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Issue 84 - Ginza a go-go

Whisky Magazine Issue 84
November 1999


This article is 18 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Ginza a go-go

Dave Broom takes us on a walking tour through one of Tokyo's popular drinking districts.

Our destination is Tokyo's most upscale and international district, The Ginza, though bar wise even this designer label heaven is changing.

What was very much a weekday, or week night, destination is now becoming a weekend one as well, with a change in clientele. What used to be high-class hostess bar territory is now full of a new generation of bars catering for a new generation of drinkers,who want anything from mojitos to fruit cocktails to single malts. Ginza is on the move.

GINZA PART 1 THE SHIMBASHI LOOP There are two ways in which you can approach an evening's whisky drinking in The Ginza. You throw yourself into the middle of the action and pause for a second, dazzled by the glitz, the lights and the neon glittering off the diamonds in the windows, or you slowly introduce yourself to it, become gently absorbed by its mix of high fashion, high rollers and secret bars.

The first of our loops, each of which takes in a quartet of bars, takes this second approach.

Satin Doll This small, cosy bar is the perfect place to start the evening's wanderings. Seating 14 people around its dark wood L-shaped bar it has an immediate warm familiarity. The malt selection may be small compared to other sites, around 100 bottles predominantly from independent bottlers, but they have been chosen with care.

Where space it at a premium and the clientele is varied you have to hand-pick a selection which will still allow you to cover all options.

This approach is typical of Ginza bars. T...

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