Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 16
4.49/5 rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I just saw that I hadn't reviewed this place yet, and since I stopped in again this week I thought I'd document my thoughts on this wonderful store.
Close to the Meijiro stop off the Yamanote line. You have to walk down some stairs that appear to lead to a narrow alley to find the entrance. Alternatively you can take an elevator from street level but it's not well marked (at least to my American eyes). The store is laid out for easy shopping, with all beer in coolers to the right of the entrance. Categorized by country, with the largest selection from Belgium, followed by USA and then maybe Japan (or maybe Germany).
There are some Belgian beers that I've only previously seen in one other place (Dranken Geers near Gent), also quite a few that you often see in the States. Notably I saw Westvleteren bricks earlier this year (not on my recent visit though), similar pricing to what was available in the USA.
If I lived in Tokyo I suspect I'd stop here often for the USA IPAs, they're pricy but it's nice that they're available. The Japanese beers (ji-biru means craft beer) would be fun to work through too.
Misc notes: Lots of glassware from all over the globe, good selection of sake and shochu and other drinks as well.
11-13-2013 20:32:12 | More by TurdFurgison
4.52/5 rDev -1.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | $$$$
When I visited a couple years ago, the owner had 2 boxes of each Westy's (blonde, 8, & 12. ¥3000 for each bottle. This store was craaazy.
Ironically the beer buyer doesn't drink beer at all. This elderly Japanese man just reads up on tasting notes. He took a liking to me though, if you know what I mean.
07-02-2013 17:09:36 | More by yuichituba
United Kingdom (England)
4.26/5 rDev -7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
After a year and a half in Korea I almost ejaculated when I entered this beautiful looking bottle shop. Been there twice in as many years now.
LOCATION: Just turn left out of Mejiro station and it's a few shops down.
SERVICE: A little on the cold side by Japanese standards but by no means unfriendly.
RANGE: The emphasis is clearly on Belgian beer but there's a whole fridge of American stuff. Like me, if you're after English and German styles you'll be disappointed though what little they have got is pretty good. For some reason Scottish beer is MASSIVELY overrepresented. The Brewdog selection alone takes up most of a shelf in the UK section. The Japanese selection is piss poor but then Japanese craft beer is a bit shit.
PRICES: For non-special beers about ¥585-685. JW Less cost ¥1,000 each, about £7.
OTHER: There were loads spirits and a great selection of beer glasses, too.
01-20-2013 08:31:16 | More by Hoppsbabo
4.74/5 rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $
I went over here based on numerous recommendations during my first visit to Tokyo in late November. I won't do much to add to the texture of other reviewers, so I'll just note some of the ludicrous finds I had (none of which I managed to purchase -- low on time in a cash-only store in a society that hates American ATM cards!).
-- 375s of Cantillon Geuze, Kriek, and Rose, each 800 yen
-- Lost Abbey/Brewdog collab Lost Dog for 2000 yen
-- Brewdog/Mikkeller/Nogne Tokyo Black Horizon blend
-- HotD Bourbon Fred from the Wood 2012 (?!) for an outrageous 3500 yen
-- 50/50 BART 2011 for a totally reasonable (for Tokyo) 1800 yen
Just go. It's like no other bottle shop in the world.
12-31-2012 18:35:38 | More by drgarage
4.73/5 rDev +3.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Found this spirits shops here on BA and decided to check it out for myself. Very convenient location -- right outside the Mejiro exit off the Yamanote line in Tokyo. The look of the establishment can only be described as classy... classy to the very end. A great wine cellar, lots of Japanese sake, world spirits, and of course the bottled brews. I walked out with a Trappistes Wesvleteren 8 and a Trappistes Rochefort goblet. Good prices on all bottled beers I found, even the imports. The only negative aspect of the store was the service. The bubble wrap around my glass held up on the way home, but it was done pretty "tekito" as we say in Japanese (shoddy wrapping). Furthermore, they did not offer any kind of gift wrapping for bottled beers. They only have bags which they sell for $.75 that fit a bottle of wine. Also, my cashier woman was a bit sleepy looking and not very friendly to chat with... maybe hung over? Haha. I'm not sure. Regardless, I will definitely be hitting this place up at least monthly to buy my bottled beers and my glassware. Worth a visit if you're in or around Tokyo!
02-14-2012 10:15:15 | More by shigg85
5/5 rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
Was fortunate to have an extra couple hours on my last evening in Tokyo during a recent business trip, and dropped by Tanakaya. Having read the comments on BA and other sites, I had been looking forward to this visit from the time I learned I'd be going to Tokyo last Fall.
After walking straight out of Mejiro Station, hang a left on the street that runs in front of the station. Pass Zoka coffee shop on the left, and you will find Tanakaya on the same (left) side of the street a few shops down. Tanakaya is located in a basement shop.
The interior of store is literally that of a liquor/wine/beer cellar. I'd say 1/2 of the store is wine, 1/4 of the store is liquor and 1/4 of the store is beer. The beer is stored behind 8 or so wooden-framed glass doors, and is kept at perfect cellar temperature. 12oz, 11.2oz, and other smaller format bottles are on the top shelves behind each door. Larger format bottles are laid down on their sides. Because the labels on the bigger bottles can be hard to read, and the shelf tags are all in Japanese, it may be necessary to pull out the bottles one at a time to read the labels. The store is well-lit (but no bright lighting) and very clean.
After running through the selection, and having several "Holy Crap!" moments, I ran back to the door to grab a basket. The selection in this place is NUTS! They definitely don't have the biggest selection I've ever seen, but that was fine. The buyer obviously knows what he's doing, and has very carefully selected what he's going to stock.
