviceable menu of sake-friendly light snacks. It's a very...
Open 10:30am-10pm daily.
Mirai Sake - Liquor shop: Kichijoji
Open 2-10pm daily.
This futuristic sake retailer stocks more than 150 kinds of sake, including nine that are exclusive to this shop. Much of the stock seems aimed at novice sake drinkers, with a much higher proportion...
Open 2-10pm daily.
Furumaiya - Liquor shop: Kawasaki
Open 10am-9pm daily.
With its wide selection of sake, its excellent otsumami snacks and its very affordable prices, Furumaiya is a great place for a quick drink or a more extended sake-tasting adventure, as long as you...
Open 10am-9pm daily.
See also our listings for Sake-specialty izakaya.
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Updated 2018-12-10