Not only do I not drink much whiskey, but I am also afraid of getting lost in the maze of Tokyo Station – so that’s not the best combination to set out for Liquors Hasegawa. But I have been there a few times and it is always an interesting experience. It is a tiny shop (well technically they have two, but we only go to the one that stocks whiskey) but with a massive selection and a very knowledgeable staff.
They sell various liquors and there is a big selection of beer…
… but we are more interested in the hard stuff: the whiskey.
The good thing is: you can try-before-you-buy at nominal prices. So where else in the world (at least that I know of) can you try lots of different liquors at prices that are between 100-300 Yen for 10ml? That’s currently between 7-21HKD or between 1-3USD and a very good deal. You can try up to 2 different samples in one day (in the past it used to be 5 samples but then people got too drunk too easily and cheaply!), and then usually we end up buying a bottle (as the prices are usually cheaper than in Hong Kong or at the airport duty free shops).
The procedure for tasting is very simple. On the bottles that can be sampled is a white sticker with red kanji that states the tasting fee with the price of the tasting fee. You take the bottle to the counter, pay a small fee and then the shop attendant will pull out a little tray for you, place the bottle on it and pour a small amount into a tasting glass for you.
It’s a little hard to describe how to get there but the best way is the exit the underground Yaesu exit of Tokyo JR station and look for Yaesu Underground shopping center. Once you are there look for an information booth and ask them – that’s the easiest way to get there.
If you are a beer and wine fan, you can also go to their West branch – which is a few steps away from the main one. The west branch does not offer whisky tastings though.
Open from 10am to 8pm every day