10 Awesome Tokyo Bars to Get Your Drink On
Here is a guide for an awesome pub crawl experience in Tokyo, Japan. Come enjoy a city like no other!
A trip to any part of the world is not a complete visit without having a pub crawl checklist at hand. This very well applies to Japan where the famous sake hails from. This is where it should be tasted and savored in the country of its origin to give it more authenticity. There's no other way to enjoy Tokyo's famous fashion scene, wild neon lights, and friendly locals than to jump from one bar to another. Every drop of booze you consume will add to the total Japanese package!
Don't mistake this guide for a list of nightclubs though; this is strictly an all-bar, all-drinks, and like the old Japanese rule (abolished last October 2014), contains no dancing bars and nightclubs. This is for serious drinkers or even novice drinker who love getting to know a new country by sampling its liquor. Just your good old fashioned spots to drink with friends and the classic pub crawl that comes with an exciting adventure in new territory. Ready? Kampai!
A Sampling of Tokyo's Craft Beers
Locally crafted beers have slowly started getting more popular over the years. Almost every state in the US has its own microbrewery that produces their very own special brew that makes every local proud to call their very own. The craft beer phenomenon has also reached the Eastern hemisphere. The Japanese might be famous for its smooth and traditional sake, but the popularity of craft beer has also taken over.
If you're planning a trip to the land of the rising sun and you want to sample the local watering holes in the city of Tokyo, these are the places you should have on your list. You can never go wrong with a bottle of cold brew in your hands when you're in a new country. If you're in the mood to sample the best locally crafted beers you can find in Tokyo, keep on reading and soon you'll be walking the streets just to look for these authentic Japanese craft beers.
A heavenly first sip of freshly brewed beer will have you thanking yourself for finding these little gems around the city. Plus, it's a really way to meet new people, become friends with the locals, and to get to know the city and all of its quirks. It's like hitting two birds with one stone!
Shinshu Osake Mura
If you're a beer novice and aren't sure what craft beer to order from the barman, your best bet is to step back and let him take the reins. That's how it works at Shinshu Osake Mura during a busy night and you do not want to hold the line because an angry and thirsty crowd will start to get rowdy if you delay their first sip of craft beer. Don't worry about not liking the choice of craft beer they bar man chooses, he's usually spot on when it comes to pleasing your taste buds. He is a master of his craft after all.
During your Tokyo pub crawl, stop at Shinshu Osake Mura and from the first drop of their famous (and cheap) Shiga Kogen, your taste buds will beg for more. It will be hard to continue on your Japanese pub crawl once you've had a taste of the beers from Shinshu Osake Mura, but you have to move on to the next! This beer place is just the first of so many other places in Tokyo to have a drink or two in. Don't just settle for one. Besides you can always come back for another round because the place is very accessible if you know where to look for the bar.
Literally translated as "Shinshu (Nagano) Alcohol Village," this self proclaimed Sake Museum gets rid of all distractions like music and entertainment so that patrons can focus on sipping their beer in peace.
Shinshu Osake Mura
Shimabashi Eki-mae Ichigokan
1F, 2-20-15 Shimbashi, Minato-ku
How to get there:
Finding Shinshu Osake Mura may pose as a little side mission while exploring Tokyo, but once you find it you know it was worth the effort. The bar can be found on the first floor of the Shimbashi Ekimae Building. The easiest way to locate the building is through exiting Shimbashi Station. Once you've exited the station look for a sprawling building that looks like an futuristic architectural dream from the late 1960's. If you're still feeling lost look for a "tanuki" (a Japanese raccoon dog) statute that's right in front of the Shimbashi Ekimae Building
Mondays - Saturdays: 11am-9:30pm
Sunday, Second and Third Saturday, and Holidays: Closed
Phone: 03 3572 5488
Craft Beer Bar IBREW
If you happened to find yourself on the expressway between Yaesu and Ginza and bump into a few kegs and wooden tables on your search for the next pub that serves craft beer, you've come to the right place: Craft Beer Bar IBREW. With a selection of 10 taps storing cold craft beers, it's no surprise that IBREW is a popular watering hole in Japan both for locals and tourists. The small pub is a great place to get cold and fairly cheap craft beer in Tokyo and it's success is proven by the noisy regulars who fill up the place really fast.
