Translated by Jelena Kitamura
The World Of Fine Japanese Sake - Welcome To Shibuya's Bar Yata!
The World Of Fine Japanese Sake - Welcome To Shibuya's Bar Yata!
Written by Jumpei Kawashima
Yata bar in Shibuya is a stand-up type of a bar offering many brands of Japanese sake. Choose a one-hour-tasting course and compare some of the 35 brands of this traditional beverage. How about finding that one sake brand that'll outshine all others?
Sake is Japan’s traditional alcoholic beverage. It comes in various aromas and flavors and is quickly gathering the attention of alcoholic beverages lovers from all over the world.
At Yata, a bar in Shibuya, you can savor many different types of Japanese sake in a stand-up bar ambiance. It is a true paradise for sake lovers, since it proudly offers more than 35 different brands of Japanese sake, with one of the best-selling and most popular items on the menu being the kikizake (*1) course.
Today, we will guide you through some of the tastiest offers found on Yata’s menu.
*1 Kikizake: sake tasting; trying out and comparing different brands of sake at izakayas and sake breweries. It was originally performed in order to determine the quality of an alcoholic beverage.
Enjoy the Nuances in Taste of Various Sake Brands
The 35 types of Japanese sake provided at Yata’s are the best among the best. They also change their sake brands regularly, so that the customers get to savor even more brands of distinctive and delicious rice wine.
By pouring the sake in a wine glass, you can also enjoy its rich aroma.
The One Hour Sake Comparing Course is a sake comparing course (2000 yen after tax), which allows you to practice your taste discerning ability, and enjoy some best-quality sake at the same time. It is both a relaxing and very satisfying deal, with 50ml of finest sake per glass.
As the owner of the bar holds a sake-tasting license, feel free to tell him or her about your preferences, current mood, or expectations, and they’ll be glad to choose the brands accordingly.
This opportunity is also quite comforting for those who are at loss about their preference in alcohol, and don’t know what to order – you can taste so many different sakes, that you’ll eventually realize which ones suit your palate the best. That is yet another thing to look forward to and enjoy, don’t you agree?
Another option is to order your drinks separately, in which case one glass will cost you 500 yen (after tax). It is a great chance to drink your most beloved sake to your heart’s content, as one glass has 100 ml.
Now, let us share a little bit of Japanese sake trivia for the curious ones – did you know you can enjoy sake either cold or warm? Atsukan, or hot sake, is usually warmed up using hot water, and it makes the sake taste much softer and gentle, perfect for the cold winter days. On the other hand, it is our recommendation to try hiyazake, the cold sake, as well. The perfectly cooled down sake has a distinctive sharpness to its taste, and that might suit your preference even better.
An All-500-Yen Otsumami Menu!
But that is not all there is to Yata! Actually, if you look closely at the menu provided, you’ll find some classy otsumami (snacks or side dishes), that will compliment your alcohol in the most well-balanced way possible. And above all, each item costs only 500 yen (after tax), so it truly is a flawless, win-win situation.
So, let us introduce some of the top otsumami dishes you can have at Yata’s.
The Unexpected Companion – Cheese Plate
Well, you won’t find this combination that easily in Japan! At Yata’s, this Japanese sake and cheese combo is well thought through, so on your cheese plate, you’ll find a peculiar combination of three types of cheese. Adding to the savory Camembert and smoked cheese is perhaps the most palatable of them all – the washed rind cheese.
You can, of course, ask about the recommendable combinations of your preferred sake and types of cheese, and hence customize your order.
Why not pamper your palate with some great pairings of cheese and Japanese sake?
A Tangy Pair – Cream Cheese and Wasabi
Presenting to you cream cheese topped with some wasabi. It tastes exactly as you might be imagining – after you savor some creamy and soothing cream cheese, the wasabi’s spicy punch will surely wake up your taste buds in a split second.
You’ll also find some iburigakko pickles on the side of your cheese serving. To make iburigakko, you first have to smoke the daikon radish, and then to pickle it in a mixture of nuka (rice bran, *2), salt, and other ingredients. Adding smoked flavor to your usual pickled daikon can level up its savoriness with an exciting and unexpected twist.
It is an exceptional side dish that will compliment every brand of sake, so don’t lose the opportunity to treat yourself to such a delicacy!
*2 Nuka: the thin rice skin derived from the process of polishing brown rice. It is rich in nutrients, and is usually used when pickling vegetables in Japan.
A Full-Scale Soy Sauce Collection
You can’t really say that soy sauce is a side dish, but we still want you to take special notice of it. The wide variety of soy sauce brands available here are purchased directly from the producers, and you are free to use them to your desire and preference. Use the one you find most appealing to season your side dish or snack.
Just like with Japanese sake, there are plenty of different brands of soy sauce, each possessing a distinctive flavor and texture, as well as fragrance, to it. We bet you it is not that easy to find a soy sauce menu this diverse anywhere outside of Japan, so make the best out of this auspicious occasion and try out all the soy sauces Japan has to offer, here at Yata’s!
You can also taste a great number of soy sauce brands if you lick small amount of it off your finger, or mix a small amount of it with some hot water to make yourself some dashi (soup stock). There are plenty of ways to find that very special taste that will make you a true fan of soy sauce!
The Concept behind the Japanese Sake Store Yata
Originally opened in Nagoya as a Japanese sake store, Yata decided to open another store at Shibuya in 2015.
Nowadays, they proudly run two stores in Nagoya – Nagoya Sakae Store and Nagoya Fushimi Store, as well as three stores in Tokyo – Shibuya Store, Shinjuku-Sanchome Store, and Kanda-Nihonbashi Store. All of these are stand-up Japanese sake bars, where a great number of people get their dose of good atmosphere and great sake every day.
Situated on the 5th floor of a building, the interior designers did a truly remarkable job by making the best out of the environment’s resources. An interesting combination of open, lit-up space and bare concrete, gives this ambiance a cozy, but sophisticated aura. The overall atmosphere is lightened up some more with lively conversations of the bar’s guests, so it makes it even easier to enjoy a nice glass of Japanese rice wine.
Today, we introduced Yata, a Japanese sake bar with a diverse menu and a relaxing ambiance where anyone can savor Japanese traditional alcoholic beverages the way he or she desires. When in Shibuya, make some time to soothe your palate and soul with some first-class traditional sake.
Yata Shibuya Store
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Dogenzaka 1-6-9 ILA Dogenzaka Building 5F
Hours: weekdays from 16:00 until 23:30 (last order until 23:00); weekend and holidays from 15:00 until 22:30 (last order until 22:00)
Fixed Holidays: Mondays
Credit Cards Available: -
Language: basic English
Menu/Pamphlets in Other Languages: English
Nearest Station: Shibuya Station, various lines
Access: a 1-minute walk from west exit of Shibuya Station of Keio Railway Inokashira Line;
A 7-minute walk from Shibuya Station of Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line, and Tokyu Railway Toyoko Line
Price: from 500 yen to 3000 yen
Website: Yata Shibuya Store (Japanese), Shinjuku-Sanchome Store (Japanese), Kanda-Nihonbashi Store (Japanese)