Named after Harlem's Apollo Theater, this Shinbashi bar might not have the groove of its legendary role model but does stock a respectable selection of Japanese whisky, especially from Suntory and associates. Sit at the right end of the counter and look out for the collection of vintage bottles.
Throughout the 2000s, Japan has regularly scooped top prizes at whisky competitions, completely transforming the once-suspect reputation of domestic malts, but the revolution seems to have picked up even more speed over the last few years.
Whisky Bible's pick of Yamazaki Single Malt as the 'world's best whisky' in 2015 and NHK's morning drama 'Massan' both had an impact – at least in the PR sense. The popular TV show, which told the story of Masataka Taketsuru and his wife Rita, also hinted at the Scottish roots of Japanese whisky: it was Taketsuru who travelled to the Glens in 1918 to learn Scotland's trade secrets before opening Japan's first full-on whisky distillery.
Getting your fix of Hakushu, Yamazaki or Nikka in Tokyo is hardly a challenge, but locating a proper, whisky-dedicated bar can be. To help you find your way to the good stuff, we've picked out ten of the finest specialist watering holes in town, all of which serve up domestic malts with proper attitude. So shine those shoes and begin your journey into the world of Japanese whisky here – you won't regret it.