Umidori can be found just a few steps off Shinjuku-dori Street and a three-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Yotsuya-sanchome Station. Travel through an inconspicuous entrance on the black façade, and down the stairs to the basement floor, where a wall of sake cellars comes into view.
A wall of sake bottles arranged with their labels facing the front in a three-tiered cellar sets an exciting tone for sake lovers.
The Chinese character “卯(U)” in the restaurant name “卯水酉(Umidori)” refers to the first Day of U in November, which marks the Festival of Sake to pray for safe brewing. It is also the day when the brewing process starts after the autumn harvest. The Chinese character “酉(Tori)” in the name denotes a sake jar and also refers to the Day of Tori, when the brewing process ends. In other words, the restaurant is named after two Chinese characters associated with sake. This reflects the owner’s passion for sake, and his desire to develop the long-standing Japanese sake culture.
Tamaki Norimitsu, the owner of the restaurant, has accumulated experience in the kitchen of long-established French restaurants and famous hotels since 2000, and since 2015 he has been selected as the head chef and manager of a Japanese restaurant highly rated by gourmet websites. In 2021, he was hired directly from the owner of Umidori. Ingredients and Sake are purchased after being satisfied with the visit.
Ingredients are meticulously selected. In particular, seafood is sourced through a fish broker, Kei Omori from Omorishiki Ryutsu in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. Each fish is carefully checked and prepared to emphasize its best flavors. In fact, sashimi made from fish dealt with by the broker has established itself as the specialty of the restaurant. In addition, oysters are sourced from different regions throughout the year, and both platters of raw oysters and an oyster hot pot are very popular among guests.
Known for its wide selection of sake, Umidori always has some 500 unique bottles available, sourced from across Japan. The food and alcoholic pairing menu is a must-try. Featuring a glass of matching sake for each course, each paired menu offers a total of some 720 ml of sake per person. In addition, a variety of domestic craft beers and natural wines are also offered.
With a counter seating up to eight guests and six tables seating up to six guests each, this homely restaurant is perfect for both established and aspiring sake aficionados and casual business dinners. English menus are also available for non-Japanese speaking guests, allowing each guest to discover their favorite sake and enjoy it to their heart’s content in relaxed surroundings.
* The availability of this webpage does not guarantee that the restaurant presented provides services in English, unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that English services may also depend on staff availability at the restaurant.
A 3-minute walk from Exit 2 of Yotsuya 3-chome on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line