A guest blog by Ray Shortridge.
Several world class beer labels call Japan home, including Sapporo and Kirin.
The image below is the headquarters of a third, Asahi.
The tall gold building represents a glass of beer with its (blue?) foaming head The shorter one to its right purports to be a mug of beer topped by a Flame d’Or, symbolizing the burning heart of Asahi beer. Some jaded Tokyoites refer to it in more earthy terms.
Anonymous draft beer is also served, and local craft beer, such as offered by this pub in Matsumoto. One brand in Kyoto prints labels with the face of a famous historical figure.
Some spots offered draft beer from Brooklyn Brewery.
And a bed & breakfast stocked its private vending machine with canned Asahi brews. Public vending machines don’t stock beer.
In Matsumoto, we lucked on to a beer fest on the park around the Black Crow Castle. The Friday of the long weekend was a national holiday for honoring elders. Most fitting.
However, convenience stores such as 7-11 and Family Mart, do, although the buyer must punch an “I am an adult” button on a touch screen at the cashier’s station.
Kyoto lies in a valley surrounded by mountains, which resulted in sultry days this time of year. Ice cold Japanese beer hit the spot.