- April 04 2016
Tips where and how to buy alcohol drinks in Japan
The best activity to be expected by foreign visitors to Japan is “To enjoy Japanese cuisine”. In addition to that “To experience Sake (rice wine)” is the second or third activity that they would like to try during their visit.
So today, I’d like to show you how to buy some alcohol depends on the different purposes. I hope this will help you to get some ideas to choose the right alcohol you want!
The discount Liquor store
for a daily use Sakaya ”KAKUYASU(カクヤス)”!
In Tokyo, you’ll find the discount Liquor store call “KAKUYASU” everywhere! The vivid pink signboard is the trademark. The delivery service is also popular.
This discount store is a typical liquor chain store for the household uses and for some small restaurants or bars. The products ranges are really good. You can get both reasonable products and the name brand products too. But not from the top expensive liquors which you can find them in the department stores.
If you are looking for a beer, sake, shochu, wine, whiskey, plum wine… anything that local people loves then they have everything you need. Even just browsing the store is quite fun!
You can find the store in Shibuya, Asakusa, Shinjyukugyoen those all major sightseeing spots, so please try to search “Kakuyasu” you’ll like it for sure!!
The liquor corner of Don Quijote (ドンキ・ホーテ)is ideal
The king of discount store Don Quijote sells alcohols too! They are quite reasonable as same as discount liquor store and good product selections.
This is the liquor corner of Don Quijote. It’s hidden but really reasonable!
If you cannot find KAKUYASU around your place then Don Quijote is the place to search for!
Convenience store is handy and easy to get some for tonight’s drink
Probably many Japanese people use convenience store to purchase your nightcap.
7eleven, FamilyMart, Lawson… there are many kind of convenience stores in Japan and most of the stores sell alcohol beverages.
In the convenient store, you’ll find two shelves one is the place with sake, shochu, whiskey, wine… all those strong liquors.
Those sake and whiskey are typical major brands which you can find everywhere in Japan and the price are quite reasonable. It’s great that you can find a good tastes and reasonable liquor here.
I really would like to recommend “ONE CUP”! This is the Sake or Shochu that you can get in a cup like that and you can drink straight from the cup when you open the lid. It’s nothing luxury but for whom like to try Sake, I think it’s reasonable and handy!
The one with a good reputation is “Kikusui (菊水)”.
It’s a type of Sake called “Gensyu(原酒)” which means unprocessed sake. Because they didn’t add any water, the flavor is mellow and has a good body! It’s quite famous for its tastes like high quality expensive sake.
If sake or strong drinks are not your thing, then “Chu-hai” is the ideal for you. You can find them next to the beverage corner.
Cho-hai is made of “Shocyu(焼酎)” and sweet soda drinks. It tastes like soft drinks so I recommend for a woman and also someone cannot drink much. There are many flavors but the popular one are lemon, grapefruits and citrus.
At convenience stores, you’ll find a seasonal limited flavors or new products a lot, so might be a good idea to try some of them.
To find out more about getting some liquor in convenience stores is here!
If you are looking for a top brand high quality Sake then ideal place are the department stores
The last topic of today is where to get a high end quality Sake or Shochu! The answer is the department stores. In Japan, most of the department stores sell foods and drinks at the basement floor which we call “Depachika(デパ地下)”
The selection of high quality Sake is wonderful at Depachika. You can definitely find a major brand such as “Dassai (獺祭)” is very popular abroad here. Sometimes they are offering tasting too so might be fun just to pop in and take a look.
The shop clerks are very helpful so ask them any questions like “what kind of tastes you are looking for” “where are they from (producers)”. Make sure to choose what suit you the best.
I recommend Isetan the department store in Shinjuku. I always buy some gifts here for my friends who love drinks. The range of the products are great and the stuffs are really nice.
I hope you enjoyed my article today. The drink always tastes better when you are on your holiday, doesn’t it?
I guess people might think Japanese are modest and quiet but we love drinks a lot. While your stay in Japan, please try our lovely local drinks as much as possible. Either you can or you can’t drink ,why not to try even a sip!