Tanakaya kind of needs no introduction really – it’s one of Tokyo’s oldest liquor shops that is dedicated to beers, wines, and spirits, having opened in 1949. It’s located in the north-western part of the Yamanote line in Mejiro and is really a place everyone should visit at least once – even if you’re not interested in beer.
Walking (or my case stumbling) downstairs leads you into a huge cavernous area that is filled from floor to ceiling with bottles of wines and spirits – heck if you know the spirit then Tanakaya probably have it in stock. Turn around the corner and you’ll see the beer fridges, filled to the brim with imports from around the world besides Japan. Tanakaya does have a small section of domestic craft beers, with Daisen G Beer, Tamamura Honten, and North Island Beer among those on sale. While the selection is nowhere near as comprehensive as Tokyo’s other main store, BeerMa in Kita-Senju, Tanakaya does offer up some rarer selections at more reasonable prices.
The main downside to Tanakaya, or positive if you’re worried about over-spending, is they don’t take credit card at the time of writing. So make sure you take plenty of cash with you. They don’t have an online portal either so you have to make the effort to get here.
Open: Monday to Saturday 11:00 – 20:00
Homepage (in Japanese): http://tanakaya.cognacfan.com/
How to Get to Tanakaya
The closest station to Tankaya is Mejiro on the Yamanote line. The store is a one minute walk.