Tasting Sake in Japan Part 3: Best Shinjuku Izakaya for Sake

Welcome back to our “Tasting Sake in Japan” series! In previous articles, we explained the basics of how Sake is made, its types, various ways to enjoy it, and drinking manners. Now that you know the basics, the next step is to actually try tasting Sake!🍶

In Japan, restaurants that primarily serve alcohol are called “izakaya.” Many izakayas serve Japanese sake, but some have only a limited selection. In part 3 of this series, we will introduce restaurants where you can enjoy a variety of Japanese sakes, offering all-you-can-drink sake or sake-tasting sets.

The best way to learn about sake is to start tasting them! Let’s take a look at the seven best Izakayas in the Shinjuku area, a particularly famous central area of Tokyo!✨

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Tasting Sake in Japan Part 3:
Best Shinjuku Izakaya for Sake

Table of Contents

$$$ Luxury

$$ Moderate

$ Affordable

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💰$$$ Luxury

Ganko Oyaji (銘酒居酒屋 頑固おやじ)

oyaji 1
Photo Courtesy of Ganko Oyaji

“Oyaji” is a stylish spot located just a few minutes walk from Shinjuku Station, where you can enjoy Japanese sake. The selection of sake ranges from standard to rare varieties, and the dishes are carefully curated to pair well with the sake.

There are three courses: the basic course, which costs 6,000 yen; the standard course, which costs 8,000 yen; and the premium course, which costs 9,800 yen.

All courses include five dishes, and the menu changes daily. The restaurant is famous for its seafood dishes, offering fresh Japanese ingredients such as sea urchin and sashimi.

Photo Courtesy of Oyaji

Both the Standard and Premium courses include two hours of all-you-can-drink sake. The Standard course offers ten brands, while the Premium course offers 60. There are à la carte menus, and tasting sake sets at affordable prices as well.

If you want to fully enjoy delicious Japanese sake and cuisine with a great ambiance, be sure to visit!



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💰$$ Moderate

Kanagari (燗アガリ)

Photo Courtesy of Kan-agari

Kan-agari is a restaurant where you can enjoy warmed sake paired with grilled vegetables and fish.

“Kan” is a Japanese word that means the method of warming sake, and “Kan-agari” is a technical term for sake that means “warming sake to bring out its individuality and flavor. “ Their wide variety of sake is chosen by sake sommelier, focusing on the best enjoyed when it’s warmed. The sake is warmed up in a custom-made copper warming pot.

Photo Courtesy of Kan-agari

The food is cooked using “robata-yaki,” an ancient Japanese grilling method. Fresh ingredients are grilled over charcoal, enhancing both aroma and flavor.

The interior resembles a traditional Japanese home, with old furniture and tatami mats. There are seats where you can eat at low tables, removing your shoes, as well as seats where you can watch the chefs cook right in front of you.

It’s the perfect place to enjoy a variety of Japanese sake while soaking in an authentic Japanese atmosphere!


  • Address: New YS Building 3rd floor 7-16-12 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan (Google Map)
  • Access: 8 mins walk from Shinjuku station/ 5 mins walk from Shinjuku-Nishiguti station
  • Hours: Mon-Thur 5-11 pm / Fri 5-11:30 pm / Sat-Sun-Holidays 4-11 pm
  • Website: https://kan-agari.jp/
  • English-friendly: △ (English website *Korean/ Chinese websites are also available)

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Sake Bar Doron (日本酒バルドロン)

Sake baru Dron
Photo Courtesy of Sake Bar Doron

Sake Bar Doron is an Izakaya that offers a full-course meal pairing with sake, sake tasting class, and more.

The owner, Mr. Wada, is a Sake Sommelier with career experience in a foreign country. He has been involved in sake-making every winter and actively promoting sake through corporate events and weekly sake-tasting classes and courses.

As they have an English website, you can expect English-friendly service at the restaurants!

Sake baru Dron 2
Photo Courtesy of Sake Bar Doron

For the sake tasting class, you can try six types of sake for 2 hours for 8800 JPY, including snacks, and learn about the sake-making process and tasting tips. The tasting menu, also 8800 JPY per person, includes multiple appetizers, meat, fish, rice, dessert, and all-you-can-drink sake. Reservations are required at least a day in advance.

If you want to learn and experience the authentic Japanese sake culture, this is for you!



  • Address:7-19-21 Nishi-Shinjuku Shinjuku, Tokyo (Google Map)
  • Access: 2 minutes walk from Nishi-Shinjuku Station Exit E8, / 7 minutes walk from Shinjuku Station West Exit.
  • Hours: 6-11 pm, Open on Tue-Sat
  • Website: https://www.sake-doron.com/en/
  • English-friendly: 〇 (English website, English-speaking staff)

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Junmaisyu YATA Shinjuku Shop (純米酒専門 八咫 新宿三丁目店)

Photo Courtesy of Junmaisyu YATA

YATA focuses on a standing bar style to make Japanese sake enjoyable for both sake enthusiasts and those who don’t typically drink sake.

With a relaxed atmosphere, customers can easily ask about various aspects of sake, from basics to trends.

They have a wide range of sake types and brands at reasonable prices and suggest various drinking styles, ensuring that everyone can enjoy sake in their preferred way.

Photo Courtesy of Yata

In the Kikizake course, you can try various Japanese sake for 2500 JPY ($15) per hour. Even without the course, you can enjoy any brand for 700 JPY ($4.5) per glass, perfect for tasting different types or having a small sample.

A highlight is their dedication to “Junmai sake and warmed sake.” As we learned from the previous article, heating sake enhances its aroma and richness, making it even more delicious.

