I love drinking sake, and one of my best experience was visiting a sake bar in Tokyo that had over 100 selections from different regions in Japan. When I saw this sake bar under the Hakata station called Sake no Kyushu, I was interested in trying it. Though Sake no Kyushu was much smaller in comparison, from the Japanese signage outside, we can tell it specialized in Kyushu sake.
This sake bar had no English menu, and I can’t speak or read Japanese. However, with the help of google translate and the knowledge of some Kanji, I was able to tell that Sake no Kyushu specialized in sake produced in Kyushu with 9 selections that rotated out every month. They also offered sake flights of two 45 ml or three 30 ml for the same price. Even knowing that staff might not speak English, I was convinced by Jan to have a look inside.
I have to admit I was a little intimidated going into Sake no Kyushu. The thought of not being able to communicate with the staff usually deter me from visiting a place. As we suspected, the staff spoke almost no English and only understood very basic single words. However, they were very patient and made it comfortable for us to get the gist of how things work. It also helped that we’d been to a sake bar before. From our basic communication with the staff, we found out that we can also use the connecting restaurant without eating there. This is a good option when the sake bar is full or for a large group of people. We actually sat there on our second visit with a group of seven people.
Their selection of sake was displayed on the wall. Each sake had a detailed description such as the brand, region, type, polishing, alcohol level, fragrance, impact and sweetness. Since I recognized some Japanese words and there were rating bars indicating fragrance level, impact level and sweetness level, it was easy to select the sake.For those who want to learn more about sake and what those levels bar means, you can go here.
Overall, Sake no Kyushu was a pleasant surprise. If we go back to Hakata in the future, I would definitely visit again to see what new sake selections they have.