Osaka bound

Osaka bound

Dave Broom gives us his tips on places to go when in Japan.

Travel | 07 Dec 2007 | By Dave Broom

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The rise of Japanese whisky has been one of the most heartening aspects of the global whisky boom.Here’s the second part to our guide bars and retail outlets to make the planning a little easier. These days most whisky lovers will have tried at least one example and whisky tourists are beginning to make the long pilgrimage to the country to discover more. Whether you are visiting Japan on business, for sport or as part of a holiday you should make whisky part of your itinerary.Where to Buy
The visitor will be wanting Japanese whiskies, while the Japanese wants Scotch. Such is the way of the world. For the widest selection it is best to go to the distilleries themselves: the Nikka-owned sites have a huge range of hard-to-get bottlings. That said, if you are in Tokyo and want to splash the cash the best place to head is either Hasegawa (Japanese Icon Winner), one of the branches of Shinanoya (Japanese Icon Winner), or the newly revamped whisky department at the Isetan department store,Tokyo’s equivalent to Harvey Nicks.Once again downloading a map is a good idea!HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO FIND
Here’s a question. If you were looking for this year’s top single whisky outlet in Japan where would you start? Shibuya? Ginza? Somewhere chic surely? You’d be wrong. You should instead try the basement mall of Tokyo Station where in-between sushi bars, toy stores, card shops, clothing outlets and newsagents is the open-fronted Liquors Hasegawa which is open from 10am to 8pm every day, as it has been since 1954.It is a tight space but utilised to the maximum with single facings of more than 1,000 different whiskies (not to mention every other spirit imaginable). Independent bottlers [Signatory,Blackadder, Samaroli, Cadenhead] jostle beside official bottlings and the stores own ventures. Collectors might head straight for Ardbeg 1965 at Y650,000, a 1940 Macallan for Y258,000, or a rare Blair Athol Manager’s Dram for Y55,000.The ordinary customer isn’t overlooked however.There are any number of reasonably priced special offers and many of the bottles are available for tasting.The only danger, other than being carried away and missing your train, is damaging your neck as you peer upwards to the topmost shelves searching for just one bottle.Then, just as you leave with your one bottle you catch sight of another really tempting purchase out of the corner of your eye. It’s a bottle you’d never think you’d never see. It’s what great specialist retailing is about.SHINANOYA (Ginza Branch)
Tel: 03-3571-3315
The Ginza branch of Shinanoya is one of the firm’s 12 outlets in Tokyo and Yokohama.More than 200 whiskies are in close proximity to Champagne [quarter bottles of Krug for the impulse purchase, magnums of Dom Perignon Rose for the more considered] wines, other spirits,beers and a small but well-chosen range of top-range domestic and imported foodstuffs. There’s even room next to the pickles for Mackmyra and Islay Ales.The prices range up to Y520,000 for aMacallan 1940 OB.The word is eclectic.Where to Drink
Japan is home to the world’sgreatest whisky bars.Fact.Nowhere else is there such an obsessive desire to collect rare bottles, nowehere else is there such high-quality service.Trouble is,for the foreign visitor,they are hard to find.As we explained last year the best way to get to the bar of your choice is to phone the bar in advanceand get a map faxed across,or visit its website and print one off yourself.The map can then be given to a taxi driver,shop assistant,passer by and you will be steered to your destination.OSAKA
Bar Augusta 06-6376-3455
1F Arakawa Bld,2-3,Tsuruno-cho,Kita-ku,Osaka-shi,Osaka

Bar Hiramatsu 06-6120-0930
2F Aube Nate

Bar Basara 06-6886-1688
4-3-11 Tsukamoto,Yodogawa-ku,Osakashi,Osaka

Bar Weather Report 06-6953-9886
5-2-24,Omiya,Asahi-ku, Osaka-shi,OsakaCellar Bar (Riga Royal Hotel Osaka) 06-6448-1121
5-3-68,Nakanoshima,Kita-ku,Osaka-shi,OsakaOld Imperial Bar(Imperial Hotel Osaka ) 06-6881-1111
Bar Stag 093-533-2511
2F New Heiwa Bld,1-3-10,Kaji-machi,Kokura Kita-ku,Kita-Kyushushi,
FukuokaBAR Oscar 092-721-5352
6F Stage1 Daimyo,1-10-29,Daimyo,Chuo-ku,Fukuokashi,
Bar Higuchi 092-271-6070
1F Taman Bld83,3-4-6,Nakasu,hakata-ku,Fukuoka-shi,Fukuoka

Bar K6 075-255-5009
2F Val’s Bld,2jyo Higashi-hairu,Kiya-cho,Nakagyo-ku,Kyotoshi,
Bar Diversion 011-612-0705
2F Tamada Bld,1-3-5,Kotoni 2jyo,Nishi-ku,Sapporo-shi,HokkaidoPub Mahorobi 0263-36-3799
1-13-1,Chuo,Matsumoto-shi Nagano

Bar Selene 029-221-9447
2F Kimura Bld,3-2-45,Minami-machi,Mito-shi,IbarakiBar Barns 052-203-1114
B1 Amano Bld,2-3-32,Sakae,Naka-ku,Nagoya-shi,AichiBlue Label 054-273-5689
6F Urban Bld,3-2,Showa-machi,Aoi-ku,Shizuokashi,ShizuokaBar Keith 078-393-0690
1F Ace Town Bld,1-15-7,Nakayamate-Dori,Chuou-ku,Kobe-shi,
HyogoBar Main Malt 078-331-7372
B1,7th Sharman Building,2-10-11,Kitanagasa-dori,chuo-ku,kobeshi,
HyogoBar Hayafune 0742-26-3485
2F Nishiguchi Bld,1-7,Konishi-cho,Nara-shi ,NaraBar Yamazaki 0952-22-3961
2-5-24,Shirayama,Saga-shi,SagaIsetan 03-3352-1111
3-14-1,Shinjyuku,Shinjyuku-ku,TokyoHankyu Department Store 06-6361-1381
8-7,Kakuda-cho,Kita-ku,Osaka-shi,OsakaMejiro Tanaka-ya 03-3953-8888
3-4-14,Mejiro,Toshima-ku,TokyoKawachi-ya 03-3869-3939
5-40-15,Naka-Kasai,Edogawa-ku,TokyoLiquor Villa Aizawa 042-622-6244
570-9,Dairakuji-machi,Hachioji-shi,tokyoBig Tsukiji 03-3530-2521
3-3-13 Kaname-cho,Toshima-ku,TokyoKameya Yazaki Shoten 0422-51-3931
2-24-18,Naka-machi,Musashino-shi,TokyoSake no Yamaichi 048-866-8000
2-10-4,Uchiya,Minami-ku,Saitama-shi,SaitamaBrutus 072-665-7363
4-11-33,Torikaikami,Settsu-shi,OsakaSake Shop Sato 06-6855-1903
3-5-10,Okamachi-minami,Toyonaka-shi,OsakaMille Cote 072-725-1980
4-10-2,Boshima,Minoo-shi,OsakaAsuka Meishu Hanbai 096-370-0160
6-5-36,tamukae,Kumamoto-shi,KumamotoLiberty 0543-45-1321
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