I saw this sake vending machine once on Youtube, since then I always want to go but has no time. Luckily, last couple weeks ago when we went skiing at Ishiuchimaruyama, we took shinkansen towards Echigo Yuzawa Station. At that time I still have no idea the sake vending machine shop is there. Before time to go back, my friend took me there. I was so excited.
I think there are more than 100 kinds of sake (including wine and plum wine). And the shop has a rating board tells you which one is popular. I tried a couple, some of them are too strong for me, my favourite is the plum wine.
The place is at the end of the shopping area in Echigo Yuzawa Station. You will see two typical drunk Japanese salary man display outside the shop. Our return shinkansen was around 6 pm Sunday evening, so most of the people were going back Tokyo. The shop was packed full of people who waiting for trains.
If you have some big luggage you need to put them at the luggage area. Then you can go get your specials coins for those amazing sake vending machine. 500 yen for 5 coins, of course, you can buy more than that. They also selling cucumbers that you can eat it with variety salts and miso in the middle of the shop. I like cucumber so I had one eat with couple "unique" salts, if you don't drink alcohol this can be another fun thing to do in the shop.
If you planning to visit this place, I recommend to visiting during the morning (maybe not good start drinking from morning), or maybe during the afternoon, when people are busy for sight seeing. Also, not all the sake are 1 coin, some of the may take 3 coins. There is small space that you can warm your sake, so if you like some warm sake, you can do it by yourself. And definitely, don't miss this amazing sake vending machine shop during your visit Echigo Yuzawa in Niigata.
This definitely a must visit spot outside Tokyo. Seems I accidently accomplished one more place I want to visit for a long time.