Many people who follow Japanese food and drink will know Melinda Joe. We’ve never met, but I always turn to her top notch journalism on the subject. Besides work for Bento.com, The Japan Times and various other outlets, she also keeps a blog at Tokyo Through the Drinking Glass, where she has just posted a very nice review of “Drinking Japan“.
… fun bits of trivia are sprinkled throughout Chris Bunting’s new book “Drinking Japan: A Guide to Japan’s Best Drinks and Drinking Establishments”. The book gives delightful, in-depth overviews of six of the most beloved drinks in Japan: sake, shochu, awamori, beer, whisky, and wine. As the name suggests, dozens of recommended bars and pubs are listed in each category.
The Los Angeles Times’s food blog recommended “Drinking Japan”:
There are many things to love about Japan, but its exceptional bars and drinking culture are among the things at the top of my list. Anyone with the same yen (heh) for Tokyo-and-beyond bars should check out “Drinking Japan: A Guide to Japan’s Best Drinks and Drinking Establishments.” Written by Chris Bunting after a year and a half of research (i.e., drinking his way across Japan) and published by Tuttle in April, the book combines a guide to Japanese spirits with reviews of the bars devoted to them. Bunting (like many others) calls Japan “the best place to drink alcohol in the world,” populated with tiny bars that are specialist temples for a particular drink of choice — single-malt Scotch, bourbon, rum, beer, sake, Calvados, Korean rice wine, you name it.
Not strictly an unbiased media comment this one because it is from Tony McNicol, the man whose photographs did so much to make “Drinking Japan” a visually striking book, but I am really chuffed by his positive comments because his own work is so good:
Chris is the author of Nonjatta, the definitive Japanese whisky blog, a great writer and – going on the evidence of this book – a world class barfly. This comprehensive guide to everything alcoholic in Japan is going to be a classic I’m sure. Proud to be part of it. Kampai!
Drinking Japan got a positive mention in Thailand’s The Nation: “A great tool for drinkers in search of new experiences.”
Japan Eats has just posted a really nice review of “Drinking Japan” by Garrett DeOrio:
“Drinking Japan reads like a travel book – not a touring handbook, mind you, but a travel book, replete with anecdotes and impressions, which not only gives the reader a better idea of what they might be getting into, but also allows Bunting to establish a voice. And that voice is one that will make most readers feel like having a beer, or a whisky, or a glass of wine, or shochu, or awamori, or sake, or even makkori, with the man.”
The review is here.
Metropolis ran a nice preview of the book in its March 25 issue.
“From sampling traditional awamori on islands south of Okinawa to roaming the legendary Susukino drinking district in Sapporo, Drinking Japan is filled with a staggering amount of information that includes indexes, maps and language tips. No matter where you find yourself in Japan, there’s a good chance that Bunting has sampled libations nearby, and has a few recommendations on the local poison or watering holes, and more probably–both …
… The main sections of the book are divided not into geographic area, but into the main alcohols traditionally found in Japan: sake (the rice wine), shochu, awamori, beer, whisky and wine. Half of the chapters are taken up with Bunting’s incredibly complete histories and details of the surprising breadth of Japanese alcohol’s range.“
I was interviewed by James Hadfield for his excellent article about Japanese whisky in the February 4, 2011 edition of Metropolis.
“Drinking Japan” has been long in the making.
Over the years, the book and myself received various mentions in articles about Japanese alcohol. The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, The Japan Times, The Malt Whisky Yearbook, and loads of online outlets have carried articles featuring me, my nonjatta.com website and/or the book project. Now, finally, all my furious plugging has some sort of concrete product to focus on.
I will post any new articles that crop up here (or the nice ones at least!)