Uchi-Kanda has always been one of Tokyo’s most colorful carousing districts. Just to the north of buttoned-up Otemachi and Marunouchi, its narrow streets are lined with low-budget eateries and boisterous izakaya taverns. Hotaru fits in perfectly but with one key distinction: It is Tokyo’s first (and currently only) sake brew-pub.
You can see the small steel fermentation tanks gleaming in a glass-enclosed chamber in one corner of the minimally decorated dining room. But don’t arrive expecting to sip on brews that are delicate and refined: Hotaru makes doburoku, an unfiltered sake that is thick and milky white, and packs plenty of alcoholic punch. A good range of quality sake from breweries around Japan is also available.