5 Popular Antenna Stores in Tokyo - Taste Japanese Sake From Niigata, Toyama, and More!
Tokyo is home to many antenna shops, which are a special kind of shop that holds events and sells Japanese sake, traditional crafts, and other local specialties in order to promote the charms of these areas. Read on and get to know the appeal of these promotional stores and some of the Japanese sake and souvenirs they sell.
1. Nihonbashi Fukushimakan MIDETTE
Nihonbashi Fukushimakan MIDETTE is Fukushima’s antenna store in Nihonbashi. It sells Japanese sake and other specialty products from Fukushima. You will also find information on sightseeing in the Fukushima region for every season. It stocks a wide variety of Japanese sake that are helpfully arranged and displayed on the wall. It’s a lot of fun just looking at them!
Among the numerous Japanese sake they have in store, I would recommend the Daishichi Junmai Kimoto from a brewery in Fukushima that was founded in 1752. Said to be the brew that best represents the kimoto-zukuri method—a way of brewing Japanese sake using the power of nature that was mainstream until around the middle of the Meiji Period (1868 - 1912)—this Japanese sake is characterized by its superb balance of richness, umami, and acidity. It goes well with any dish, so it is recommended to drink it while having a meal. Also, make sure to have it warm, as it tastes much better that way!
As a souvenir, I also bought Momo Potato Chips made from peaches grown in Fukushima. The combination of peach and potato chips was quite surprising to me at first. But when I actually tasted it, I found that it wasn’t too salty and that after you enjoy the delightful aroma of peach, you will get to savor the delicious flavor inherent to potatoes. It can be addicting once you taste it, so I highly recommend it!
2. Bridge Niigata
Bridge Niigata offers plenty of attractive products from Niigata, such as rice, Japanese sake, foods, and crafts. Niigata is a region that is famous for producing Japanese sake, and when you visit this store, you will see a large selection of Japanese sake that come in cups to make them even more convenient to drink. Out of all the Japanese sake available at this store, I would recommend these two: the Chojazakari Choja Cup that won the Best Design award at the Japanese Sake Champion\'s Cup competition and the Hime Cup that features a princess clad in kimono on the bottle. They both have adorable designs, so when you’re done drinking them, you can use them to decorate your room.
As a snack for the Japanese sake, I chose the Ginzake Stick Yaki – fatty Chilean salmon sliced into sticks and then dried and grilled.
This snack uses sea salt from the Sasagawa Nagare Coastline, which takes pride in being a beach with one of the clearest waters in Japan. The salmon stick is also delicious when dipped in mayonnaise.
3. Nihonbashi Toyama
Nihonbashi Toyama is where you can get acquainted with the lifestyle of people in Toyama. The store is divided into the tourist exchange space, shop, restaurant, and bar. At the bar, you can drink and compare a variety of Japanese sake from Toyama, as well as enjoy soft drinks and snacks unique to the region.
I would recommend the Japanese sake called Sanshoraku Cup as a souvenir. You can drink it cold or hot, as it’s delicious either way. Toyama’s confections are also superb and well known. When you visit this store, you will get to know some of the sweet delights that locals love, such as Kankontan, a delicacy that is filled with smooth custard, and Toyaman, a delicious pastry made from the fusion of red bean paste and pie.
CocoShiga is an antenna shop promoting products from Shiga Prefecture. Similar to other antenna shops, this store holds events and sells a variety of specialty products, traditional crafts, and other items that will give customers a glimpse into the charms of Shiga. At the Japanese sake bar, you can sample and compare different kinds of Japanese sake. There is also a restaurant where you can savor gourmet dishes that generously use ingredients grown in the region.
The Japanese sake I would like to recommend is the Tsukiakari Junmai Ginjo. It is an easy-to-drink Japanese sake thanks to its slightly sweet taste. It is best drunk chilled.
I also bought Omi Beef Shigure, a snack made from Shiga’s own Omi beef that has been slowly simmered in a soy-based sauce. There’s diced ginger and burdock inside, so the taste may be a little strong for some people. I was a fan, though.
5. Nihonbashi Muromachi Sumotokan
Nihonbashi Muromachi Sumotokan is the antenna shop of Sumoto City, Awaji Island in Hyogo. Here, you will find rows of more than 500 kinds of products, including local specialties of the island that are directly shipped from the production area when they are in season. They sell Awaji beef, onions, seafood, rice, Japanese sake, and plenty of other delicious foods from Awaji Island!
Let me introduce you to Kuniumi no Shizuku, a Japanese sake made by a brewery that was established in 1875. This Japanese sake is sold at Izanagi Shrine where the deity Izanami no Mikoto from Japanese mythology is enshrined. Its label is inspired by the myth, with a brief written history of the shrine tucked inside the package. It is a dry and easy-to-drink Japanese sake.
As a souvenir, I would recommend the Tamanegi Senbei, which is a package of rice crackers that use onions from Awaji Island. It’s good as a snack as well as an accompaniment to alcohol.
When you visit an antenna shop, you’re bound to encounter something you never thought could be so delicious. Try to find something you like!
*This article was published on WOW! JAPAN. Click here to see a list of WOW! JAPAN articles.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.