Some of the best sake can be tasted these days at modern, shiny, artsy-craftsy sake pubs. These present some of the most lively and interesting environments in which to hang out with nihonshu. But sometimes, what we seek in a sake pub is more of an out-of-the-way feeling. Sometimes its anonymity that fits the bill; along with simplicity and unpretentiousness.

As you descend the steep, narrow staircase leading to Sannoji, you'll know you've got your anonymity. Although it's but five minutes from Shimbashi Station, you know you have found an island of isolation. Problem is, so have about 20 other people, but still, it feels small and local.

As you part the noren and duck inside, you will know you have found your simplicity. Sannoji is but one simple basement room, filled with solidly built but tightly spaced tables. Most of these are filled with white shirts engaged in animated, decidedly non-work-related conversation.