Today, a place that stretches the Tokyo Beer Drinker map in a slightly new direction. Murmur is one of a couple of new breweries that has started fairly recently in Nikko. This seems to make a lot of sense, given that Nikko is jammed full of tourists and if there’s one thing we all know for sure about tourists, it’s that they are crazy for craft beer. As many readers of this might be tourists themselves, Murmur provides a decent opportunity to tick off some cultural tourism and some beer tourism in one go. Here’s what you need to know:
– Pretty small place located about a 15 minute walk from the rail stations on Nikko’s main road. Ground floor has the brewery at the back behind a big window, a small counter for serving, and four or five standing tables. Upstairs, there’s a slightly smaller room with seating at tables for eight. Apparently the decor of the upstairs room is inspired by the film Amelie. Not sure if there is a connection that I’m missing.
– Six taps, but only five were on when we visited, four of which were their own beers and one was a guest from their neighbours in Utsunomiya, Blue Magic. All beers were served in two sizes, small and large for ¥500 and ¥1000 respectively. Sadly, as I have left it so long between visiting and posting this, I can only judge the sizes by looking at photos. Complete stab in the dark, but around 250ml for the small and judging by the prices, 500ml for the large. But yeah, I’m just making this up really.
– Alongside the usual pluses of WiFi, daytime opening (lots of it), no cover charge and no smoking we have the added benefits of them having phone charging facilities and a mini (extremely mini) patio out front. They have a couple of bar snacks available but also allow you to bring your own food in. Nice!
It goes without saying that Nikko has been calling out for somewhere like this for a while and Murmur was a fun place to visit. The master was very friendly and there was a constant stream of visitors popping in for a beer or two. Perhaps this isn’t somewhere you’d be staying a long time as there’s plenty of tourism to be done, but would be a really nice pit-stop during a busy day of sightseeing, or as was the case for us, somewhere to round off the day before heading to the station. Most of the information is available in English here and there is a nice sign saying something along the lines of please speak slowly as his English isn’t good. From listening in to him explain the beers to other customers though, I think he’s being modest.
Japanese breweries seen on tap:
Closed Wednesday & Thursday
上鉢石町1013番地, Nikko, Tochigi-ken