Located on the 10th floor of a building very close to Shinjuku’s famous department stores, it offers a refreshing view along with the enjoyment of sake.

How about enjoying a quick sip of Japanese sake after shopping in Shinjuku?



  • Address: Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−14−22, Ogawa Bldg, 10F (Google Map)
  • Access: 7 mins walk from Shinjuku Station/ 2 mins walk from Shinjuku-Sanchome Station
  • Hours: Mon-Fri 3-11 pm(L.O 10:30) / Sat-Sun 2 -10:30 pm (L.O 10:00 pm)
  • Website: https://junmaishu.net/
  • English-friendly:

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Jittoku Shinjuku (十徳 新宿本店)

Photo Courtesy of Jittoku Shinjuku Honten

Jittoku is an izakaya that offers around 100 types of sake from all over Japan.

The restaurant has a typical casual Japanese izakaya atmosphere. Sake prices start at 450 yen, with rare premium sake and selections directly chosen from breweries. With tasting sake sets and all-you-can-drink options, you can easily compare different types of sake.

Photo Courtesy of Jittoku Shinjuku Honten

One of the popular menu items at this restaurant is “Motsu-nabe,” a famous dish from Fukuoka Prefecture in western Japan.
Unlike many small izakayas in Shinjuku, this place has relatively many tables and stays open late into the night. On Fridays, they are open until 4 AM the next morning. In Japan, there is a culture called “Hashigo-zake,” which means people visit multiple izakayas in one night. It might be a good idea to visit here late at night after enjoying other restaurants!



  • Address: New-central building B1 B2, 1-5-12 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
  • Access: 2 mins walk from Shinjuku station
  • Hours: Tue-Thu 4 pm-12 am (Midnight) / Fri 4 pm – 4 am / Sat-Sun-Holidays 3 pm – 12 am (Midnight)
  • Website: https://j-honten.gorp.jp/
  • English-friendly: ?

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💰$ Affordable

Nihonshu genkasakagura Shinjuku Sohonten (日本酒原価酒蔵 新宿総本店)

Photo Courtesy of Nihonshu genkasakagura Shinjuku Sohonten

This sake-specialized pub offers over 50 varieties of sake at prime cost. There are three courses priced at 4000 JPY, 5000 JPY, and 6500 JPY, all including 2 hours of all-you-can-drink sake. Alternatively, you can order just the all-you-can-drink sake for 2980 JPY. A variety of side dishes priced around $2.50-$6 can be ordered individually, perfect for beginners exploring sake and Japanese dishes!

Photo Courtesy of Nihonshu genkasakagura Shinjuku Sohonten

The casual atmosphere makes it easy for anyone to enjoy, even if you’re new to sake or feel hesitant to visit high-end restaurants.

Whether you’re curious about trying sake for the first time or simply want to enjoy a variety of sakes at a reasonable price, this place is highly recommended!

There are also locations in Shibuya, Ikebukuro, and other areas besides Shinjuku, so you can also check them out.

Sake making video from their website ↑↑


  • Address: TH Nishi-Shinjuku B1F, 7-2-5 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo (Google Map)
  • Access: 6 minutes walk from JR Shinjuku Station west Exit  / 1 minute walk from Shinjuku-Nishiguchi Station
  • Hours: Mon-Fri 3-11:30 pm / Sat. Sun 12 (noon)-11:30 pm
  • Website: https://sake-genkabar.com/about.html
  • English-friendly: △ (Some English explanation on the website)

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Sake Market Shinjuku

Photo Courtesy of Sake Market

Sake Market Shinjuku offers 100 kinds of alcohol, including not only sake but also fruit wine, plum wine, shochu, etc.

The all-you-can-drink option is priced per time segment: 1500 yen for 30 minutes and 2500 yen for 90 minutes. Additionally, there’s an unlimited drinking course from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm for 3600 yen.

Photo Courtesy of Sake Market

They have a unique service style.

First, you pay and choose three sake cups. Then, you pick any sake from the refrigerator, allowing you to taste and compare different types freely.

You can bring your own food, such as snacks from a convenience store, or order delivery.

The atmosphere is casual, perfect for beginners who want to enjoy sake with friends!



  • Address: Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−9−9 ワタセイ・タマビル 6F (Google Map)
  • Access: 1 min walk from Shinjuku-3 Chome station Ex.C6
  • Hours: Mon-Fri 6-11 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm) /Sat-Sun 12 pm (noon) -4 pm (L.O. 3:30 am)
    6-11 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)
  • Website: https://sakemarket.tokyo/shinjuku
  • English-friendly: 〇 (English menu / English-speaking staff)

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Did you find an izakaya you’d like to visit?🍶

All the places introduced in this article offer a variety of sake, so you might want to decide where to go based on the location or atmosphere.

Additionally, as mentioned earlier, there is a culture in Japan called “Hashigo-zake,” where people visit several Izakaya in one night. Since the portions at Japanese izakayas are relatively small, trying different drinks and dishes at multiple Izakaya might be a good idea!

When looking for a place, you might have wondered, “What kind of sake should I order?” or “What types of sake are there?”

If you’re unfamiliar with the basic knowledge and manners regarding sake, our previous articles in this “Tasting Sake in Japan” series will help you learn them.

Learning these before visiting a place will enable you to enjoy the sake fully! 📒

Related Article

If you haven’t read the first two articles of our “Tasting Sake in Japan” series, check it out!

In the next articles of our “Tasting Sake in Japan” series, we plan to provide more detailed knowledge about sake and information about izakayas and sake breweries in other areas in Japan!

Stay tuned for updates! See you in the next article!👋


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