Jimbocho: Izakaya
Genka (Jimbocho: Izakaya)
Open 3-11pm (LO; Sat, Sun 2-11) daily.
Sun: Open Sundays
no smoking: No smoking

This lively sake-izakaya chain offers a selection of 40 different craft sake at surprisingly cheap prices - they start at Y280, and even premium brands like Aramasa start at just Y314 per serving. Sake comes in cute little 100ml bottles that are much easier to share with your group than typical sake-bar DIY tasting flights. You can also take the labels home with you to remember what you drank.

Genka's somewhat limited food menu plays a supporting role for the sake, although we did discover some noteworthy dishes during recent visits. The gyoza dumplings in soup are a standout, and the smoked duck with yuzu kosho is quite delectable. The assorted cheese platter may not be as fancy as at other places around town, but it offers a nice variety of flavors to go with your drinks.

You're mainly here for the sake though, and this is where Genka shines. The sake list is organized according to taste profiles, with accompanying diagrams and color-coded charts reminiscent of a science lecture. Of course you can also ask for advice from the staff, or simply try your luck. At these prices and with this selection it's hard to go wrong.

Mineral water is Y300 for a two-liter bottle, and it's a smart investment. Budget around Y3000 altogether for ample food and drink. Note that this includes a cover charge (they call it a "member's fee") of around Y500 per person, which isn't unreasonable considering the low prices they charge for sake.

Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Jimbocho 2-28.

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Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended