Sake no Kawakami is a lovely family-owned sake shop cum café located across from the 7-Eleven in the township of Sekiyama in Niigata.

A nondescript exterior belies the treasures within. The bright, modern interior is filled with local sake (nihonshu) varieties and the charming Kawakami family member behind the counter will do their best to find you a tipple that matches your taste.

The array of sake choices | Photo by Gregory Lane

The shop specializes in single-cup sake, so you can sample some different varieties without having to commit to a (more expensive) bottle. The shop has a small seating area where you can enjoy your drinks while being supplied with a stream of simple but tasty snacks and dishes.

If sake isn’t your thing, Kawakami has also started a café, so you can take a rest and enjoy some coffee and some sweet agepan.

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