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Five Select Izakaya in Tohoku to Savor Great Sake

The Tohoku Region, which is blessed with clean water and a cool climate, produces great rice and wonderful sake. This time, we introduce five izakaya in Tohoku where you can enjoy fantastic sake.

1. Wasabibou (Miyagi Prefecture)

This is a popular izakaya (Japanese pub) in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, that has more than 35 different local sake on offer at any given time. The sake are produced mainly in the Tohoku Region, but there is also many local sake from other prefectures including Ishikawa, Aichi and Fukuoka. The all-you-can-drink menus include about 40 different local sake, as well as some fizzy sake. There is also a wide selection of dishes that go perfectly with sake. The grilled beef tongue, which is a Sendai specialty, and the richly flavored shell-on steamed oysters are recommended.

Sample sake price: Yuri Junmai (Sasaki Brewery, Miyagi Prefecture) 780 JPY (incl. tax)

1. Wasabibou (Miyagi Prefecture)

Goroku Sambankan B1, 2-5-1 Kokubun-cho, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi

2. Homura (Iwate Prefecture)

This is a popular izakaya in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, that serves not only local sake, but a variety of sake from around the country. It is a cozy and comfortable space, and the counter seating is particularly popular. A large selection of sake bottles are on display, so it may be fun to choose by the label. There is a large menu of dishes that go well with sake, including those made with local ingredients and delicacies.

Sample sake price: Yoemon (Kawamura Brewery, Iwate Prefecture) 780 JPY

2. Homura (Iwate Prefecture)

Meiten Kaikan 2F, 1-11-18 Odori, Morioka-shi, Iwate

3. Kinki (Aomori Prefecture)

This is a popular izakaya in the port town of Hachinohe in Aomori Prefecture. Here, you can enjoy super fresh seafood brought in at Hachinohe Port. For example, seasonal ingredients, such as the high-grade fish, Kinki, and squid, of which the port has the largest haul in the country, and sea urchin and abalone are served as sashimi, salt grilled, and cooked a variety of other ways. It serves primarily local sake from Aomori, but also recommended sake from other prefectures and sake that is available only during a specific season.

Sample sake price: Mutsu Otokoyama Super Dry Junmai (Hachinohe Brewery, Aomori Prefecture) 800 JPY (excl. tax)/ 1go (0.18039 litres)

3. Kinki (Aomori Prefecture)

Kongo Bldg. 3F, 18 Takasho Koji, Hachinohe-shi, Aomori

4. Daikon'ya (Akita Prefecture)

Next is a popular izakaya in the center of an entertainment district in Akita City, Akita Prefecture. The food that is made with fresh seafood and seasonal ingredients change daily based on procurement. There are about 10 different local sake from Akita available at any given time.

Sample sake price: Kariho Yamahai Junmai (Akita Seishu, Akita Prefecture) 590 JPY/1go

4. Daikon'ya (Akita Prefecture)

2-2-3 Sanno, Akita-shi, Akita

5. Hanazen (Yamagata Prefecture)

This is a popular izakaya where you can savor regional Yamagata cuisine such as the wholesome local specialty, Imoni of Yamagata Beef (simmered beef and vegetables) made by the chef who is a Yamagata native. The sake to accompany the food is mostly from Yamagata. There is a wide selection ranging from standards to rare ones.

Sample sake price: Dewazakura Dewasansan Junmai Ginjo (Dewazakura Brewery, Yamagata Prefecture) 750 JPY (excl. tax)

5. Hanazen (Yamagata Prefecture)

Goto Bldg. B1, 3-1-9 Kasumi-cho, Yamagata-shi, Yamagata

Be sure to savor the flavors of sake with regional cuisine that is unique to the area.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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