Sake is such an integral part of Japanese culture that its proper name, nihonshu, simply means “Japanese alcohol.” Although sake can be quite complex, it’s also very accessible and best enjoyed in a relaxed, casual atmosphere with some good food — and the guidance of an enthusiastic expert. Here are a few select places in central Tokyo offering just that kind of experience:

best sake tokyo

Ginza Rangetsu

Established in 1947, Ginza Rangetsu offers a wide selection of famous and rare vintages of sake from all over Japan as well as an extensive food menu focusing on dishes that best pair with the country’s national alcoholic drink. The restaurant is known for their A5-rank wagyu beef, which they buy by the head, and snow crabs prepared in a hotpot or shabu-shabu: vegetables and thinly sliced pieces of meat boiled in water or broth and served with dipping sauce. Recently, Ginza Rangetsu has also started focusing on kaiseki multi-dish courses.

Location: 4-minute walk from Ginza Station

Hakkaisan Sennen Kojiya

As the name suggests, this bar specializes in Hakkaisan sake originating from Niigata Prefecture, Japan’s premier region for nihonshu production. Made from the waters drawn from Mount Hakkai, the Hakkaisan variety is characterized by a crisp, well-balanced flavor and low acidity, which the bar has taken into consideration while creating their food menu. Hakkaisan Sennen Kojiya also sells products made from koji mold, a key ingredient in sake, such as their signature amasake fermented koji drink.

Location: 1-minute walk from Mitsukoshimae Station

Miyashita Naru

This traditional izakaya-style Japanese bar attracts customers with its selection of seasonal rare sake that goes down excellently with traditional Japanese cuisine prepared on a teppanyaki griddle. Visitors can enjoy a variety of dishes cooked right in front of them, including Miyashita Naru’s popular dashimaki tamago rolled omelets with dashi stock that gives them their exquisite savory flavor. You can pick the type of egg, dashi, and toppings in your dashimaki together with a cup of your favorite sake to fully customize your dining experience at this cozy, back-alley counter bar.

Location: 6-minute walk from Shibuya Station


Kinza takes its name from the old moniker for Nihonbashi, meaning “gold seat,” as it was the location of the country’s gold mint. Paying tribute to the affluent history of its namesake, Kinza focuses on the craftsmanship and richness of traditional Japanese dishes made from carefully-selected ingredients. Then, it pairs them with an exclusive selection of sake, which can be enjoyed in a variety of settings, from counter seats to the terrace, tables and private rooms that make Kinza an excellent location for private parties.

Location: 7–minute walk from Nihonbashi Station

best sake tokyo

Ginza Kan

The Ginza branch of the renowned riverside restaurant Kan in Meguro, Ginza Kan recreates its sister establishment’s low-lit, counter-centered design, which creates a tranquil atmosphere of a secret hideout that only the initiated know about. Ginza Kan boasts a wide selection of alcoholic drinks, including many types of sake, shochu distilled alcohol and wines. Their food menu is equally impressive, ranging from teppanyaki and charcoal grill dishes made from seasonal ingredients to earthenware pot rice, with its distinctively browned, scorched layer at the bottom that gives it a delectable crunch.

Location: 4–minute walk from Ginza-Itchome Station

best sake tokyo


There’s no alcoholic drink more Japanese than nihonshu. There’s no food more Japanese than sushi. The union between the two is the most natural thing in the world and the cornerstone of Kadohachi’s business model. Combining reasonably-priced sake (as well as wine and cocktails) with signature sushi dishes and night views of Ginza, Kadohachi creates a wonderful place to relax and delight in a literal taste of Japan.

Location: 6-minute walk from Ginza Station