The shop which has Japanese sake in “the best condition”
There is a shop specializing only in sake which is all brewed in Tokushima, located on the Ginza Shopping Street in the Tokushima City center.
The catch phrase of this store, “Taro Saketen,” is “You can buy, you can drink, and all our sake tastes good.”
It is about a 10-minute walk southwest from JR Tokushima Station, and the shop is located very close to the south end of the Ryogoku Bridge.
When you enter into the shop, you find a fine counter made from Tokushima hinoki (Japanese cypress).
The atmosphere is pretty cozy, and you feel as if you can enjoy drinking sake here to your heart’s content.
Maybe you had better check the sake cellar first.
The room’s temperature is always kept in the optimal range for storing sake, and you will find many bottles lined up on the shelf.
The sake here is all brewed locally and carefully selected, and this shop deals with each of the 11 sake breweries located in Tokushima Prefecture.
There is one called “Taro Saketen’s Original Sake,” and another is “Miyoshigiku Non-filtered Raw Unprocessed Sake.”
And the best thing is, you can taste them before you decide what to buy!
“Taro Saketen” was conceived from a passion for supporting Tokushima’s local sake.
“The quantity of production and consumption of sake in Tokushima is the lowest in Japan. It is a pity that people don’t know there is a lot of good local sake brewed in Tokushima and its merits,” said the owner, Mr. Yamada.
He is an important person among Tokushima’s sake industry, and now works as a brewing advisor at a sake brewery, among other things.
He opened “Taro Saketen” in July 2018, because he wanted to provide “a place where people can buy and actually drink Tokushima sake at reasonable price.”
One of the greatest features of “Taro Saketen” is not only the carefully selected line-up of sake, but also that you can drink them in a small quantity, either single (50ml) or double (100ml).
The most reasonable price for a single glass starts from only 200 yen!
I asked him “What would be the good first choice for beginners or foreign people who are not used to drinking sake?”
His recommendation was the “Miyoshigiku KIT CAT!! Taste Comparison Set.”
The labels on the bottles are so catchy and cute…!
The one on the left, “KIT CAT!!” is a non-filtered raw unprocessed Junmai Ginjo and made from “Nihonbare” rice cultivated in Tokushima.
The aroma and taste reminds me grape of white wine.
In the center, “KIT CAT!! 2” is almost same as above, but the only difference is the rice, which is “Yamadanishiki” cultivated in Tokushima.
This one also has a fruity aroma, but with an aftertaste of the rich umami of sake.
The last one, “KIT CAT!! 3” is totally different, and this is a slightly sparkling unrefined sake.
This is also a non-filtered raw unprocessed Junmai Ginjo, but very unique with the scent like pineapple and its sake flavor.
The amusement of choosing your own favorite
Then, how about a recommendation for sake lovers?
Mr. Yamada’s choice is “Premium Sake Taste Comparison Set” which allows you to taste 3 kinds of precious Tokushima Junmai Daiginjo sake from 3 breweries:“Kiraigin” from Tsukasagiku Brewery, “Yutaka” from Imakomachi, and “Zakasuigetsu” from Miyoshigiku Brewery.
All of them are so tasty, I can’t choose which one is the best…!
I just regret that I haven’t known about these sakes until now…!
Please try and taste local Tokushima sake when you visit Tokushima.
I am so sure that you will find your favorite one here!
Address／14-1, Ginza, Tokushima-shi, Tokushima
Closed／Sundays（If the Monday is a holiday, it’s open on Sunday and closed on Monday）
Photographs and text by Takashi Shigeto
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