Skip the tall boy on your train ride home and stop at Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall for some Japanese culture and spirits. Just off the main concourse, Vanderbilt Hall will be transformed into a traditional Japanese tachinomiya for three days, March 19th-21st, during Japan Week. The first ever Japanese pop-up bar will resemble the tachinomiya standing bar that has a long tradition in Japan. These standing bars are found in larger cities, like Tokyo, where it is common for business commuters to stop for a quick drink before boarding their trains in the evening.
This tachinomiya will be pouring commuters and Japanophiles 90 kinds of jizake, a local type of rice wine sake that is painstakingly produced by small craft breweries. Prized across Japan, the select jizakes being offered at the pop-up sake bar represent 24 Japanese prefectures. Don’t know anything about sake? No problem, three sake sommeliers and a sake samurai will be there to properly serve the fermented rice wine and answer any questions bar patrons may have about the beverage. With 90 handcrafted sakes to choose from it’ll be a long three days if you attempt to sample them all. To get the most out of the three day event, $25 tasting flights, with five different sakes, will help you discover the different regional flavors of this time-honored Japanese spirit. Also available at the tachinomiya will be Japanese beers and whiskies.
Japan Week, an incentive to promote Japanese culture, food and beverages also has other events throughout the city. The heritage program also includes the debut of ekiben bento boxes, which literally translate to “railway lunch boxes” are normally sold at train stations in Japan. These ekiben bento boxes will consist of local and regional culinary specialties and are available from select Japanese restaurants such as Ronin, Kyotofu, Hakata Tonton, and others.
To purchase tickets to the Grand Central pop-up sake tachinomiya in advance ($25), visit the Japan week website.
March 19: 8pm-11pm
March 20: 5pm-11pm
March 21: 4pm-7pm