I was wondering what, exactly I'd find here. Kate? Westy 12? Stormaktsporter? Blabaer? When I asked the beer manager whether they had any of these, he said "they'd sold out". ("So they had these at some point?!?!?", I thought.) While they didn't have these, I was floored at what they did have. Many hard-to-find Belgian, German, British, and American brews. I wound up grabbing as many as I thought I could fit into my luggage-- some awesome finds I'd never seen anywhere in the States.
I give the place 5's across the board. The staff was extremely helpful. The beer manager even went back and grabbed one more bottle of one of the items that appeared to be sold-out. The clerks wrote the names of the brands on the receipt for me, and also gave me directions to where I was headed from Mejiro Station.
My only reservation is with regard to pricing. Most of the beers are imported, the Yen is strong, and I was buying with US dollars that I'd exchanged into Yen. While this is not the fault of the store, be prepared to spend 10,000 to 20,000 Yen (~$130-$260). With only a few bottles, I hit the middle of this range.
Needless to day, I hope I'm back in Tokyo again in another year or two. And when I am, I'll definitely be hitting Tanakaya. Very highly recommended!
01-25-2012 02:53:19 | More by mdvatab
British Columbia (Canada)
4.2/5 rDev -8.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$$
This place is crazy. I could easily have spent $1000 here. They have an amazing collection of US beers I can’t even find in Canada...
The beer ’fridge’ is a work of art, all wooden. Japanese beer selection was a little weak, but they had some good ones like Isseki Nicho and a few Baird seasonals.
Lots of rare Brewdog, Mikkeller, and Nogne O. Hair of the Dog, Dogfish, Stone. Russian River. Expensive, but about what it would cost me in Canada. If you’re in Tokyo and love alcohol of any kind it’s worth a visit or two!
12-25-2011 07:18:46 | More by Jonathan604
4.72/5 rDev +3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Stopped by Tanakaya the other day on the way out of Tokyo to Saitama and was pleasantly surprised,
All the department stores I`d been to had no craft beer at all, except for maybe the occasional Ginga Kogen White or Pale. In terms of selection, this place was a Godsend. They had a large number of US brews I can`t get in my home state (Russian River, Hair of the Dog, Green Flash, Boulevard, Maui) as well as a decent number of beers from the UK, Belgium, and Germany. Plus, multiple Cantillon 375 ml bottles for about 875 yen (can`t beat that)! The Japanese selection was also pretty good. Found some Minoh stuff I wasn`t able to get on tap at their bar, plus plenty of Baird, Daisen G, Ise Kadoya, and a few smaller brands. What really impressed me was that all the beer was kept in some form of a cooler. I can`t recall any bottles sitting out in the open. Oh, they also have a nice range of brewery-specific glassware at really good prices.
They also have an exceptional Scotch selection spanning several walls. Rounding out the other alcohols is a decent selection of shochu, sake, and a separate room for wine.
The only thing I was disappointed with was their small selection of Japanese whiskey. It was pretty much only 6-8 different bottles of rare Ichiro`s Malt brand. While it`s awesome they had such a rare selection, at the same time I was more in the market for something under 9,000 plus yen.
The prices were pretty reasonable for Japan and I ended up feeling like I got a pretty good deal, given the higher prices of craft beer in this country.
Overall, I will definitely be making a trip back here before I leave. With good prices, a great selection, and a nice atmosphere why wouldn`t I?
06-13-2011 00:46:53 | More by msabin
4.85/5 rDev +5.9%
quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
Easily accessible from Mejiro JR station; turn left and walk for a minute and it a basement shop just beside the MacDonalds.
A beer shop with a nice ambience to aid selection to start with. Next is the amazing selection of over 400 international beers including some rare beers. Staff were also friendly and they know their beers!
Some of the notable beers I bought included the Hair of the Dog Cherry Adam, La Trappe Quadrupel Oak Aged, Lion Stout.
Prices were a little on the pricey side but not so by Japan's standards; I would love to have such a beer store in Singapore.
02-13-2011 03:20:21 | More by basica
4.65/5 rDev +1.5%
quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Located just a minute's walk away from Mejiro Station on the famous Yamanote line, Tanakaya is every bit worth going out of your way for. One of (if not the single) best selections of craft beer I've come across in Japan, it is sure to carry something you'd enjoy drinking.
The beer selection is loosely organized by cooler into country/region, with the States, UK, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia, and of course Japan well represented. They must work with most of the primary craft-beer importers in Japan, so if it makes it to the Land of the Rising Sun, then it's probably made it's way to Tanakaya. It wouldn't be uncommon to find things not normally imported, either, so be sure to keep a look out. Perhaps they personally import a select few offerings, or know someone who does it for them, but that is just speculation. Absolutely check out the regularly updated Japanese craft cooler to the side, as seasonals make the rounds. Baird seasonals, Shiga Kogen, Daisen G-biru, Isekadoya, Hitachino Nest, and quite a few others are all well represented.
The prices are pretty standard, considering Japan. Not particularly good, although you do get your value buys here and there. It doesn't feel like I pay too much more for Stone or many Belgians than I would in Chicago, so that's pretty good to me.
One huge plus is that they will ship from the store for you. If you're traveling or simply don't want to lug around your beer haul on the trains, etc, then a pretty reasonable fee will allow you to Takkyubin (courier) it to your house or place of lodging.
Overall, one of the best liquor stores I've been to in Japan. I would much prefer to give them my business, than the huge department stores that get most of higher-end liquor sales. Staff is always ready to help, and will be significantly more knowledgeable than the aforementioned department stores.
Side note: the single best selection of Scotch and whiskey I've come across in Japan, loaded with special and limited releases.
01-19-2011 06:21:21 | More by TylerTallen
Tanakaya in Tokyo-to Tokyo-shi, Japan
97 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.