Must-Try For Sake Lovers! Top 5 Shops in Tokyo With All-You-Can-Drink Sake
Tokyo is a place where you can find all sorts of delicious Japanese sake and alcohols that are made in various areas of Japan. The “nomihodai” (all-you-can-drink) system exists to help customers enjoy as much sake as they want at reasonable prices. Below are five recommended joints in Tokyo where you can enjoy bottomless Japanese sake!
KURAND SAKE MARKET Shibuya Shop is a self-service kind of shop where the guests themselves take out the Japanese sake they prefer from the refrigerator, and then pour as much as they want into their glasses. Here, there is a collection of more than 100 kinds of Japanese sake that have been carefully selected from breweries all over the country. The all-you-can-drink plan (3,000 JPY (excl. tax)) has no time limit, and you can bring in dishes for free. There are also around 10 types of snacks that go well with sake that are sold inside the shop, but guests are allowed to enter and leave in the middle of their drink, so they can buy whatever they want from any store outside this joint. If you ask any of the staff, they will make recommendations that suit your taste.
Kainomi is a self-service all-you-can-drink shop where you fill your glass with as much sake as you want from the refrigerator that is set up in the middle of the shop. The all-you-can-drink set that lets customers enjoy more than 45 kinds of Japanese sake, draft beer, white wine and other alcoholic drinks has 3 time limits to choose from: 120 minutes (2,000 JPY (excl. tax)), 150 minutes (2,500 JPY (excl. tax)), and unlimited or no time limit (3,500 JPY (excl. tax)) – which is only available from Monday to Thursday. The snacks are shellfish dishes that are considered specialties of this shop. The set with six kinds of sashimi and raw oysters, hearty stews that are cooked on the table, and seafood barbecues are also popular dishes.
Rokkon is a restaurant serving Japanese-style dishes that offers customers handpicked Japanese sake from all around Japan, including famous brands and rare sake that are difficult to get your hands on. Even the all-you-can-drink plan that is included in the Enkai Course (5,500 JPY (excl. tax) – 10,000 JPY (excl. tax)) comes with five kinds of Japanese sake, and by simply adding 1,500 JPY per person, you will be able to upgrade to the Zenkoku Jizake Gensen 60-Shu Premium Nomihodai that will let you drink as much as you want from 60 types of Japanese sake and other alcoholic drinks. Try to also taste the choice sake that is recommended by the shop manager: The Kamoshibito Kuheiji Junmai Daiginjo Betsuatsurae, which is also served at restaurants in France.
Higasa Amagasa is an izakaya (Japanese-style tavern) that houses a selection of various alcohols from Japan that are handpicked by its manager. This selection focuses on Japanese sake, but also includes fruit liquors like umeshu (plum brandy), shochu (Japanese distilled liquor), local beers and local wines. The all-you-can-drink set, Jisho Kokunai Saikyo Nomihodai (professed to be strongest all-you-can-drink menu in Japan that is self-styled by the store owner), is basically a set that is added to course meals. For those that want to taste many different kinds of Japanese sake with light snacks, these is also the Otegaru Premium Saikyo Nomihodai (4,900 JPY (incl. tax)) that comes with unlimited shots of any or all of the approximately 150 kinds of alcoholic drinks the store has to offer. Be sure to place a reservation as early as possible!
Autumn and winter bestseller: “Aka” Gasa Nabe (Meibutsu Tomato Nabe (Hot Pot))
Suisui Ueno Shop is an izakaya where you can enjoy sake called Junmaishu that is made only with rice, kome koji (rice malt) and water, without using alcohol for brewing. This shop offers a wide selection of local alcohols with different flavors that are sourced from all over Japan. Here, the most popular enkai (banquet or dinner) course is the Premium Course (6,000 JPY (incl. tax)), with seven kinds of dishes that are paired with an all-you-can-drink plan for 150 minutes. You can have your fill from around 100 kinds of alcoholic drinks, including famous brands, fragrant Junmai Daiginjo, and sake that go well with the season. Note that smoking is prohibited inside the shop so that guests will be able to fully enjoy the taste and smell of the Japanese sake.
When drinking and comparing different kinds of sake, it is best to drink a glass of water in-between shots. That way, you can refresh the inside of your mouth to better enjoy the next drink and dish. More than anything, though, it slows down the speed in which you get drunk, so you won’t get very drunk.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.