Tokyo, once known as “Edo,” thrived during the Edo period (1603-1868), a time of peace that nurtured an array of businesses within the castle town. Remarkably, over 150 years later, some establishments are still in business, preserving ancient traditions. These stores offer products that embody Japan’s unique culture and Tokyo’s distinct character, making them alluring destinations for those seeking a taste of old Japan. In this article, we visited three longstanding shops that have withstood the test of time.
Toshimaya: A Sake Brewery Loved for Over 400 Years
Toshimaya stands as Tokyo’s oldest sake brewery, with its roots tracing back to 1596 when founder Juemon established a sake shop and tavern in Kanda, Tokyo. During the expansion of Edo Castle, stones and lumber required for construction were sourced from Kamakura and unloaded near the store. In this bustling hub, “Toshimaya” became a beloved restaurant, offering affordable drinks and snacks. Astonishingly, more than 400 years later, it continues to thrive. Sake, a delightful gift choice, can be procured from “Toshimaya.” Why not pay a visit?
Toshimaya Sake Shop for a casual sake & small dishes experience
For a casual sake and small dishes experience, explore the “Toshimaya Sake Shop” in KANDA SQUARE. This standing bar, operating under the concept of “Edo Tokyo Modern,” caters to both novice and seasoned sake enthusiasts. The menu ranges from traditional flavors cherished by sake aficionados to innovative concoctions popular among younger patrons. An English menu is available, and we highly recommend the “Sake Comparison Set.”
Toshimaya Sake Shop
Address: 1F KANDA SQUARE, 2-2-1 Kanda-nishiki-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps: https://maps.app.goo.gl/gAAzB3cwJ5eCsmxi6
Yoshinoya Shoten: Crafting Lanterns Illuminating Tokyo’s Streets
Yoshinoya Shoten, founded in 1854, specializes in crafting various types of lanterns (chochin) that illuminate Tokyo’s streets. “Festival lanterns” preserve the traditions of the Kanda Festival, “large lanterns” enliven the Kobikicho Plaza of the Kabuki-za Theater, and “votive lanterns” cast a warm glow upon the grounds of the Tokyo Grand Shrine, providing a serene atmosphere. Each of these lanterns is meticulously handmade by Yoshinoya Shoten.
Yoshinoya Shoten primarily manufactures lanterns for stores and shrines but also offers them for private sale. Owning a lantern handcrafted by an artisan on an Edo lantern is a unique and cherished experience.
Amanoya: Warm Up with Traditional Sweetness and Amazake near Kanda Myojin
Amanoya, established in 1846, is a time-honored establishment renowned for its traditional amazake, crafted solely from rice and malt, without any added sugar. Nestled next to the shop where amazake and natto (fermented soybeans) are sold, the café invites you to cozy up while savoring warm amazake, infused with the gentle aroma of natural sweetness.
After your visit to Kanda Myojin, don’t miss the opportunity to experience the comforting ambiance of Amanoya!