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Whisky Suggestions - Tokyo

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Whisky Suggestions - Tokyo

Postby Ganga » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:37 pm

My mother-in-law and others are travelling to Tokyo this October. I'm looking for suggestions on whiskies available in Tokyo or through duty free. I may be able to get the family to mule up to 4 bottles for me.

I'm looking for suggestions on Japanese whiskies or special Scotch whiskies from this area or duty free. Thank you.
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Re: Whisky Suggestions - Tokyo

Postby Single Malt Kommunist » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:50 pm

Ganga, I recommend contacting Chris at Nonjatta:

http://nonjatta.blogspot.com/

He has promptly responded to me regarding duty free whiskys at various airports in Asia. Im not sure how his availability is these days...his blog is becoming quite a mecca for Japanese whisky enthusiasts.

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Re: Whisky Suggestions - Tokyo

Postby dramtastic » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:10 am

I'll be back in Tokyo next month Ganga and I'll be buying some more Japanese whiskys while I'm there. I'll be more than happy to let you know of my findings.

As I have been there recently I can let you know that Duty Free for whisky's is average at best in Japan. If you have a list of whisky's you would like to buy make sure your M-I-L checks the duty free on entry into Japan to see if they stock them there as I know if I hadn't bought in the city I would have missed out as they weren't stocked at the airport. One I did see at the airport was Nikkas' Taketsura 21 that won worlds best blended malt whisky at the world whisky awards 2009. I think it was a reasonable price.

As mentioned nonjatta is a bit of a one stop shop for Japanese whisky info, though it still has it's limitations.

All the large malls in Tokyo have a food market usually situated on the lower level that also stocks liquor. Here you will find a small range of whisky's foreign and domestic, at prices around the same as duty free. Also some of the ones I bought there were not available at the duty free. They usually have a selection of minitures that can give you a sample without spending a fortune. I do recommend amongst others that you get a bottle of Nikka Whisky From the Barrel, another world whisky award winner and currently my fave blend. In fact don't hesitate to buy Japanese blends as they can be as good or better than many a single malt.

Suntory and it's sub distilleries will most likely be cheaper for you to buy at home. Nikka and it's sub distilleries may offer you better value. I know I saved a lot buy buying Nikka/Yoichi gear in Japan rather than in Australia.

It's strange, you can find bars in Japan that stock around 800 whiskys from around the world, yet buying the stuff by the bottle is very difficult.
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Re: Whisky Suggestions - Tokyo

Postby bcrossan » Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:33 am

dramtastic wrote:

It's strange, you can find bars in Japan that stock around 800 whiskys from around the world, yet buying the stuff by the bottle is very difficult.
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Thats probably because Japanese don't spend much time at home. Their homes are so small that they usually go from work to a dinner place or to a bar. I love Japan but I always feel so cramped when I travel there... and I am in a Western hotel and not one of the tubes! :o
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Re: Whisky Suggestions - Tokyo

Postby AshDLS » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:14 pm

dramtastic wrote:All the large malls in Tokyo have a food market usually situated on the lower level that also stocks liquor.

The basements of the malls and department stores are great for trying new foods and for having a browse, but I wouldn't recommend buying liquor there... the markup compared to a regular bottle shop is rather large. :-\
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Re: Whisky Suggestions - Tokyo

Postby dramtastic » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:42 pm

AshDLS wrote:
dramtastic wrote:All the large malls in Tokyo have a food market usually situated on the lower level that also stocks liquor.

The basements of the malls and department stores are great for trying new foods and for having a browse, but I wouldn't recommend buying liquor there... the markup compared to a regular bottle shop is rather large. :-\




Not in my experience and finding a specialist liqour store in Tokyo or Osaka is like finding a needle in a haystack. I went into 2 small stores in Kyoto and Tokyo the range wasn't great and the prices no better than the department stores.

If you look in the nonjatta website even he can only name a hand full of places to by whisky in Tokyo and most of them are department stores or have a limited range of Japanese whisky.

I'll be on the look out when I'm back there next month so If I find anything different I'll let Ganga know.
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Re: Whisky Suggestions - Tokyo

Postby Wave » Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:07 am

I found a great whisky shop while there several years ago, Tanakaya Liquor shop in Mejiro (very close to the train station) which I found to be the only place to find Hanyu.

In fact here an old post I made of that visit!
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1977&p=92923&hilit=hanyu#p92923


Cheers!
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