Oasaka, Joso district.
You may notice the small sign in the middle of this picture reading "Juso Torys Suntory". This lane is located in the Juso red-light district in Osaka. Here is the sole survivor of a long bygone era, when Suntory whisky bars, named torys bars could be found all over Japan. Of the hundreds of Torys bars that dotted most of Japan in the 50s' and 60s', you'll find today only one remaining : the Torys bar of Juso, Osaka ...
Let's have a look at this recent Suntory history : As we know, Shinjiro Torii, Suntory's founder was at the same time a passionate whisky lover
I read somewhere that this bar is a time capsule straight from the late 50s' and we could check it by ourselves : nothing seems to have changed, the bar, the stools or the wall covering. There's only maybe the flat TV hanging above for to distract the eventual lonely drinker. It is a very narrow bar going deep into the building. Its dim-lit lighting makes you feel relaxed even before you ordered the real stuff.
The prices for a glass of whisky go from 340 Yen to 3890 Yen. The Yamazaki 12-Year Single Malt for example costs 980 Yen. I set my choice on a Suntory Royal 15 Years at 770 Yen while B. chooses a macerated kaki drink, a 11°-alcohol tile-colored, lightly sugary drink. This is a traditional fermented beverage in Japan and it is made in winter because of the low alcohol. After we chatted a few minutes while sipping our glass, he offers us to try his "owner's cask". B. is careful with the hard spirits but I say yes! of course. Suntory's owner's cask is a Single Malt whisky that Suntory releases by the cask to buyers ready to pay the money for it. Mr Eiji Egawa bought an Owner's Cask 1993 for 1 000 000 Yen (6350 Euro or 9640 USD) with the help of a 100 of his patrons and they shared the precious spirit. Owner's cask prices go from 500 000 Yen to 30 000 000 Yen depending of the millesime and the type of whisky. I am thrilled by the offer and I sip it with relish. This is a 57° proof, nothing, no water added and it gets down the throat pretty well.