Where to sample and buy sake in Osaka 大阪では日本酒を味わえるお店
Try traditional Japanese spirits in Osaka
Called nihonshu by the Japanese, sake enjoys an international reputation. If you're visiting Osaka during your trip and are curious to taste this alcohol, or want to bring some back home, discover our recommendations.
A must in Japanese gastronomy
Like sushi, ramen or Kobe beef, sake is a staple of Japanese culture and cuisine. Just like many travelers want to taste wine during a trip to France, not trying some sake in Japan would be a great shame! This rice alcohol, usually called nihonshu (literally "Japanese alcohol") in Japan, is one of the most consumed alcohols by the Japanese (along with beer), and can be enjoyed on any occasion, but especially during festive meals and celebrations.
Just like wine or beer, there is a wide variety of different sake, all different from each other. The differences depend on the type of rice, the degree of polishing of the grains, as well as the brewing method used. So trying before buying is recommended...
- Read more: Sake
Visitors to Osaka, the heart of the Kansai region, have the chance to sample various types of sake and even bring a bottle or two back with them. The city has many interesting places to go, which are often much cheaper than their counterparts Tokyo.
Discover our short guide to the best bars, izakaya, restaurants and shops in Osaka to sample and buy the famous Japanese sake.
hana SAKE bar
This is the best known bar in Osaka to taste sake. With its relaxed atmosphere and warm wooden decoration, the place undoubtedly makes you want to taste some of their sake. The most common way is to choose a set of 3 different sake, served in small glasses.
Everything is in English here, so you'll know what's going on! In addition, the bar also serves whiskey, shochu and beer, including the excellent Hitachino Nest.
- Address: 1-8-4, Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka, 542-0086
- Opening hours: open every day from 18:00 to 23:30 from Monday to Thursday, until 01:00 on Fridays and Saturdays, Sundays 17:00 - 22:00
A sake paradise! This unusual place is both a shop and tasting room, thanks to its passionate managers (who are also English speakers!).
While the ground floor houses the shop, don't hesitate to ask to enjoy a tasting, which takes place in the basement in a rather unique atmosphere. Each tasting glass costs 220 yen, regardless of the quality of the bottle.
Prepare to leave with your arms full of sake bottles!
- Address: 3-5-1 Itachibori Nishiku, Osaka 550-0012, Osaka
- Opening hours: open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 19:00, Saturdays until 18:00
Asano Nihonshuten Sake shop Umeda
On the same principle as Shimada Shonten, this modern shop located near Osaka station offers the chance to taste and compare different sake, with the possibility of buying them later.
The first prices start from 300 yen a glass (800 yen for the tasting set of 3 glasses), for more than 150 different kinds of sake, especially from the Osaka distilleries. There is a second shop in Kyoto.
- Address: 1F Taiyuji Bldg. 2-17, Taiyuji-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka
- Opening hours: open daily from 11:00 to 23:00
Although a little out of the way in the Kiyobashi district, this friendly izakaya promises a nice evening. Settle in at the bar or in a Japanese-style booth, and choose one of the 200 sake on the menu to accompany your meal.
The establishment also offers a nomihoudai (all-you-can-drink), meaning that you can drink unlimited amounts of any sake for 30 minutes... Staff are always happy to give advice on which sake to choose according to your meal.
- Address: 2-3-3, Higashinodamachi, Miyakojima-ku Osaka, 534-0024
- Hours: open from 17:00 to 01:00