If you're a first time visitor in Japan you may be new to the customs and the pace of life most Japanese live by. They like to move fast and efficiently. The same goes for getting their booze. If you're not yet sure about what to order, don't line up and hold back the cue. Instead, check out their specials signs before stepping in so you can decide on your poison for the night; if not the servers will gladly recommend a beer for you!
Taking recommendations for the servers is a good trick to take on. Even if you've already tried a number of craft beers, the suggestions of these beer experts are usually amazing. You'll be leaving your taste buds sad and your thirst unquenched if you skip on asking for some recommendations because their choices would be out of the ordinary and a once in a lifetime treat. They are after all experts at their jobs!
Craft Beer Bar IBREW
1F Masumi Bldg, 2-11-7 Yaesu,
How to get there:
It's not easy to locate IBREW in Tokyo. Most especially if you're unfamiliar with the big city, but putting in the effort to find this bar which serves some of the finest craft beers in Tokyo is worth it! The bar can be found by the border of the following Tokyo Stations: Yaesu side, Ginza, and Yurakucho. You can get to IBREW those those 3 stations rather easily. After you've arrived on the station, the search of the actual bar is the biggest challenge.
The signage is a little small and it's easy to miss the small street next to an elevated highway where you can find IBREW. Don't get discouraged though, just arm yourself with a good map and a sense of adventure and you'll be drinking craft beer from IBREW in no time!
Mondays - Fridays: 5pm - 1am
Weekends and Public Holidays: 2pm - 11pm
Phone: +81 3-3527-9028
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/craftbeerbaribrewwired/
Goodbeer Faucets - Tokyo
American Beer? European Beer? Japanese Beer? Can't decide which type of craft beer you want to savor for the night? Don't worry, Goodbeer Faucets is armed with 40 taps that store all these types of beers for you to sample throughout the night. Prices at Goodbeer Faucets may be a little steep, but catching them at Happy Hour will cut down the costs and let you drink more! Sit back and gulp down pints of cold local and international craft beers, while enjoying a relaxed vibe.
Created by one of Japan's craft beer pioneers Teruya Hori Goodbeer Faucets spacious and comfortable spot to relax and put your feet up after a day of exploring Tokyo. You can ogle at the bar's state-of-the-art and intricate 40 tap system while sipping on premium craft beer. Although most of Goodbeer Faucets' beer on tap are local and American brews, sometimes the bar also gets creative. If you're lucky or you've planned everything accordingly you might just get a taste of some of their weirder and rare concoctions that you won't taste anywhere else in the world.
Follow Goodbeer Faucets Twitter account to stay updated with the latest beer selections they have on tap (see Twitter link posted below). Don't worry about spending too much on beer during your visit to Goodbeer Faucets, catch them during their happy hours where pints of their beers go below ¥200.
Shibuya Crossroad Building 2F,
1-29-1 Shoto, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
How to get there:
The spacious chrome and concrete decorated Tokyo bar sits on one of the city's finest real estate. Unlike more craft beer bars which are a little hard to find, Goodbeer Faucets is very easy to spot. The bar can be found simply by just crossing the street from from the Bunkamura, a famous concert hall, museum, and theater in Central Shibuya. The tall building cannot be missed and is a popular tourist attraction. Simply find the Bunkamura and you'll be just a few steps from Goodbeer Facets and their collection of beers on tap!
Mondays - Thursdays: 5pm-8pm
Mondays - Thursdays, and Saturdays: 5pm-12am
Phone: +81 3-3770-5544
Follow Goodbeer Faucets on Twitter to keep yourself updated with all their beers available on tap!
How can a bar stand out from the rest when an entire building is littered with pubs? The secret of Craftsman is its 31 different craft beers available on tap. The combination of the rare and the reasonably priced beers makes Craftsman the go to pub in the entire building. Even if you've feel like you've tried every possible craft beer, Craftsman may surprise you with what they have on tap. Dine and drink the night away in this one of kind and unique pub in Tokyo.
Sampling a drink at Craftsman is for the true craft beer connoisseur. Don't simply just head on over to the bar expecting to have a cheap pint of craft beer. Their rare craft beer selection comes with a price tag, but it's worth it to try something you've never tried before. The craft beer over at the Craftsman pub in Tokyo can range from ¥500 + tax for a short 350ml glass up to ¥800 + tax for the taller glass of fine craft beer. Also be ready to pay an extra ¥300 seating charge per person who wishes to drink at Craftsman.
