Japan is home to some of the world's most interesting alcoholic beverages and to a phenomenally energetic bar scene. Drinking Japan is the first wide-ranging survey in English of the country's unique alcohol culture, with detailed coverage not only of the well-known rice brew sake but of much less explored traditions like shochu, awamori, beer, wine, and Japanese whisky.
The book is a practical guide, offering richly illustrated reviews of 122 drinking establishments in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Hiroshima, Okinawa and further afield. The reviews are written with the newly arrived visitor to Japan in mind, with price guides, language help, advice on food and drink choices, and maps and directions to get you to the bars.
Drinking Japan offers detailed background on more than 150 of Japan's best drink brands and the people that make them. There is a long chapter on the history of sake and the contemporary sake world, and the first extensive descriptions in an English-language book of Japan's indigenous spirits, shochu and awamori. Whole chapters are devoted to Japan's whisky, craft beer and wine industries, offering insights that have until now not been available to readers in English.
About the Author
Chris Bunting is a Tokyo-based journalist who has written for a variety of publications, including the "London Times" and the "Independent." He currently works for a leading Japanese daily newspaper.
"There are many things to love about Japan, but its exceptional bars and drinking culture are among the things at the top of my list. Anyone with the same yen (heh) for Tokyo-and-beyond bars should check out "Drinking Japan: A Guide to Japan's Best Drinks and Drinking Establishments." Written by Chris Bunting after a year and a half of research (i.e., drinking his way across Japan) and published by Tuttle in April, the book combines a guide to Japanese spirits with reviews of the bars devoted to them." -Los Angeles Times
"Drinking Japan is filled with a staggering amount of information that includes indexes, maps and language tips. No matter where you find yourself in Japan, there's a good chance that Bunting has sampled libations nearby, and has a few recommendations on the local poison or watering holes, and more probably both." -Metropolis
"Drinking Japan is the first book of its kind, and as such, an invaluable tool for anyone visiting the country. A softcover guidebook similar to those published by Fodor or Frommer, it fits easily in a backpack or travel bag. Extremely detailed reviews of almost 125 bars in Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Hiroshima and other outlying areas are accompanied by full color photographs. Each bar is noted for it's particular specialty including sake, shochu, awamori, beers, wines and single-malt whiskies. Along with all of this information are sections on Japanese drinking culture and maps and directions on how to get where you want to go for the evening." -GoodSpiritsNews.com
"Kampai!" is the Japanese equivalent of "Cheers!" If you're travelling through Tokyo, with its vibrant array of sake, shochu, whisky and cocktail bars, this is one word you'll get to know well. I've been enjoying a new book about this very topic, Drinking Japan by Chris Bunting, a Tokyo-based newspaper journalist; a portion of the book's proceeds are donated to Japan Earthquake Relief." -Reuters
"If you're unfamiliar with Japan, especially Tokyo (and that seems to be the target audience), Drinking Japan is a great place to start. If you live here, you'll still find some new gems." -japaneats.tv blog
"A great tool for drinkers in search of new experiences." -The Nation