Zoetrope Whisky Bar, Shinjuku, Tokyo


A friend of mine warned me about Japanese Whiskies for our recent trip to Tokyo. He said they stopped making 2 of the brands. I thought he meant the limited release or some reserve ones I would find a tad expensive to get. How wrong I was. I had read that a certain brand won the world’s best whisky (much to the chargrin of the Scots) last year and thought that was some sort of marketing exercise.

Due to high demand, most places are out of stock of decent Japanese whiskies in Tokyo itself. Forget about duty free at the airport. I couldn’t order one at a hotel in Hong Kong. Some blogs blame rich Chinese tourists. Other blogs blame a recent Japanese drama series about the founder of Japanese whisky. Maybe all three factors were in play.

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Shinjuku, Isetan, Komehyo, Private Dining

Isetan (2 of 10)

Tokyo suburbs are subdivided into smaller sections of blocks called xxx chome. So Shinjuku Sanchome is the third section block of Shinjuku. Took us a while to figure the addressing system. Once you have figured it out, it makes a lot of sense. Shinjuku Sanchome is a short walk from Shinjuku Station. The Shinjuku Sanchome Metro Station is a smaller Metro but just as important station for an interchange. Outside of the station is a district for all sorts of things – entertainment, shopping, more shops, movie theatres and more. And one of them is Isetan.

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Shinjuku Station, Hyperart: Thomasson

Shinjuku Station

The name Shinjuku Station is a misnomer. It should be named Shinjuku Stations. There are 2 ends to the station for 2 sets of different Metro lines and the walk between them is quite a distance. It also serves the local train lines, regional train lines and JR lines which cross all over Japan. You would expect the various lines would be served by duopolies in most countries at best but in Japan, many lines are owned by different companies.

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