Craftsman may set you back a couple of yen during Tokyo pub crawl, but one sample of their craft beer selection and you'll never think twice about the seating charge again. It's an authentic Tokyo experience of have a drink or two at Craftsman and a true craft beer lover won't pass on the chance to give this Tokyo bar a chance.
1F Grace Gotanda, 2-18-3 Nishigotanda,
How to get there:
Finding the one bar inside a building full of bars may be a challenge, but the great thing about Craftsman bar is that it's right on the first floor. There's no need to look further. Once you've exited Gotanda Station, merely walk 3 minutes West and you'll find this Tokyo building full of Japanese bars that are ready to serve you with all the sake and spirits you want. Craftsman is one of those bars!
Weekday Mornings: 11:30am-2:30 pm
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/craftsman.craftbeerbistro
Brimmer Beer Box
Craft beer for only ¥500? There's one place in Tokyo that sells beer at rock-bottom prices to ensure you keep your glass filled the whole night: Brimmer Beer Box. Since the opening of its doors back in 2012, Brimmer Beer Box has been a hot spot for the younger crowd looking for a good time and even better drinks. Brimmer's craft beer can be found all over Japan, but the best place to sample them all in one night (if you're up for it) is at the place where it's all made!
The craft beer bar is set on a very quirky and very literal box that is made out of a shipping container. It's minimalist look and the fun ambiance is what draws in the crowds. What makes the crowd stay is their selection of craft beers. The official beer stand and tasting room always offers their most popular selections. The Golden Ale, Pale Ale, Porter, and a selection of rotating season beers are always on the menu at Brimmer Beer Box and they are all just for the same low price of ¥500 a pint. It's a steal and an experience all at the same time!
If staying at the establishment is a problem for you, Brimmer Beer Box also offers patrons a takeaway option so you can drink your craft beer at the comfort of your own home. It's an option you should try even if you're up for a night of drinking at the tasting room. Who wouldn't want to bring home a few pints of gorgeous craft beer with them?
Brimmer Beer Box
Minami Aoyama 3-8-34, Minato-ku,
How to get there:
The Brimmer Beer Box tasting station is fairly easy to access. Upon riding either Chiyoda Line, Ginza Line, Hanzomon Line and alighting at Tokyo Metro Omotesando Station, the bar is just a short 3 minute walk away. There's no need to look any further because the Brimmer Beer Box is very easy to spot. The plain re-purposed shipping container can be seen almost immediately from the station's exit (Exit 4A).
Mondays - Fridays: 4pm - 11pm
Saturdays - Sundays: 12nn - 11pm
Best Bars for Rare Whiskey, Specialty Cocktails, and Wine
Admittedly, not everyone who is out to drink their night away has beer on their mind. Although Tokyo's long list craft beers are definitely worth a try at least once. For patrons who are looking for a something stronger there are Tokyo bars that serve more than just beers. The drinking districts of Tokyo have a lot more to offer than just the growing number of craft beer bars. Cocktails and whiskey are also on the menu during this Tokyo pub crawl. This list will give you a short preview of what's waiting for you on the streets of Tokyo, Japan.
Don't forget that these bars are a different level from the craft beer pubs in Tokyo. You may end up spending more if you choose to drink at these bars, but they are as wonderful and worth the extra money just for the experience itself. You will find everything from aged and rare whisky, fine wine, and even exclusively mixed for you specialty cocktails when you're willing to step out of the usual beer pub. There's a world of booze and spirits waiting to be explored and it's an activity you shouldn't pass on when you're already in Tokyo!
Fine whisky fanatics will get a kick out of visiting Zoetrope. The bar houses the biggest and best collection of Japanese whisky in the world. Patrons don't only get to sample smooth and rich tasting whisky, but they also get the chance to hang out in one of Tokyo's coolest bars. Film buffs will also relish in the bar's decor and music because owner Atsushi Horigami shares his collection of movie soundtracks and movie memorabilia for guests to savor.
