Prefectural "antenna shops" in Tokyo

I’ve put together a list of prefectural “antenna shops,” where you can find food, booze and handicrafts from Japan’s outlying prefectures.

Especially interesting to me are the ones where you can sample local sake brands. These include

  • Hiroshima Brand Shop TAU - small standing bar on second floor, which also serves wine

  • Marugoto Kochi - just down the block from TAU, with a small standing bar in the basement

  • Ibaraki Marche - they seem to do tastings (70ml size), but I’ve never seen the place in action. very close to Marugoto Kochi

  • Midette - located north of Mitsukoshimae station, they have a counter where you can try several brands of sake from Fukushima


Thx for the info. Can you explain more on “antenna shops”.
Is it only unique for Tokyo?
Do they distribute local food and craft?
Why are call antenna shops?

From the link:

Prefectural “antenna shops” are retail stores that specialize in food
and other products from a specific Japanese prefecture or city. Set up
by local governments and located in Tokyo and other major cities, they
are meant to promote an appreciation of regional foods and crafts, and
encourage tourism.

Typical items for sale at antenna shops include sake and shochu, fresh
produce and fruit juices, pickles, rice, miso paste and frozen seafood,
plus unusual local specialties…

It does seem to be mainly a Tokyo thing, although I’ve seen Okinawan antenna shops in Osaka.

[‘Antenna shop’ is just a transliteration of the Japanese term ‘antenna shoppu’.
The term is also used in Japan for shops that showcase consumer goods from one particular company.]

Interesting. I suppose it is to encourage tourism within Japan? Interestingly, since one can get goods from other prefectures so easily, I wonder if it will actually discourage tourism instead?

Might also be a way of saving small unique producers in Japan by giving them a government-supported distribution network, bringing their products to major market centers where the consumers are.

In several cultures, regional food is treated as an important part of the national historic “memory”, like dialects, whose disappearance diminishes the cultural richness and deep wisdom of the nation. Italy has this belief, and Eataly is an attempt to be an Italian “antenna shoppu”, even within Italy.

I’ve only been to Japan once a long time ago and know next to nothing about Japanese beliefs about food, but in Italy, most Italians do not believe that a product from far away that they can buy at Eataly tastes as good as that same product – even from the same producer – eaten at its point of origin. Partly that’s because some great foods will always suffer some loss of taste in transport, or are best eaten screamingly fresh, and also it is the case in Italy that the locals who produce a great food very often keep the best close at hand, or very artisianal producers simply do not export (this is true of some wine producers in Italy too).

Or course there are exceptions (for both wine and food) and Italians will readily buy products from regions not their own and enjoy it, but they do talk about the difference in taste – especially if they end up eating one of their own “hometown” foods while visiting another region. They will complain that it is nowhere near as good as the true product they get at home. You are not called a “food snob” in Italy if you will not eat a food unless you are in the region where it comes from.

So if you are a fan of parmigiano or white truffles or some high quality fruit or olive oil in Italy, you very much scheme to go to where it is made in Italy, even if your market sells a high quality version that you enjoy eating, and “gastronimic tourism” within Italy is huge, and I doubt it will diminish with the arrival of Eataly.


Umami, what kind of food do they sell in the shops. I imagine packaged snacks are a yes. Do they have ‘gourmet foods’ also?

I’m glad you asked. Antenna shops sell lots of different kinds of food. Fresh vegetables and fruit, frozen fish and seafood, packaged fish cakes and pickles, senbei crackers.

Fruit juices and artisanal soy sauces and small-producer vinegars. Frozen horsemeat and vacuum-packed charcoal-grilled chicken.

Freshly made fried fish cakes, steamed pork buns, takoyaki. Limited-edition chocolates, fruit jams, pouches of curry, spices.

Many of the customers seem to be people who have moved to Tokyo from other prefectures who enjoy certain ingredients or local delicacies that are otherwise hard to find in the capital. They’re definitely a good place to find obscure sake brands.

I actually just went to the Miyazaki Prefecture (Kyushu) antenna shop yesterday - it’s called Konne, and it’s right next to Shinjuku station. They have a cafeteria corner where they serve Miyazaki-style charcoal-grilled chicken, curry rice, fish cakes, and microbrew beers.

The retail shop sells vacuum-packed pouches of charcoal-grilled chicken, frozen fish cakes, and lots and lots of shochu.

Yesterday was a holiday, and the place was jam-packed with both shoppers and diners.

Thanks indeed Umami for the introduction.

Trying to dig deeper to understand the origin of antenna shoppe and why, find this useful article on

“Antenna Shops” Bringing Regional Flavors to the Big City

The Japanese term “antenna shop” (antenna shoppu) originally referred to outlets set up by corporations to display and sell their products with the principal aim of putting out feelers to assess consumer demand. However, it is now largely associated with shops promoting regional goods. These shops display and sell local items that are generally unavailable in metropolitan supermarkets, and some include eat-in facilities. They also function as publicity centers, offering information about the sponsoring region for potential visitors, and can serve as meeting places for natives of the region living in the big city.

As of April 2014, there were 52 antenna shops in Tokyo representing prefectures and municipalities around the country, and a further 6 opened before the end of the year. Apart from Tokyo’s own antenna shop, which opened its doors in 1991, the earliest shops established in the capital were for Okinawa and Kumamoto Prefectures in 1994.

To know more, including Reasons for Establishing an Antenna Shop in Tokyo

In case anyone’s in Tokyo, there’s a great antenna shop sake event in Ginza on both Saturday and Sunday.

Seven antenna shops have gotten together for the joint event, and for the price of one ticket (1500 yen) you can sample both sake* and food at all seven shops, which are all within a few minutes’ walk from each other. If you want more than just one sake, you can buy additional tastings for a small additional fee (around 100 yen I think).

(Actually I believe that there’s sake at six of the antenna shops - I think the Okinawa shop lets you sample awamori instead of sake.)

I didn’t know anything about Antenna shops until I happened upon this thread. How neat!