guinomi sake cup

What is Guinomi ? All about Japanese Sake Cup

What is Guinomi ?

A guinomi is a sake cup used for drinking sake. The "gui" in "gui-nomi" is an onomatopoeic word meaning vigor, and the "nomi" means the action of drinking. Therefore, "guinomi" represents the image of drinking sake quickly and vigorously. Incidentally, Japanese-style izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) often offer a sake drinking set that includes three to five different kinds of sake, often served in a guinomi (a small sake cup). Since a relatively large amount of sake can be poured, you need to be careful about the pace at which you drink.

What is the difference between guinomi and ochoko?

The clear difference between guinomi and ochoko is the amount of sake that can be poured (the size of the sake cup). Although there is no clear definition, an ochoko can hold 36-45ml of sake, while a guinomi can hold 50-180ml. The ochoko is usually empty after 1 or 2 drinks, while the guinomi takes 3-6 drinks to empty the sake cup. It can also be said that there is a difference in the way sake is poured. There are no set rules for this either, but when pouring into a choko, sake is poured once into a tokkuri, while in the case of guinomi, sake is often poured directly from the sake bottle. This is thought to be due to the difference in the amount of sake that can be poured into each. For small sake cups such as ochoko, it is easier to pour sake in a tokkuri size cup, while pouring directly from the sake bottle is more efficient when pouring a relatively large amount of sake such as in the case of guinomi.

How should I use a guinomi and a choko?

Basically, there is a difference in the amount of sake that can be poured, but it is best to keep the following two points in mind when choosing between them. Please refer to them when choosing a sake cup.

When you want to enjoy changes in flavor and aroma, use a guinomi.

Sake is a delicate drink whose flavor and mouthfeel change with changes in temperature. The ochoko is recommended when you want to drink sake cold or warm, since the amount of sake to be poured is small and you can finish it in one or two sips. On the other hand, a guinomi can hold a large amount of sake and the temperature of the sake will change as well. The first sip of sake tastes different from the first sip after some time has passed, and the temperature of the sake changes, resulting in a difference in aroma and flavor. Although it is only a small change, drinking with a guinomi is recommended for those who want to enjoy this subtlety.

Drinking with several people choko, drinking alone guinomi

When enjoying sake, one of the best parts of drinking is communicating with others through the act of pouring sake from a tokkuri into each other's cups. When Japanese people drink sake, they check the amount of sake in each other's cups, and if the cup is empty, they pour while saying, "Please have another cup”. On the other hand, since a sake cup can hold a large amount of sake, it is not common for people to pour sake into the cup. Since sake is often poured directly from the sake bottle, it is better suited for enjoying the taste of sake individually rather than communicating with others. It is best to drink sake at home or in a restaurant with a small group of people using a guinomi.

What is the difference between a guinomi and a yunomi?

A guinomi is used for drinking sake, while a yunomi is basically a cup used for drinking hot tea or coffee. The "yu" in yu-nomi means hot water, and it is a cup used for drinking hot beverages. As for the material, yunomi are often made of ceramic or porcelain like guinomi, and some yunomi are also made of glass. When I visited my grandparents' house or was served tea at a friend's house, it was usually served in a ceramic or porcelain teacup.

Where can you buy guinomi?

Guinomi can be purchased at the following online stores. Please take a look at our carefully selected guinomi.

Three-Color Glass Guinomi Sake Cups Set

This glass ochoko set comes in three colors: emerald green, cobalt blue, and bright red. These colors are made from a powder uniquely blended by this workshop to express these beautiful shades. They are sure to enhance the flavor of your sake even more when enjoying it.

Tatsujin Style Store

You can also see the craftsmanship of the workshop that produces this choko. You can see that craftsmen with solid skills are carefully working one by one to produce each piece.

“Nousaku” Tin Guinomi Cup Gold


This is a sake cup made of tin and gold. As you can see, it is gorgeous and sparkling. Drinking sake from this sake cup will make you feel happy and uplifted. Please use it when you feel down or when you want to lift your spirits.

Vintage sake cup Bizen ware Guinomi

vintage sake cup guinomi

This is a drinking cup made of Bizen ware, a well-known ceramic ware. Since no glaze is used, the surface is not smooth and you can feel the texture and warmth of the clay. It is the perfect sake cup for when you want to calm your mind and spirit.