Where better to loosen the jowls in preparation for Nihonshu No Hi (Sake Day) on Oct. 1 than Hyogo, the prefecture that is home to more sake breweries than any other?

Hyogo's capital is Kobe, and there are few drinking dens in the city as authentic as tiny Mitsu, a traditional bar-cum-izakaya in the downtown area of Sannomiya that seats 14 (counter only).

A cursory glance at its frontage deems it fairly run-of-the-mill; closer inspection reveals some serious attention to the sourcing of both provender and libations.