Japan In Cider
Cider, or rather hard cider—the alcoholic version—has enjoyed a steady climb in popularity and accessibility in Japan the last few years. Despite the excessive challenges that Covid-19 has placed on the food and beverage industry, the number of domestic cider makers as well as bars and bottle shops offering selections of cider continues to grow.
One of the biggest challenges living in Japan during the state of emergencies has been refraining from going out—particularly to places serving alcohol. So what to do, especially now that autumn is upon us, harvest time and one of the best seasons to travel? Without knowing what the future holds before this issue reaches readers, Iet’s be hopeful and look at several cider-related venues worth visiting once you are able to go.
Cidernaut is located in Shibuya’s Kamiyacho District, just a ten-minute walk from Shibuya Station. It boasts 12 taps, ten of them dedicated to cider (the other two beer). In addition to an impressive list of both domestic and imported ciders, you will also find a decent range of food, from various homemade bagel sandwiches to buffalo wings, chicken and chips.
Cidernaut is spacious, the staff can communicate in English and there are plenty of other places to explore nearby. It is open daily from lunch until closing time, and highly recommended if you’re in the mood for good food and cider.
You can find bottle shop Kitazawa Konishi in Shimokitazawa, the neighborhood famous for its laid-back vibes and bohemian cool. Locally referred to as “Shimokita,” it’s often considered the city’s hippest suburb with its narrow winding streets dotted with eclectic cafés, second-hand clothing stores, vintage record shops, miscellaneous art galleries, live houses and bars.
Opened in 1931, Kitazawa Konishi is a mecca for those looking to get their hands on hard-to-find fresh imported craft cider and beer. The husband-and-wife owners are thoroughly knowledgeable about the brands they carry and genuinely enjoy sharing what they know with customers. Kitazawa Konishi is open every day except Tuesdays.
Of the three shops mentioned, Sanity Beer is the newest, having opened their doors in September in Sangenjaya. This area in Setagaya-ku is home to a plethora of restaurants, bars, and cafés. Just a hop, skip and jump from Sangenjaya Station on the Den-en-toshi Line, Sanity Beer currently offers ten taps, with at least one for cider, and a refrigerator-lined wall of drinkable goodies, one section being exclusively cider options.
Clean, chic, and clever in concept, it’s no wonder Sanity Beer is quickly becoming the latest must-go-to.
If the time’s not right to get out or you just prefer staying at home, fear not, simply order from Japan Cider Market, the country’s first online shop specializing in the highest quality imported ciders from Australia, UK and USA. In addition to more than reasonable shipping prices, their website is fully functional in English and Japanese and orders are, in most cases, delivered the next day.
Japan In Cider