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Many visitors to Japan land in Tokyo, spend a few days in the capital, then hop aboard the shinkansen bullet train to see the sights in other regions of the country. The most common route is head west to Kyoto, but travelers shouldn’t overlook the northern prefecture of Akita.

With verdant forests, unique folklore, Japan’s deepest lake, and plenty of regional delicacies, Akita is well worth a trip, especially with the new Super Komachi shinkansen that makes the trip from Tokyo to Akita Station in just under four hours. Plus, to make the time fly by, the Super Komachi serves up its own microbrew.

Super Komachi Beer has more going for it than just its novelty, though, as its also a two-time World Beer Award winner. Available on shinkansen trains and stations in Akita Prefecture, our reporter recently tried the brew while gallivanting around Japan’s north (gallivanting being a key component of the RocketNews24 mission statement).

While the beer has a definite bitter edge to it, the aftertaste is so crisp that our taste tester felt all the pressures of the daily grind melting away after the first sip (being quickly soothed by alcohol is yet another important part of our job here at RocketNews24).

▼ Like many Japanese beer aficionados, our reporter likes plenty of head on his brew

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▼ And now, the waiting game

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Some microbrews are so concerned with hitting you over the head with a unique flavor that they sacrifice drinkability in the process, but Super Komachi Beer is smooth enough that knocking back two or three is anything but a chore. Should you choose to listen to our recommended serving size, though, remember: the Super Komachi shinkansen hits speeds of 300 kilometers (186 miles) per hour, with a bump to 320 scheduled for next year. At that velocity, you’ll be covering a lot of ground as you’re draining your cup, so be sure to give yourself enough time to finish your round before you have to get off.

Our reporter paired the microbrew with a selection of snacks also sold inside the train, starting with scallop jerky. His favorite accompaniment, though, was strips of seared squid and cheese. He assures it tastes great, but we can’t help but think its aromatic combination of seafood and dairy would render us stone cold sober, even after multiple cans of Super Komachi.

▼ Not pictured: breath mints

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Photos: RocketNews24
Related: Super Komachi Beer Website