This corner wine bar, just over the Honkawa Bridge on the western edge of Peace Memorial Park, is well worth seeking out, both for its cheap prices and its welcoming atmosphere.
The place is small; there are only 6 seats at the counter and just enough room for a few more people to squeeze in behind, balancing their drinks on a narrow ledge tachi-nomi style. This, however, is part of Sakaimachi Baru’s charm. If there are more than a couple of people sat at the counter, it is pretty much a given that you will at least exchange pleasantries with your fellow customers and the cozy atmosphere creates a real “at home” feeling.
If you want to talk seriously about wine, owner Mariko, who admits that she is a less a sommelier than an enthusiast, will indulge you, but the emphasis here is on enjoying its consumption. You won’t find any snobbery here; a relief for those of us who like a glass or two, but haven’t a clue what kind of cask their wine came from, or whether 19 whatever was a good year or not. You can also pay by the bottle from ¥2000 and up. Draft beer and a limited selection of cocktails are also available.
Considering the size of the kitchen, the tapas menu is quite good. Sakaimachi Baru probably isn’t where you’d come for a big feed, but there are some tasty snacks to go with your drinks and a large enough selection to keep you fueled if you choose to linger. The food is also very good value, with all dishes between ¥300 and 600. There are usually at least a couple of vegetarian options on the menu each day.
Opening hours: 18:00-24:00
Closed: Sundays and National Holidays
Address: 1-1-8 Sakai-machi, Naka-ku
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