Recommended by Japanese Gourmets! Sake No Daimasu Kaminarimon Branch



Recommended by Japanese Gourmets! Sake No Daimasu Kaminarimon Branch


Nihonshu, or as most Westerners know it, sake: the iconic Japanese rice wine is on the 'must try' list of most travelers that visit the land of the rising sun. A great way to enjoy a good cup of sake is by pairing it with delicious food, so today I'll introduce you to a sake bar recommended by local Japanese gourmets.

Sake no Daimasu Kaminarimon Branch

Sake no Daimasu is located near the famous Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo, just a one minute walk from the big red lantern of the Kaminarimon gate.
Big red lantern of the Kaminarimon gate

In Japanese this is called a kakuuchi, a combination of liquor store and sake bar. If you enjoy a quick drink on the go this is the place for you.
A kakuuchi, a combination of liquor store and sake bar

A Sake Specialty Shop With a Wide Selection

As soon as you enter you'll see shelves upon shelves carrying over 100 different kinds of sake! Even just wandering through the aisles is fun. The store stocks brands from all over Japan as well as many kinds of shochu and wine. Being a sake fan, I wanted to open and try them all.
A Sake Specialty Shop
 Shochu and wine from all over Japan

For those who can't decide what to get, you can check the top 5 best sellers ranking from the previous month to see what's popular!
Top 5 best sellers
In addition to normal bottles, you will find these small containers called one cup. As the name suggests, these are single portions of sake. If you peel the top off you can drink directly from the container like you just poured yourself a glass. 
Small container of Sake

Our Sake Recommendations


Its name meaning 'good luck', this makes for a nice treat for yourself as well as a great souvenir. The low price is also a selling point.
Reference price: 180ml 240 yen

Konaki Junmai (こなき純米)

This sake from Tottori Prefecture was featured in a Japanese sake ranking. As it is labeled as extra-dry I recommend this for people that aren't fans of sweet beverages. The drawing on the label is a character from the popular Japanese anime series Gegege no Kitaro.
Konaki Junmai
Reference price: 180ml 300 yen

Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo gourd bottle(八海山 純米吟醸 ひょうたん瓶)

This brand is from Niigata Prefecture which is famous for clean water, high quality rice and consequently good sake. The sake made with Nagoya rice has a unique aroma and the gourd-shaped bottle is also really cool.
Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo gourd bottle
Reference price: 180ml 571 yen

Nanbu Bijin Yamada Nishiki(南部美人 山田錦)

Nanbu Bijin, a popular sake from Iwate Prefecture won the first prize at an international contest. The Yamada Nishiki series in particular has a rich aroma and such a delicate texture that sake fans won't want to miss this one.
Nanbu Bijin Yamada Nishiki
Reference price: 720ml 1,850 yen

Asakusa Jinja Omiki(浅草神社 御神酒)

Have you ever seen those sake barrels on a shrine grounds? Those are called omiki. They are opened during special occasions such as festivals and this is the sake used during the Asakusa Shrine festival.
Asakusa Jinja Omiki
Reference price: 300ml 477 yen

In Japan snacks are considered an important part of drinking and many liquor stores also sell them. At Sake no Daimasu you'll find unusual and interesting snacks. How about some squid or canned fish?
Squid or canned fish1

Squid or canned fish 2


Squid or canned fish 3

Having a Drink at the Sake Bar

The other half of the store is a spacious bar with a long counter. You can visit the bar even if you don't buy anything at the shop.

Have a drink at 'SAKE BAR'
Atmosphere inside the bar

Here are a few recommendations for sake and food that you can try here.

One good thing that the bar offers is the possibility of trying several different kinds of rice wine. There are five tasting sets to choose from, each featuring three different varieties in 45ml glasses.
The one I chose to try was the Junmai Daiginjo set.
Featuring three different varieties1
Reference price: 1,380 yen

From left to right we have Kariho from Akita Prefecture, Ichizuchi Masamune from Ehime Prefecture and Sato no Homare from Ibaraki Prefecture. The special feature of these three varieties is that they all have a fruity aroma. Raisin for the first, peach for the second and melon for the third. I especially liked the melon one because it was easy to drink and I could have drunk many cups of it.
Featuring three different varieties2

Asakusa Sanja Gongen-sha Shrine (current Asakusa Jinja Shrine) Refined Sake

This is one of the varieties consumed during Sanja Matsuri, one of the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo. The taste is refreshing and the smell is not too strong, making it very easy to drink.

Asakusa Sanja Gongen-sha Shrine (current Asakusa Jinja Shrine) Refined Sake
Reference price: 90ml 290 yen

Sashimi set, 3 pieces

The fish used here is extremely fresh and makes an outstanding pairing with sake. Highly recommended.
Sashimi set, 3 pieces
Reference price: 980 yen

Grilled firefly squid

Grilled squid is the staple of alcohol snacks in Japan! This specific dish comes with a little instruction sheet on how  best to eat your firefly squid.
Grilled firefly squid 1
Reference price: 380 yen

Upon ordering you'll receive a plate of dried squids that you're going to 'grill' yourself. The peculiar instruction sheet tells you to first choose a squid that you like. Apparently it's important that you look at its expression.
Grilled firefly squid 2

Next, put all your love into the lighter and use it to completely grill your squid. The smell is really inviting.
Grilled firefly squid 3

Here you can see the squid before and after being grilled. When the squid starts getting tender it's time to eat it.
Grilled firefly squid 4

Smoked soft-boiled egg

Soft-boiled eggs are very common in Japan. The half-cooked yolk is really creamy and this particular egg also has an amazing smoked aroma. Delicious!

Smoked soft-boiled egg 1


Smoked soft-boiled egg 2

Smoked soft-boiled egg 3
Reference price: 200 yen

Sea bream chazuke (cooked rice with dashi broth poured in it)

In Japan there's a habit of eating food containing carbohydrates like rice or ramen as a wrap-up dish after you're finished drinking. The soft sea bream and broth are really refreshing and have a great aroma. Order this at the end of your drinking experience to feel cleansed and refreshed.
Sea bream chazuke (cooked rice with dashi broth poured in it)
Reference price: 680 yen

The menu

There is of course a wide choice of sake, even special varieties like sake champagne. There are also unusual brands of umeshu (plum liquor) and shochu (another Japanese distilled beverage), so there is really a lot of choice!

An English menu is also available. Make sure you ask the staff.
An English menu is also available


Sake no Daimasu Kaminarimon Branch | 酒の大桝 雷門店
Address: 1-2-8 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Hours: Weekdays 4:00pm - 11:30pm. Weekends and holidays 12:00pm - 11:30pm
Closed on Tuesdays (if Tuesday is a holiday, closed the following day)
Access: 1 min. walk from Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / 1 min. walk from Toei Asakusa Station on the Toei Subway / 6 min. walk from Asakusa Station on the Tsukuba Express
Website (Japanese-only): Sake no Daimasu Kaminarimon Branch  

※This article is based on information from a coverage made on April 7, 2018. The available products and prices might change depending on the time of your visit.
All prices are tax-exclusive.


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