Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Trip to Japan

All your whisky related questions answered here.

Trip to Japan

Postby Wave » Mon May 21, 2007 11:10 pm

I'm off to Tokyo Japan June 1st (arrive June 2) and I'm staying at the Grand Prince New Takanawa Hotel in the Minato-ku district(?)
Address, 13-1 Takanawa 3-chome

A question for those of you in or familiar with Tokyo, are there any good whisky bars and/or whisky shops near by?


Cheers!
User avatar
Wave
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1860
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:57 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Postby Badmonkey » Tue May 22, 2007 3:00 am

Hi Wave,

I lived in Takanawa for two years, actually. The Ishimaru grocery store next to the entrance of Shinagawa station (the one closest to the Takanawa Prince) often has excellent prices on whisky, but don't expect a vast selection. From Shinagawa station you can go to Bic Camera in Yurakucho, which is about 10 minutes away on the Yamanote Line or the Keihin-Tohoku line. It is a huge electronics store with a nice selection of whisky. A better bet would be to go to the Kawachi-ya liquor store in Shibuya, which is 13 minutes away from Shinagawa on the Yamanote line. You'll have to walk through Shibuya for a few minutes to get there, but it has a superb selection of scotch and bourbon with very low prices. Hit me up with a PM and I can give you more detailed directions, as some of the shop signs are in Japanese.

don't be afraid to check out the basement-level liquor shops in some of the nicer department stores around tokyo, such as Isetan in Shinjuku. The prices are always a bit high, but you'll have a better chance of finding some single cask offerings from Japanese distillers there than in the other shops. For standard bottlings, Bic Camera will treat you just fine.

For a bar, Helmsdale is probably the closest dedicated whisky bar to Shinagawa Station. You would again take the Yamanote line, this time to Ebisu (about 10 minutes away). From there you can either walk or take a taxi to Helmsdale. http://www.helmsdale-fc.com/helmsdale-map.html
It is an easy place to miss, given its non-descript exterior and location on the second floor.

How long will you be there?

Cheers
Badmonkey
Gold Member
 
Posts: 531
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 3:08 am
Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Postby Wave » Tue May 22, 2007 1:48 pm

I'll be in Tokyo for just 3 days and then to Kyoto (via bullet train) for 3 more days, an Isramworld Orient flexi-pax tour. I'm really interested in bringing back some casked strength whiskies like Yoichi, Karuizawa and Hakushu from Suntory.

I thought of asking about the duty-free at the Kyoto airport where I'm flying back to the States from but I'm going to have multiple flights to Miami, Fl. for my second leg of my vacation to the Florida Keys, putting whisky in my carry-on won't be an option. :cry:


Cheers!
User avatar
Wave
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1860
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:57 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Postby les taylor » Tue May 22, 2007 2:12 pm

Wave wrote:I'll be in Tokyo for just 3 days and then to Kyoto (via bullet train) for 3 more days, an Isramworld Orient flexi-pax tour. I'm really interested in bringing back some casked strength whiskies like Yoichi, Karuizawa and Hakushu from Suntory.

I thought of asking about the duty-free at the Kyoto airport where I'm flying back to the States from but I'm going to have multiple flights to Miami, Fl. for my second leg of my vacation to the Florida Keys, putting whisky in my carry-on won't be an option. :cry:


Cheers!




Wave just a thought can you send yourself a parcel from Japan to your home, that way you just might get it past the meanies.



:)
User avatar
les taylor
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 4943
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:16 am
Location: Gunwalloe

Postby Badmonkey » Wed May 23, 2007 4:04 am

You might have a tough time finding the cask strength bottlings, but that's not to say you won't find any. One of the great things about a city like Tokyo is the constant element of surprise, and a small, neighbourhood liquor shop might have a great selection of exactly what you are looking for. Your schedule sounds like it will be a bit tight, and if you don't have a lot of time to explore the city you'll at least be able to find some good whisky at Bic Camera. The shop is right outside of Yurakucho station, so you won't have trouble finding it. When I was last there they had a good selection of Yoichi, Yamazaki, and Hakushu. They also had some 250 ml bottle of Hakushu, which might be worth picking up.

Don't overlook some of the less expensive blends like Hokuto, some of which are very good. Hibiki, while much more expensive, is also excellent.

I haven't spent enough time in Kyoto or Osaka to be of much help to you there, I'm afraid.

Have a great trip!
Badmonkey
Gold Member
 
Posts: 531
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 3:08 am
Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed May 23, 2007 4:47 am

Wave, you might plan on checking your carry-on for your ongoing flights, if you have time to do it.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Wave » Wed May 23, 2007 6:14 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:Wave, you might plan on checking your carry-on for your ongoing flights, if you have time to do it.


I'll do that if I have the chance. I use a backpack (made by the Swiss Army Knife people) with a lightweight hardcase that fits nicely inside for extra protection when transporting bottles in my check luggage, it's worked nicely before on single flights back from Scotland, hopefully it'll work again this time on the multiple flights to my next destination, Miami.

Since I'll only have room (and because of weight restrictions) for about 4~5 bottles I'm still going to try for CS whiskies or at least well aged and really it doesn't have to be all Japanese whiskies either, if I happen to find a nice Scotch single malt bottled for the Japanese market, that might end up in my bag too! Searching for great bottles is (at least) half the fun!


Cheers!
User avatar
Wave
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1860
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:57 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Blog about Japanese whisky, and whisky bars etc.

Postby chaschas » Sun May 27, 2007 3:25 am

I have posted this on another thread, but since it is directly relevant to your question, you may be interested in my blog about whisky in Japan: Japanese whisky blog
There is a printable sheet on there summarising various Japanese whiskies tasted and several maps of bars, shops, distilleries etc. The best shop in Tokyo for buying Scotch, Tanakaya, has a review on there (look down the side bar for "where to buy"). That has a good selection of Scotch as well as the hard to get Japanese whisky Ichiros Malt. If you want Japanese single malts from the Nikka and Suntory ranges I have yet to find any place much better than the Ginza department stores (there is a map and a review on the site), although I wouldn't call them comprehensive.
chaschas
New member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: Kanagawa, Japan

Return to Questions & Answers

Whisky gift and present finder