Cool Kanji – 樽


This is a great kanji. It’s pronounced たる and means cask or barrel. 樽酒 (たるざけ) is a type of sake aged in cedar barrels, giving it a distinct woody flavor. The kanji has tree on the left and then the first part of 尊敬 (そんけい, respect) on the right. Respect the tree, it makes the cask!

This kanji can also mean keg, as in beer keg. Thankfully, good beer has started to boom in Japan. If you know where to look and have money to spend, there are a number of quality beer locations in Tokyo.

Dry Dock is a cozy little place under the Yamanote Line in Shimbashi. The bartender has a blog he updates just about every day. They have a “guest beer” every week, and if you look here, you can see he calls it a “guest keg.”

Popeye is the godfather of all beer bars in Japan. I don’t know the guy’s name that runs it, but he’s always there socializing with fans of big beer. All of the staff are extremely nice, and you can get free appetizers with certain beers from 5pm-8pm.

Tanakaya is the most impressive beer store I’ve ever been to at home or abroad. Beats the hell out of anything we have in New Orleans. Go to Mejiro Station, exit the station, walk left along the street, and it will be on your left before too long. Beers are kept at cellar temperature. They don’t take orders, but they will ship via takkyubin if you go to the store.

Chris Chuwy keeps track of everything on tap at most respectable bars on his boozelist. It’s an impressive collection of locations.

Bryan Harrell writes Brews News for It’s published every two months and is a good list of upcoming events / review of past ones.