Saturday, 16 March 2013


Today, another beer shop, but one which is not like the others that have been already mentioned on here. Sugaya has something of a split personality. I am not sure if it is a food shop with an excellent selection of beer, or if it is a beer shop that sells groceries. The space in the shop is probably divided about 50/50 between the two, and I guess if you are drinking beer you will probably need something to eat, so you can drink some more beer, so it does all make sense.
Sugaya is not in Tokyo, but in Kanagawa, but given that it only took me 15 minutes to get there on the Odakyu line I guess it isn't really that far from home. However, it was a 35 minute walk from the station, but still definitely worth seeking out. I should also add that the station I walked from was by no means the nearest one, but was the most convenient for me, so it doesn't have to be so difficult. In any case, Sugaya is the kind of shop you wished you had within walking distance of your house. Or maybe that would be a bit dangerous.
Sugaya's selection is heavily weighted towards Belgian beers, but Belgium probably is my favourite beer country so I am not complaining. They also have quite a few US imports, some other Europeans (quite a few German beers, a few Mikkeller, Nogne, Haandbryggeriet and some others). Best check the website, as they do mail order and what is on there seems to be a good reflection of what is in the shop. There was not so much Japanese Craft on my visit, but from what other people have said, they normally have a decent selection. There was the full range of Brimmer beers plus their current seasonal, and the excellent Tamamura Honten Saison One and Saison Noir, (both oak aged versions) and a few others. I went for the Belgian stuff though, and was pretty pleased with what they had.
It's a little difficult to explain what is so special about this place. It will take you a while to work out exactly what they have as there is beer pretty much all over the place in the shop. In addition to the beer there is a big range of glassware too, and of course groceries. Prices are probably about normal for Tokyo area bottle shops but the customer service is great. Bottles are carefully individually wrapped, so no danger of breakages. There was some seriously rare beer here too. Unfortunately out of my price range though. I will head back in a taxi when I win the lottery. Should also say that they gave me a lift back to the station, which was amazing! Thank you very much if you are reading this! Well worth a visit if you are in the area, but if you are not, still worth making the effort.

Japanese breweries available when I visited:
Tamamura Honten

Opening Hours:
10.00 - 21.00 daily, closed Thursdays

神木本町 5-2-16, Miyamae-ku, Kawasaki, 216-0031

Difficult as you could come from so many different directions. Sorry to be vague again, but best choose your station and let googlemaps do the work for you. The pin on the Tokyo Beer Drinker map is in exactly the right spot, and the address above works when put into google. Musashinomizunokuchi station seems to be pretty close and on a couple of different lines so you could try that station, but like I said, it really depends on where you are coming from. Sorry!


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