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    • Spring
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.

        Into the Mystic

        While you probably won’t encounter an elusive river sprite in the highlands of the Northern Japan Alps, you may feel a bit lightheaded from the refreshing thin air, remarkable vistas and mystical aura of the mountains and valleys in Kamikochi.
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        Niseko Untapped

        Niseko draws th...
    • Summer
      • Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...
        A glass of beer from Kyoto Brewing

        Kampai! in Kansai

        Kansai has been...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
    • Autumn
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
    • Winter
      • video

        Mad About Pow

        A powder pocket...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
        video

        Shuzenji Sanctuary

        Nestled in the ...
    • Near Tokyo
      • Air it Out

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        Ark Hills Marche

        Tucked away in ...

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!

        Summer Runs, Races & Tours

        Trail running is a great way to explore the beautiful nature of a country while getting away from the usual tourist spots.

        Tokyo Escapes: Summer Camping

        Tokyo summers can be stifling—luckily it’s easy to escape the city for a cool break from the heat.
    • Near Kyoto
      • A glass of beer from Kyoto Brewing

        Kampai! in Kansai

        Kansai has been...

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!

        Cycling Awaichi

        “Awaichi” is sh...
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...

        Air it Out

        There is no bet...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
        video

        Niseko Untapped

        Niseko draws th...
    • River and Lake
      • Air it Out

        There is no bet...
        video

        Niseko Untapped

        Niseko draws th...

        Minakami Mofest

        Head up to Japan's outdoor mecca of Minakami for the country's biggest outdoor adventure festival!
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        All-Season Outdoor Playgr...

        Enter the all-season world of Shinetsu Shinzekyo in Nagano and Niigata with outdoor professionals
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • video

        Mad About Pow

        A powder pocket...

        The Reemergence of Arai

        Lotte Arai Resort will definitely become a hotspot for western skiers and boarders over the next few years.

        Tohoku Storm Chasing

        Just a few hours north of Tokyo by Shinkansen (bullet train) await remote mountains and the countryside of Tohoku’s Akita and Iwate prefectures.
    • Travel
      • Gravity-Defying Farming in Nishi Awa

        Discover the centuries-old secret behind what keeps southern Japan's mountains growing

        Up Market in Osaka

        There wasn’t mu...

        Return to Palau

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    • Food and Drinks
      • Gravity-Defying Farming in Nishi Awa

        Discover the centuries-old secret behind what keeps southern Japan's mountains growing

        Up Market in Osaka

        There wasn’t mu...

        Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...
    • Races and Events
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!

A Tiny Brewery Hidden in Shinjuku

Tucked in a tiny corner of Shinjuku, about a seven-minute walk from the South Exit of JR Shinjuku Station (although technically still in Shibuya-ku), is the welcoming little Y.Y.G. Brewery and Beer Kitchen.

This small brewery makes beer in small batches, and there are fresh new beers brewed on a regular basis. On a recent visit I had three of their offerings, and all of them proved to be smooth and easy drinking brews running between 4 to 5.5 percent alcohol. No strong flavors or excessive hop levels here. The Shinjuku IPA was a hazy gold with minimal head, but enough hops to keep this hop-lover interested. At 5.5 percent alcohol, it is one of their strongest, but one would have to be a serious drinker to get a real buzz going on here.

Next up, the British Brown Ale (4.5 percent) could better be described as a mild if the alcohol was a point lower. A lovely deep opaque brown color, it had a roasty malt aroma with the flavors becoming more apparent (and favorable) as it warms. Finally, the Yoyogi Amber Ale, also with minimal head, had only 4.1 percent alcohol and displayed minimal aroma, but had a good, hearty ale flavor that stays with you till the end of the glass.

All three beers were served in 320- ml. portions for ¥800, making them quite reasonable in a huge town such as Shinjuku. I had my initial beer downstairs at the bar on the first floor, then drank the other two in the restaurant upstairs on the seventh floor. In the restaurant, I enjoyed a very competently assembled Charcuterie Plate (¥1,500) and the delightful Parmesan Crisps (¥700), very thin shavings of the famous Italian cheese, then fried to a tasty crisp in a skillet.

The only thing I found odd was the fact Asahi Super Dry is one of the guest beers (and the cheapest at ¥650) joining two other Japanese craft beers, which makes it apparent they are intent on satisfying any beer lover. In any case, their beers were completely satisfying and had true character, making for a memorable stop at Y.Y.G. Brewery.

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