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Former Yoshidaya Liquor Store - Hear the Murmur of the Merchants of Times Past



2021.11.25 (Thu)

By Charlotte, long-term Tokyo resident & history-loving traveler

It's been getting cold in the mornings and evenings, hasn't it. Those of you who like sake are probably getting ready to start drinking hot sake any time now. In modern Japan, you can buy sake anywhere, from convenience stores to supermarkets, but many traditional liquor stores remain in business even today. In this article I would like to introduce you to Former Yoshidaya Liquor Store. Located in Taito City, this place retains the look of sake shops of old.

As the name implies, Former Yoshidaya Liquor Store is an exhibition hall that was built by relocating and restoring a liquor store called "Yoshidaya." It is now attached to the Shitamachi Museum, which is also located in Taito City. Yoshidaya was a long-established liquor store that had been in business in the Yanaka area for generations. It had been open since the Edo period (1603-1868). The building itself was built in 1910, and retains the appearance of traditional Japanese townhouses, with protruding beams and deep eaves. The interior is packed with tools from the time it was in business. There are signs that were used in the early 1900s, sake bottles known as ‘tokuri,’ and retro posters that were still on display at the time; each piece gives off the vitality of the merchants of the period. The building of Former Yoshidaya Liquor Store, as well as the tools and documents in its collection, are valued for their ability to provide an understanding of the life and culture of the people of their time, and have been registered as Tangible Folk Cultural Properties by Taito City.

Take this opportunity to visit Former Yoshidaya Liquor Store. It's only a short 10-minute walk from the Nezu Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line.

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