Isetan Department Store

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Very Good
6 Ratings

Type: Store

3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Tokyo-to Tokyo-shi, 160-0022

03-3352-1111 | map

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Added by UncleJimbo

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Ratings: 6 |  Reviews: 5
Photo of samparkique4
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of CBA
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%

Not bad as far as departo's go - selection did lean more towards the large brewers than some of the other chains. Although the best find was the Hitachino Nest Isetan only brews. This was worth the stop alone. Don't try and carry your purchases yourself to the cash, as they'll run interception and carry your basket for you. Great wrapping of the product - no surprises here though, as the Japanese school us in hospitality and service standards every time.

Beer haul:
Hitachino Nest Classic Ale (Houjun Shitate)
Hitachino Nest Classic Ale (Gokujou Nama Hop)
Hitachino Nest Classic Ale (Soujun Weizen)

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3/5  rDev -24.6%

I stopped here while in Shinjuku, after finding it on beerfly. It looks like the beer selection isn't as good as it was previously. There were maybe 25 beers to choose from, including only 4 from Belgium (Orval, Chimay Blue, Hoegarden Grand Cru, and something else I forgot), 2 from Germany, and about 19-20 from Japan (mostly cans available in many other places). I'd say the selection is about the same as Odakyu, which is actually part of the Shinjuku JR station so there's no need to venture off to Isetan. My strong recommendation is to take the Yamanote train north to Ikebukuro (only 4 stops away) and go to the basement level of the Tobu depato. Much better selection, probably >150 beers to choose from.

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Photo of 3frog
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%

Had a rainy day to spend; searching Beer Fly, this looked like a good/relatively convenient choice (straight shot from Yokohama to Shinjuku station.

It appears that their selection has gotten even smaller, as Chimay was the only non-Japanese beer. Had around 4 kinds of Hitachino, including 1 that appears to be a fresh hop, Yona Yona Ale, and 'Full Moon Beer'. All the beer was fresh, ranging from 3wks to 2mo old. They had a pretty large selection of macros, but that held no interest for me. If I included them in the Selection rating, I'd bump it up, as they were the upper tier (mostly Yebisu).

I didn't notice the shopping baskets, so one of the clerks brought me one and helped me load it up, just as I thought I was going to have to juggle to get everything I wanted. At the checkout, they put the individual bottles in bubble wrap bags, each with 'ice' (gel) packs.

I did try the food. Oh My Lord, they have a ton of stuff ranging from aisles of candy/pastries (seems to be popular here) to wide-ranging Japanese prepared foods. This was the first depaato that I'd been to, and I've heard that food selection is typically large. This was. Yum

 1,160 characters

Photo of nouseforotacon
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Earlier this week I promised myself that I would purchase some good beer in Tokyo this weekend, and that was one promise I wasn't planning on breaking. Truthfully, I hadn't really purchased much beyond a few corked bottles of Chimay during the four months I was here from August to December. Now that I'm back in Tokyo after a holiday break jam packed with tasty brew adventures, I can hardly refrain from further broadening my beer horizons.

Isetan is large, VERY large, and thus relatively easy to find. The easiest way is to take the Marunouchi (red) line on the Tokyo Metro to Shinjuku-Sanchome station. The department store is connected to the station, as Jimbo mentioned. Once inside, the beer case is located in the food section of B1F, sandwiched between the wine section and the sake/nihonshu section.

Selection is decent in comparison with most Japanese liquor stores I've browsed, but by no means excellent. Ji-biru consisted of a little more than a quarter of the case, with some micros and a LOT of bottles of Hatchino Nest "Classic Ale" priced at 350yen each ($2.94) taking up most of the space. They carried Chimay, Orval, Duvel, Leffe Blonde, some Germans (mostly Weizens), Anchor Steam and Kona Kona Pale from the US, and a couple of other Belgians. They also carried Echigo brews and Yona Yona by can.

As for prices, Hoegaarden Grand Cru ran me 388yen ($3.26), La Guillotine 480yen ($4.04), and my Hideji "Smoking Mole Ale" and Iwate Kura Stout were slightly less than $4. If you've ever been to Tokyo, and especially a department store, these prices are definitely reasonable!

Also worth noting, the entire case for the beer was at 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Farenheit), a bit cold for some of the beer in the case IMO. The labels for the Hatchino Nest bottles were falling off as I went to examine them.

Japanese service was good, as usual, but they were only giving out samples of sake/nihonshu and wine. For those that dig fromage (cheese, for the non-French inclined), you can try pretty much everything they offer and they have an awesome variety to be paired with your brews. Enjoy, and "kanpai" my friends.

Note: Prices are done for today's exchange rate, 1 USD = 118.935 JPY.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

This is a large department store east of the Shinjuku JR Station, but directly over the Shinjuku Sanchome subway station. For the beer, go to the B1F level and ask for directions. The beer was displayed in two distinct areas, not very near each other, so look around. There was quite a good selection of single bottle Japanese ji-biru (craft brews) ranging in price from 380 Yen to 600 Yen per bottle. They also have a decent selection of imports, including many Belgians and Rogue selections.

When I visited they were offering free tastings of any beer in the display. Another nice touch is that at the cashier, they wrap each bottle individually in bubble wrap (very nice for packing for the trip home). Credit cards happily accepted.

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Isetan Department Store in Tokyo-to Tokyo-shi, Japan
Place rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 6 ratings