Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tokyo: Beer Museum

Mike's friend Keeble was in Japan visiting, and that was really all the reason we needed to do some fun stuff. Last weekend we all headed to Tokyo to see what sort of unexpected things we might be able to make happen.

The thing about Tokyo is that it's huge, and without a perfect grasp of the language it can be a bit of a challenge to properly cover as a sightseer. So even after going to Tokyo several times, there are still a very large amount of experiences waiting to be had. Luckily we had a half-plan ahead of time, rather than just show up and wandering around in circles like we usually do. One thing that I had been wanting to check off of my wish list was a visit to the Beer Museum Yebisu in the Ebisu district of Tokyo. Yebisu is a brand produced by one of the big three beer makers in Japan, Sapporo Breweries Limited.

The museum was located in Yebisu Garden Place, a little collection of restaurants and stores. From what I've seen of the rest of Ebisu, this museum complex seems to be the only thing going on and, having covered the museum, I can't imagine returning back there anytime soon.

The museum's lobby was dominated by a large copper beer tank polished to a shine.

We may have gotten a bit overemotional with all the excitement.

"There's good times ahead".

I enjoyed a gallery that was devoted to the brand's marketing posters, some from as far back as the 1950's. It was interesting to see how the products seemed to be aimed at different groups over the years. Some of the older posters seem to show a fairly upper class crowd, while the contemporary pieces had a more accessible feel to them.

1963: This guy seems to be pretty spellbound.



Tung and Clarence critiquing.

The highlight of the museum was the Magic Vision Theater:

Here, a wondrous 3D "Magic Vision" cut will tell of the mysteries of the good taste of beer in an interesting manner. In this allegorical fantasy, Gambrinus, the king of beer, engages in a desperate contest of wits over the good taste of beer with The Evil One of the forest. To the victor goes the heart of the beautiful Beer Fairy.

Rather than try and describe in print how wondrous the magic was, I decided to let my trusty camera do the work for me. Take a look.

Other than the few highlights, my inability to read much made the historical and beer making facts from the rest of the museum little more than a picture book quickly flipped through. At the end of the museum was an unsurprising opportunity to sample all the wonderful products we had learned so much about. Unfortunately said products were not free.

Clarence glances at a case of glasses full of fake plastic beer. He then proceeded to buy a beer token from the vending machine and hand it to the bartender.

Learning is fun!

The gift shop was amusing. Out-of-the-ordinary offerings included beer soap and beer jell-o, both of which I purchased. I also picked up a few nice copies of vintage beer posters, including a trio of geisha loving some classy beer.

I waved a tearful goodbye to the beer museum, and then it was gone. We next headed to Akihabara, the geek capital of the world.

The good people at were nice enough to add this blog entry to their website describing the wonders of Japan. They linked to me here, about midway down the page under "Dining&Shopping". I do believe that means I'm famous.

1 comment:

  1. That looks like it was a truly spiritual and emotional day at the Beer Museum.

    I like Ebisu beer. It's one of my favorite.