Translated by MATCHA
Jo-Social Sake Bar: Sake Tasting in Pontocho, Kyoto
Written by Takashi Yasui
Near the riverbank of Kamo River you can find Jo-Social Sake bar, a great place for community, friends, and sake!
The riverbank of the famous Kamo River (鴨川) lies from the south to the north across central Kyoto; and next to it, is an area called "Pontocho" (先斗町).
In this narrow path, you will find shops like "TEAMS Pontocho", "Urushino Tsunesaburo (うるしの常三郎)", or restaurants like "Five, Six, Eight (五六八)" and "Ukiya (有喜屋)" - it's a path packed with Japanese shops.
Curiously, after 18:00 when most of the temples are closed, this place becomes even more crowded.
Jo-Social Sake Bar is located in this Pontocho.
We visited this place on a weekday evening. Here you can see some of the staff in their kimono standing before the wide entrance-way.
If you look outside from within the bar, you will often find curious visitors trying to sneak a peek inside.
This is the place to go if you are interested in drinking and comparing different types of sake. With Japanese cuisine gaining popularity around the world, sake is growing in its international recognition as well.
Just like wine-tastings held at wineries, Jo-Social Sake Bar allows you to taste different varieties of sake, which is quite popular with both domestic and international tourists to Kyoto.
The 3 sake tasting set (1000 yen) is perhaps the most popular option with visitors from overseas. The knowledgeable staff of Jo-Social Sake Bar can explain the details of these different drinks in English and can teach you how to properly drink and compare the deeper flavors of the sake as well.
And, if you ask the staff, you can arrange a visit to the brewery. Why not learn about and drink sake while visiting this incredible area?
Not only sake is available here; you can also try locally brewed beers and buy various different types of drinks (including sake, beer and non-alcoholic sodas too) to enjoy while sitting on the banks of the Kamo river.
One more fascinating point about Jo-Social Sake Bar is that its owner is a former maiko from Gion. While visiting, you can chat with her about her experiences as a maiko, try on kimono or dress as a samurai and have your picture taken in this historical hotspot. Why not spend an evening getting to know more about sake and Kyoto's history here at Jo-Social Sake Bar?
Jo-Social Sake Bar
Address: Kyoto, Nakagyō, Ishiyachō126
Hours: Weekdays 17:00-23:30 Sat,Sun, Holidays 15:00-23:30
Nearest Station: Sanjo Station (三条駅) Keihan line
Access: 5 minute walk from Sanjo Station
Price Range: 1000-2000 yen
Phone Number: 075-231-1318
Homepage: 釀 -Jo- Social Sake Bar
Facebook: 釀 -Jo- Social Sake Bar