Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shopping info: Nihombashi stores

The main Nihombashi shopping street connects in the south with the Ginza. Nihombashi was the original haunt of Tokyo's great department stores at the start of the 20th century and, although the main shopping focus has moved southwards, Mitsukoshi's flagship shop and the grand Takashimaya keep the tradition going. Like the Ginza department stores, they both carry limited stocks of Japanese single malt, although I must say Mitsukoshi's selection is particularly limited.

As in all Japanese department stores, the food and drink halls are in the basements.

Mitsukoshi
A few miniatures and one bottle of Yamazaki

That's it! The grandest, oldest store of the biggest name in Japanese retailing has that for a selection of whisky, even worse than the not very impressive showing at its Ginza outlet although slightly better than the one bottle of Yoichi 10 on sale at Mitsukoshi's Ebisu branch. At the moment, Mitsukoshi is not the place to go for Japanese whisky, though of course that could quickly change. As far as foreign whiskies go, the bottle of the sought after Old Parr's Superior they had was hugely overpriced. You would have saved several thousand yen going to Tanakaya. Altogether, plenty of room for improvement.

Takashimaya

Across the bridge to the South, Takashimaya put up a marginally better showing:


Couple of varieties of Yamazaki and a Yoichi

There were also miniatures of Yamazaki available. Overall, though, the big Nihombashi stores were disappointing, even compared to their distinctly underwhelming Ginza neighbours. You might be as well checking the bigger supermarkets near where you are staying than going out of your way to come here.

Location: Nihombashi, Chuo-ku, central Tokyo.
View location on map of single malt stores.

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