In this gloomiest of seasons, when the skies are leaden and the streets clogged with dripping umbrellas, we find there's only one recourse: Head for a favorite neighborhood eatery and hunker down, glass in hand. If we're anywhere near Kagurazaka and sake is what we fancy, our refuge of choice is Kamozou.

Tucked away on the second floor of one of those ugly buildings that are spoiling this once-charming neighborhood, Kamozou feels anything but traditional. But since it opened last year, this bright, modern specialist pub (to call it an izakaya would give the wrong idea) has become a magnet for aficionados of premium nihonshu, sake from regional kura (breweries), produced with care and on a relatively small scale.

It is not the decor and atmosphere that draw us back, cheerful and welcoming though they are: it's the sake list. Kamozou has one of the best selections in the area, not only in numbers — there are over 150 to choose from — but in quality. Crammed inside that refrigerated unit behind the small counter by the door are numerous rare and limited-edition brews hard to find elsewhere.