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Before we go, what is Isego? + JAPAN RAIL CAFE June Sake Giveaway!

Before we go, what is Isego? + JAPAN RAIL CAFE June Sake Giveaway!

From 9 May 2024, JAPAN RAIL CAFE Singapore welcomed Isego Honten on board as a new long-term collaborative partner, with a newly-refreshed permanent retail section focusing on Japanese sake and a bevy of sake-centric events and promotions lined up through the year. But who, or what exactly is Isego Honten (伊勢五本店), and why should we be excited about their first ever foray into the Singapore market?


A storied 300-year history

In the past, Isego Honten would make sake deliveries to nearby temples such as Kan’eiji.
(Image Credit: Isego Honten Singapore / photoAC)


The origins of Isego Honten can be traced as far back as 1706, in the heyday of Japan’s Edo Period. Back in those days, when Tokyo went by its old name of Edo, a man named Shinoda Goemon chose to open a liquor store in the district of Yanaka, a place known for having a large number of temples. His store, Iseya Goemon Shoten, became responsible for making regular sake deliveries to those temples, and continued to steadily grow its business over the next 300 years, passing through 9 generations of owners till its current modern-day head, Mr Toshiyuki Shinoda.


So what are they doing nowadays?

The Yanesen area, where the original Isego Honten store is located, is also a popular old Tokyo neighbourhood power spot filled with nostalgic shops and alleycats.
(Image Credit: Isego Honten Singapore / photoAC)


Isego Honten currently continues to operate out of two stores in Tokyo—their original sakaya shop in Sendagi, as well as a second shop located in Nakameguro. They now specialise mainly in the sale of not only Japanese sake, but also a host of other spirits such as wine, shochu, whiskies, gin, and many others. Through its many centuries of existence it has forged a deep relationship with hundreds of sake breweries across all of Japan, with access to many different varieties of rare sake not commonly found in other stores.


Perhaps what sets them apart most clearly from many other liquor stores is the depth of their communication with their customers. Every store has detailed explanations and expert staff on hand to cater to every person who walks through their doors, and they do their utmost to understand the preferences of their customers and find them a bottle to match their tastes or needs.


If you’d like to grab a specific or special bottle of sake on your next trip to Japan, you can look no further than the original Isego Honten store in Sendagi! Located only a stone’s throw away from Sendagi subway station, the store also just happens to be in the vicinity of the Yanesen neighbourhood, an old-school shopping street filled with rustic bookshops, candy stores and alley cats galore!


Isego Honten Sendagi Store (伊勢五本店 千駄木店)
Address: 3-3-13 Sendagi, Bunkyo-shi, Tokyo 113-0022
Nearest station: Sendagi Station (千駄木駅)
Access: You can get to Sendagi Station via the Chiyoda Subway Line. The store is a 4-minute walk from the station. 
Opening hours: 10am–7pm
TEL: +81-33-821-4573

If you’re in Tokyo during the sakura season, Nakameguro river is an excellent cherry blossom-viewing hotspot, as well as only a stone’s throw away from the second Isego Honten store!
(Image Credit: Isego Honten Singapore / photoAC)

Isego Honten Nakameguro Store (伊勢五本店 千駄木店)
Address: 1−20−2 Aobadai, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0042
Nearest station: Naka-meguro Station (中目黒駅)
Access: You can get to Naka-meguro Station via the Hibiya Subway Line or the Toyoko Subway Line. The store is a 6-minute walk from the station. 
Opening hours: 10am–7pm
TEL: +81-35-784-4584


Let’s go to Isego! What to look forward to at their JAPAN RAIL CAFE Singapore store

The newly-renovated Isego Honten space at JAPAN RAIL CAFE Singapore.
(Image Credit: JAPAN RAIL CAFE)


With their first-ever permanent store now located in the retail section of JAPAN RAIL CAFE, Isego Honten promises to bring Singaporeans not only a staggering selection of over 300 brands of sake bottles to choose from, but also its expertise in the art of sake. Thanks to its long and storied history, the company has good relations and direct connections with many sake breweries from all over Japan, and you can most certainly look forward to many kinds of rare and exclusive labels available here at good prices.


Sake novices and experts will also be thrilled to know that daily visitors to the Isego Honten section will be greeted by an onsite Sake sommelier, a staff member certified and specialised in the art of sake tasting. At least one or two can be found there on a daily basis to offer their guidance and recommendations on what kind of sake they should try! In addition to this service, special sake-themed events will be held on a regular basis in JAPAN RAIL CAFE, including a monthly Sake Masterclass series as well as various concurrent sake menu promotions.


GIVEAWAY -  WIN a bottle of Sake specially selected by our Sake Concierges! (4 June to 21 June 2024)

(Image Credit: JAPAN RAIL CAFE)


To celebrate the launch of the new Isego Honten storefront, we’re giving away a special bottle of sake to two lucky winners on Facebook and Instagram! Specially selected by our sake sommeliers, these two bottles are currently being featured in store for this month, and would make a worthy addition to any sake collector’s arsenal:

MIYAIZUMI Sharaku Junmai Ginjo 720ml (U.P. $72.47)

A Junmai Ginjo-shu from Fukushima Prefecture (福島県 Fukushima-ken) that has a calm, standing aroma and a fruity overtone in the mouth. Best served cold as a mid-meal drink.


SHIMIZU SEIZABURO SHOTEN Zaku Impression N 750ml (U.P. $94.55)

Brewed and imported from Mie Prefecture (三重県 Mie-ken), the popular ~Zaku Impression~ series is characterized by a fresh taste and a gaseous, gassy sensation that is almost like a fresh sake, despite the fact that it is a fire-aged sake. The rich aroma, flavour, and clear, transparent taste makes it easy to drink.


To participate, all you have to do is the following:

  1. Follow both @japanrailcafe and @isego_sg_official on either Facebook or Instagram (There will be one winner for each site!)
  2. Like and share the post, and
  3. Tell us the location of every Isego Honten store currently open worldwide!


Our sommeliers will select their favourite answers by 7 June 2024, and winners will be informed directly via Facebook or Instagram DM respectively. Limited to one entry per participant, and winners must be able to physically collect their prize at Isego Honten Singapore within the month of June 2024. Kanpai and good luck!


JAPAN RAIL CAFE / Isego Honten Singapore
Address: 5 Wallich Street #01-19/20 Singapore 078883
Nearest station: Tanjong Pagar MRT
Opening hours: 11am–9pm (Monday–Thursday), 11am–9:30pm (Friday–Saturday), 11am–8pm (Sunday)
Sake Sommelier hours: 11am–8:30pm (Monday–Friday), 1:30pm–9pm (Saturday), 12pm–7:30pm (Sunday)

Header image credit: JAPAN RAIL CAFE


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