Osaka, a city of gourmands, is full of restaurants and drinking establishments where you can taste delicious sake. Here are 5 recommendations.
1. Shushi Yamabuki
This is a popular place that seems like a hidden gem, tucked in an alley in Kitashinchi, a famous area of eating and drinking establishments in Osaka. A "shushi" is a place that sells liquor. Also, a place where you can drink liquor. Every day, there is a line-up of more than 20 varieties, all regional sake from around the country carefully chosen by the store owner. Depending on the brand, the price is different, but one glass starts at around 700 JPY (excl. tax). A popular secret is that they offer not just snacks, but also meals. They're open until 2:00 am, so it's perfect to go to for an afterparty.
2. Umai Sake to Sakana Yamanoya
The way food has seasons, sake also has seasons. At Umai Sake to Sakana Yamanoya, they offer more than 20 kinds of seasonal local sake from around the country, including sake available only in certain seasons, as well as sake delicious served hot ("kan"). One glass is around 380 JPY to 780 JPY (excl. tax). Their famous dish is the Katsuo Warayaki Tataki (1,280 JPY (excl. tax)), which is bonito sashimi grilled on one side using high flame. Why not have it with a drink?
3. Sakana no Ueyoshi Kyobashi Branch
This shop has more than 100 types of local sake from around the country. In order to freely try them to your heart's content, they have an all-you-can-drink that's 3,000 JPY (incl. tax) per person. It's self-service, so you can enjoy it by filling up your glass with the sake that you want to try. There is also an appetizer all-you-can-eat plan (4,000 JPY (incl. tax)) and a sushi all-you-can-eat plan (5,000 JPY (incl. tax)) that have all-you-can-drink included that are also popular. All of the plans are only two hours on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, but on Monday to Thursday from 3:00 pm to closing at 11:00 pm, you can order for two or more people without limit.
4. Hamayaki Taro Kyobashi Branch
Sake goes very well with seafood. This restaurant has little grills on the tables so customers can grill and eat their own seafood. The Taro Course (3,780 JPY (incl. tax)) is very popular and comes with 15 kinds of seafood like scallops and sazae (turban shell) as well as an all-you-can-drink for 120 minutes (must be ordered for 2 or more people). They have more than 30 kinds of local sake from around the country, and while all of them cost 600 JPY (excl. tax) per glass, the local sake all-you-can-drink course for 1,500 JPY (excl. tax) for 60 minutes is recommended.
5. Sakura Umeda Hankyu Grand Building Branch
This is a shop on the 27th floor so it has an amazing view. They normally have over 20 varieties of sake on hand for you to try, all top-class brands from around the country. The prices vary as well per glass, from 700 JPY to 2,300 JPY (all excl. tax). All of their dishes go well with delicious sake and are made using seasonal ingredients. The Honmaguro no Otsukuri (1,550 JPY (excl. tax)) made with bluefin tuna sashimi caught in the ocean around the Goto Islands off of Nagasaki is so delicious you shouldn't forget to order it.
Osaka was one of the leading areas of sake production in the Edo period when samurai still walked the streets. Sake helps make food more delicious, and depending on the food it helps make the flavor of the sake stand out. Please enjoy sake as part of Osaka's rich food culture.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.