Bottle Off Ueno

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  • Ueno
Bottle Off Ueno
Photo: Kit Kriewaldt

Time Out says

Don’t let the name fool you, this compact Ueno bottle shop is unrelated to the ubiquitous Hard Off chain of thrift stores. It is, however, packed with second-hand bottles of booze going all the way back to the 60s. The focus here is on spirits – there’s no beer and only a small wine selection – and you’re likely to find bottles you just won’t see anywhere else in Tokyo. The eclectic range makes Bottle Off a must-visit for hardcore whisky collectors or picky drinkers looking for something special. But it’s also a great place to snag a bargain.

Sure, the glass cabinet is full of hard-to-find whiskies with price tags to make your eyes water, but the open shelves have obscure liqueurs from around the world for as little as ¥1,000. Then there’s the promotional bottles of shochu, plus brandies in decorative decanters, and everything in between. Have a browse and you’ll feel like you’re looking through your globetrotting grandfather’s liquor cabinet.

The range changes constantly, but the shop always seems to have a large selection of cheap miniature (50ml-60ml) spirit bottles, often including famous Scotch and Japanese single malt whiskies. They’re an excellent, affordable way to get a taste of top-shelf tipples without blowing a hole in your bank account. If you can’t decide, go for one of the mixed sets of six or eight random mini bottles – they make a great lucky dip gift for the drinker who has everything.


6-9-17 Ueno, Taito
Ueno Station
Opening hours:
12noon-8pm daily
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