A recent trip to Ise Jingu with some beery stop offs on the way back to Nagoya has created this Mie round up post. It seems that there are actually quite a few places to drink in Mie. I didn’t get to all of them but hopefully this will give you something to think about if you’re considering the trip to Ise or a pilgrimage to Ise Kadoya. Probably the fact that you can get the latter’s beer pretty much everywhere in Japan might make it less of a necessity though! For some reason I’ve listed the places in reverse order but it will take a lot of work to move them all around now. So if you’re wanting to create a feeling of starting in Ise and going back to Nagoya rather than vice versa, please read the entire post backwards…
Nagashima Brewery is a bit of a weird one and was actually the first place I ever went to in Mie. At the time I held off on adding a Mie post as the situation with Nagashima was a bit weird and I wasn’t sure I should encourage people to go there. Basically the brewery is in the Nabana No Sato flower park which is quite a walk from the nearest station. If you’re going just for the brewery, bear in mind that you’ll need to pay to get into the flower park in order to drink there. However, this does include some vouchers that you can use in the brewery restaurant, and the beer is quite cheap, so it’s not a massive financial outlay and you effectively get most of the entry fee back if you spend enough, but it might feel a bit weird. The place is a classic kind of Japanese beer hall in a tourist spot. They had three taps of mainly German style beer and the prices were good. I always enjoy these places and you’ll probably enjoy it more if you can eat the food. Vegetarians will be quite restricted. The beers were quite nice, which sounds like I’m damning them with faint praise and perhaps I am. They were all easy drinking, so don’t expect any in your face flavours and instead settle in for a big glass supping session. This place was not the best example of one of these beer halls I’ve been to, but at the same time was by far not the worst. And if you like flower parks, you get to do that part too! I think it would have been nice, but we were in a bit of a hurry so had to skip it.
Beer Bar Tobira
I really liked this place. A couple of minutes walk from Kuwana station which was also our final stop on the way back to Nagoya. I think it’s only about 20 minutes on an express on the Kintetsu line. Tobira is a small bar with a counter for maybe six and a couple of tables for two. They had six taps of mainly Japanese craft with one Belgian import in there too. They also had a big list of excellently selected Belgian bottles and some domestic bottles too. Their good Belgian stuff wasn’t the reason I liked this place so much, but it definitely helped. The atmosphere was really nice and the music they were playing was interesting. I think I know what it was, but won’t mention it for fear of getting it wrong, but I’ll say that it was not intrusive and was relaxing but was also quiet experimental… unless I have got that completely wrong. Prices were not expensive! They were about what I would have expected. The whole place was just really nice, and I think I will come back here next time I’m in Nagoya. A really nice local bar with a really nice feel!
Brewer’s Beer Stand 34
Our first stop on the way back from Ise to Nagoya was Brewer’s Beer Stand 34 in Yokkaichi. It’s a small bar with a couple of counters and a central table that has 12 taps of ‘local’ beer (which I guess means domestic) and has a fridge of cans of imported stuff. Everywhere in Mie seems to have a few taps of Ise Kadoya but there were other good options on the menu too. It’s not cheap, in fact it’s a little expensive, but it’s not too far from the station and was nice to break up the fairly long train journey. And I always like to support small local bars so I’ll definitely go back if we go to Yokkaichi again. There was another place quite close to it in the same arcade called Hop Crowd, which seemed to be have less taps, more imports and the domestic selections were from West Coast, so we guessed it would probably be quite expensive so skipped it. But it’s on the map. Oh, and another place called Silly Billy. We missed that one too but that too is on the map.
Ise Kadoya Naiku-mae
If you’re visiting Ise Jingu (and let’s be honest, you probably are if you’re in Ise and don’t live there) there are a few Ise Kadoya places to visit. The usual route for a shrine visit is to go to Geku then to Naiku and then to the old shopping street. Apparently you have to do the two shrines in that order if you don’t want to be very unlucky. On the way to Geku there’s a little Ise Kadoya bottle shop where you can drink, but it is basically just a shop so we skipped it but I’ll put it on the map. Naiku-mae is in the old shopping street area and is a seafood restaurant in the back with some tables at the front where you can have seafood snacks and Ise Kadoya beers which you order from the counter on the street. They have six taps and the prices are good! Beers are in plastic cups though so that’s a slight let down, but drinking in the old building is a lot of fun and you if you’re near the front you can people watch easily.