Since Mr. Chau loves saké or Japanese rice wine, I will try to look for saké bars whenever we visit Japan. During our recent trip to Northern Kyushu, we stumbled up on a saké bar located at the Hakata JR Station area in Fukuoka. Saké no Kyushu (酒の九州) is a small saké bar tucked away in the B1 level of Amu Mall, adjacent to Hakata JR Station. The signage outside the bar was in Japanese so Mr. Chau was hesitant about going in. But being adventurous is part of travelling right? Let’s go!
Inside Saké Bar – Saké no Kyushu
We entered the bar to find that it only has standing room for about 5 customers. The staffs greeted us with smiles and the usual “Irasshai-mase” (Welcome). We nodded our heads and said “Hi” in return. Then we proceed to look at the wall that was with bottles of saké. Each bottle had a piece of paper with detailed information about the saké. While the information is in Japanese, we are able to recognize some of the characters. For example, 甘 means sweet and 辛 means dry. Since we prefer saké with a sweeter note, we usually pick ones that say 甘口.
Ordering Our Saké
As soon as we made way towards the counter, one of the staff welcomed us again and tried to explain how the saké tasting works by pointing to a handwritten signage. They have two different saké sets, the first one is two glasses of 45ml each and the second set is three glasses of 30ml each. Both sets cost about ¥980. You can choose the saké or let the staff select them based on your preference. Since our way of communicating is point and use body language, it’s easier for us to pick the saké we’d like to try for our tasting flight rather than asking for recommendations.
Standing Saké Bar
After collecting our flights, we stood by the counter that’s facing towards the mall’s walkway. This is the only area that could fit three people. The other standing room is by the bar and can only fit 2 comfortably. While we picked out all the sweet saké, they all taste slightly different. That’s because the rice used to make saké are different between regions. Other differentiating factor includes rice polishing ratio and acidity.
If you are looking for some snacks to go with your drinks, there is a small menu on the wall behind the bar counter. I saw this during our second visit where we took the family here to try their saké. The staff was very patient with me as I point to some of the menu items, asking them what they were. With my basic Japanese and their simple English, I was able to order some marinated cold tofu, chicken skin and mixed nuts. Since our group is too big for the standing bar, the staff help us settled in the food court area adjacent to their shop to enjoy our food and saké. Our family really enjoyed this experience.
Like the name suggests, Saké no Kyushu specializes in liquor and rice wine from Kyushu, Japan. We later found out that they feature 9 different saké each month. This is a great way for people to try saké from different regions of Kyushu. If you’re visiting Fukuoka and love to drink saké, then you must stop by to experience this tiny saké bar!
Traveling to Fukuoka, Japan? Here’s a list of things to do in Fukuoka.