Perhaps this is cheating with Ponshukan as it is a Niigata satellite store. Like our Shinshu Osake Mura review, I love the Niigata area and whenever I go snowboarding in Echigo Yuzawa, I will often, nay, ALWAYS pop into the Ponshukan there to pick up some sake and craft beer from the area. I was delighted on my last day in Niigata to come across this larger branch.
Unlike Shinshu Osake Mura, the only drinking that goes on inside Ponshukan is at the sake vending machines, which come highly recommended at ¥500 for 5 x 25ml cups, also known as chokko. Besides that, Ponshukan offers only Niigata craft beer in the main shop, with breweries including Niigata Beer, Echigo Beer, Tainai Kogen, Hakkaisan Izumi and also Swan Lake Beer. Not the greatest selection I admit, but still one of the few places to buy bottles at a reasonable price. There weren’t that many seasonal nor limited edition beers in stock, but that’s more due to the breweries themselves not producing much.
Prices include tax so there aren’t any prices hikes at the counter. Ponshukan doesn’t have an online store either though they do offer shipping to your door from the store if you end up buying too much.
Open: 09:00 to 21:00
Homepage (in Japanese): http://www.ponshukan.com/
How to Get to Ponshukan
Ponshukan is located on the third floor of the CoCoRo Nishikan, or West Hall building, just outside the south exit of JR Niigata station.