I’m finally back from Korea! However my adventurous spirit is yet to be filled. Just after landing at Narita, I went straight and purchased a ticket going to the city of Niigata. This time, to visit my friend’s place.

I hope it’s as easy as it sounds but starting the day at 3 AM to the airport, then a couple of transit trains, a 5 – hour ride on the bullet train, plus another local buses to reach our destination has drained every bit of my energy. Not to mention that I have with me my large size luggage the entire time. But hey, that’s what they say traveling is a part of. Now, after recharging my body with a long good sleep, I am all set to show you around the famous city of Niigata!

Niigata is located in the north side of Japan which means it’s way- way much colder in winter compare to where I live. It is particularly famous for – well you guessed it, winter! Other than that, they also produce the freshest sea food and their must-try Sake (A Japanese alcohol fermented from rice). Speaking of sake, shall I offer you a drink or two?

Located within a walking distant from Niigata Station is the Kikizake Bansho (Sake-Tasting Sentry Station) and their most visited Sake souvenir shop, the Nihonshu Bansho. I’ve heard about this place before and I never would’ve thought that one day I’ll be sipping my own cups of sake right here.


For only 500 Yen, you can purchase five Kikizake tokens that is equivalent to five cups of sake or O-choko in Japanese. Now let’s go to the best part, give yourself some time to choose from over 93 different types and brands of sake displayed individually through a machine dispenser.


Just place your cup on to the machine, drop the token and push the fill button. You can also pair it with various types of salts if you feel a little adventurous with your drink – plus, it makes the sake extra tasty too! I know the number of choices are pretty overwhelming but when in doubt, you can always just pick from the top 10’s best sake ranking.


Now mind you, five bottles of beer is incomparable to five cups of sake. This Japanese drink is not for those who have low tolerance to alcohol so better drink moderately. Other than that, how can you not have a great time in this place? So, Kampaii everyone!

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Twenty-two (22) Forward is inspired from personal experiences, intimate thoughts and life adventure created and authored by LOLISA MAE SAKURAI. A special mark to her 22nd chapter, the things in between, and everything beyond there is.


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