Where to buy fine sake in Kyoto

(3 posts) (1 voice)
  1. Mediocre sake can be had at any convenience store and even some vending machines, even in Kyoto. If you are coming all the way to Japan, you probably want to get some good stuff.

    Peko recommends namazake (生酒), namazake is unpasteurized sake.

    Getting fine sake is actually more of a challenge than you might expect.

    Here are a few places that I recommend.

    -- Central Kyoto --

    Tsunoki 津之喜
    Tsunoki is an 8th generation shinise sake dealer centrally located in Nishiki Market.
    We reviewed Tsunoki on KyotoFoodie. This article has a good deal of useful information.

    http://kyotofoodie.com/tsunoki-premium-sake-dealer-in-nishiki-market-kyoto/

    Map: OpenKyoto/KyotoFoodie Map - Tsunoki

    Kunitaya 國田屋
    Kunitaya is located just a minute or so walk north of the Kawaramachi-Marutamachi intersection, it is on the west side of the street.

    The Kawaramachi-Marutamachi intersection is near the south-east corner of Gosho, the Imperial Palace grounds and just west of Keihan Jingu Marutamachi Station.

    Kunitaya is remarkable for its selection of unpasteurized sake, mostly from the Uehara brewery in Shiga Prefecture. Kunitaya has a large selection of other alcoholic beverages as well. Also, it is open until 1 am (except Sunday).

    Map: OpenKyoto/KyotoFoodie Map - Kunitaya

    -- North Kyoto --

    Ukai Shoten 鵜飼商店
    Ukai Shoten is located in the somewhat inconvenient Nishijin weaving district, which is quite wanting of excellent sake dealers.Ukai Shoten has been in business since 1905 and only carries namazake (they do carry non-sake products too).

    Ukai Shoten is located on Omiya-dori (street) about half way between Kitaoji and Imadegawa streets.

    no website
    tel: 075-761-0124 (no English spoken)
    address: Kyoto-shi, Kamigyo-ku, Omiya-dori, Teranouchi-agaru, 3 Chome (京都市上京区大宮通寺之内上る三丁目)
    map: OpenKyoto/KyotoFoodie Map - Ukai Shoten

    -- Fushimi (South Kyoto) --

    Osaki Shoten 大崎商店
    This store, located in Fushimi ward (south Kyoto) and has an exceptional selection of sake from all over Japan including a large offering of fresh, unpasteurized 'nama' sake. Fushimi, of course, is the center of sake production in Kyoto. Fushimi is the second largest sake production region in Japan. The delicate taste is said to be feminine which is due to the mineral content of Fushimi's famous water.

    Osaki Shoten is not particularly convenient. It is about a 15 minute walk from the nearest station (Fushimi Momoyama and Momoyama Goryomae). If you live in south Kyoto or are touring sake breweries in Fushimi, or you are really into naga sake, you would probably like to visit this quaint old store, jam packed with sake.

    The building is an exquisite Fushimi machiya.

    Osaki Shoten has no website and probably no English service.

    no website
    tel: 075-601-0137 (no English spoken)
    Kyoto-shi Fushimi-ku Misuhan-cho 479 (京都市伏見区三栖半町479)
    Google Map »

    Posted 10 years ago #
  2. I just got back from a midnight run to Kunitaya, you just cannot argue with a place like that! Surely THE VERY BEST selection of sake in Kyoto AND open until 1 am.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  3. -- Added Osaki Shoten 大崎商店 info (above) today

    I stopped in at Osaki Shoten 大崎商店 in Fushimi yesterday and was very impressed with their selection. The owner is friendly and really into excellent sake. I doubt that they speak English though. They don't even have a website.

    The building is a large machiya and the store is packed with sake and shochu. If you are in the neighborhood, it is certainly worth a peek. Though this store is in Fushimi, they stock fine sake from all over Japan.

    Posted 10 years ago #

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