Whisky Magazine Issue 100
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In a two-part feature, the Whisky Magazine Japan team takes us to Northern Japan to look at the bars and food on offer.
In a season of snow, what route better to take than the long road to the north of Japan and the island of Hokkaido. It exerts a powerful call on all who love open spaces, calm and exploration. It also plays an important role in whisky – the location which Masataka Taketsuru deemed the most perfect for distillation in Japan. But, as we find out, there is more to this place than just whisky.
Friendliness, a keen eye for quality – and a well-priced drink; and a wide variety of types of bar are the keys to a night out in Sapporo. There is something here to satisfy everyone's requirements.
NIKKA BAR (AKITA MITSUHIDE)
Minami4 Nishi3 No.3 Green Building 2nd Floor, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Tel +81 11 552 8766
Unsurprisingly, the Nikka logo is prominent in Sapporo. The distiller's eponymous drinking destination is a large, modern, quasi-lounge style bar which sits on the first floor on the corner building which sits on the border between the shopping area of Odori and the entertainment zone of Susukino. A low bar takes up the length of the space, while a chillout area and two private rooms make up the rest. Chandeliers of empty sample bottles gives a cleverly witty touch to the decor. It was first opened 30 years ago, but has undergone a slight revamp to attract a younger clientele.
Although bar manager Akita Mitsuhide says the view makes it a popular destination for tourists in the winter, most of the customers are local residents, predominantly male between 30 and 50. That younge...