Fujimaru – Fall in love with a well-crafted wine

By Ben Davis

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The city’s many specialty stores, each with a mesmerisingly deep dedication to their chosen craft or cultural pursuit, not only contribute to Tokyo’s rich diversity but also provide countless opportunities to discover (and possibly fall in love with) something new or unexpected. Built around the sense of communion that comes with sharing a glass of wine, Wineshop and Diner Fujimaru combines a convivial atmosphere with a passion for well-crafted wine and gourmet dishes in a way that’s bound to make you wish you lived just around the corner.

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As the first store in Tokyo for the Osaka-based wine purveyor and distributor, Fujimaru Asakusabashi opened early last year in an unobtrusive building along the river. In a downtown area known for its history of craftsmanship, the store boasts a range of around 1200 wines chosen for the feelings they evoke and an appreciation for their maker’s intent. Inside the concrete-clad second floor space, the wine room and diner sit literally back-to-back, allowing diners to hand pick a bottle to accompany their meal or enjoy a quick snack at the kitchen counter before purchasing some wine-to-go.

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The store’s craft-based approach extends to the food menu, which brings together the best of Japan’s farmers, producers and provedores. With a more than ample selection to choose from, popular dishes such as the Osaka-style octopus croquette with garlic oil and creamy chicken liver mousse are complemented by an array of appetisers and fresh bread from the wine-loving Parlour Ekoda. And so whether it’s one of Fujimaru’s original creations or a bottle from Yamagata, Normandy or Georgia, there’s more than one perfect combination for you to try as the afternoon, or evening, ambles along.

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Each visit seems to result in delightful discoveries from both the menu and wine room, yet I’m ultimately always drawn back for the poetic undertones and warm conversation that permeate through this spot both day and night. From watching the staff work away at the ruby tiled counter to gazing out towards the river where flat topped yakatabune sway at their docks, you’re ever-likely to find the ideal setting in which to enjoy good company and the sensory delights of each glass poured, and each dish served. Without doubt, Fujimaru is the kind of place you’ll want to make part of your everyday routine.

-Wineshop and Diner Fujimaru
-Where: 2F, 2-27-19 Higashi-Nihombashi, Chuo
-When: Wed–Mon 1pm-10pm (Also closed second Wednesday of the month)
-Website: http://www.papilles.net/




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About Columnist

Ben Davis
Editor of Thousands Tokyo

Ben is an editor, consultant and photographer who has been based in Tokyo since 2010. Following a stint with local farmers in the Japanese countryside, he now works as Editor of Thousands Tokyo, which sees him happily spend most days (and nights) exploring the world’s biggest city from the ground up.