The dimly lit bar is a must go for those who want to try rare whisky. Zoetrope has over 300 different whisky offerings for guests to try and some of them are so rare that you won't even find them in the market today. It doesn't matter if you're an expert or just starting to love the taste of whisky. Zeotrope's collection of spirits will surely have something that will please your taste buds and satisfy your thirst of fine whisky.
Taste rare whisky that you can find only at Zeotrope and it will be an experience you will be telling your friends for years to come.
3rd Floor, Gaia Biru Number 4, 7-10-14
Nishi Shinjuk, Shinjuku-ku
How to get there:
Zeotrope is tucked away in the back of a street in Nishi-Shinjuku. It's a bit tricky to find, but if you love your whisky you'll make the trip. The fastest way to get to the bar is through the JR Yamanote line which will take you to Shinjuku. Once arriving at the station, you must exit West and your search for the bar begins. Although asking for help will be somewhat effective, keep in mind that English is not the fist language in Japan and misunderstandings will be common. To make your search more efficient, bring a map and a great sense of adventure with you.
Mondays - Saturdays: 7pm - 4am
Phone: +81 3-3363-0162
Bar Ben Fiddich
The absinthe-obsessed owner of Ben Fiddich, Hiroyasu Kayama shares his passion for the drink in his small and cozy bar in Tokyo. The bar is decorated with various spices and wood furnishings, giving it a rustic ambiance, which patrons are sure to remember long after they have left the doors of Ben Fiddich. Aside from Kayama's collection of absinthe, he also serves guests made-to-order specialty cocktails and other exotic spirits that are always of top shelf quality.
The overall ambiance of the bar combines the classiness and the polished look of old Japan with the whimsical and magical world of alchemy. The combination of spirits and special herbs inside the specialty cocktails make them out of this world and a truly unique drinking experience. Bar owner and master bartender Hiroyasu Kayama makes sure that when you have a drink at Bar Ben Fiddich, whether it's a sip of his green fairy-seeing absinthe to his specialty cocktails your whole drinking experience is something you will never forget.
9F Yamatoya Building, 1-13-7
How to get there:
Bar Ben Fiddich can be found in one of Tokyo's famous drinking districts: Shinjuku. It will be odd to walk into a dimly lit high floor of an office building in Shinjuku but that is exactly where you will find this out of this world bar in Shinjuku. It won't be hard to find Ben Fiddich, but if you get lost you can always ask a local who will surely know where this famous bar is located.
Mondays - Saturdays: 6pm - 3am
Phone: +81 3-6279-4223
Website (Japanese): http://ameblo.jp/kayama0927/
A private and intimate night of drinking with friends can be best enjoyed at Gen Yamamoto. The bar is very exclusive and only seats eight guests at a time. It's a very rare treat for you to be able to get a seat at this very exclusive bar. Each guest will be able to sample one of a kind specialty cocktails specially prepared by Gen Yamamoto himself. Gen uses only the finest and rarest spirits on the shelf to concoct illuminating spirits for patrons to savor.
Soak in a one of a kind experience at Gen in Tokyo where guests are treated like VIPs all night. Where the caring hands of Gen Yamamoto carefully craft all of his cocktails for everyone entering the bar. There is no other way better to experience high class drinking other than in Gen Yamamoto. The exclusivity and the creativity that comes with the cocktails being mixed in the bar makes for a highly authentic experience will not have anywhere else in the world.
Anniversary Building 1F,
1-6-4 Azabu-Juban, Minato-ku
How to get there:"
Getting to Gen Yamamoto requires you to take the Namboku and Oedo Train Lines. When you reach Azabu-Juban Station you can exit and being your search for the bar. It's not hard to locate the Anniversary Building, one you have found the building Gen can be easily spotted on the first floor.
Tuesdays - Saturdays: 3-11pm
Phone: +81 3-6434-0652
Beers, cocktails, and hard drinks aside, wine lovers visiting Tokyo should pay a visit to its first bar to specialize in natural wines. First opening its doors in 1993, Shonzui remains to this day one of the best bars in which to sample the best wine selection in the country. Revered as one of the best locations to have a bottle of fine wine, the bar still has a quaint French-inspired atmosphere and the prices of the wine are not outrageous at all. There's a reason why the bar still stands today, that's because they still serve up the finest wines available in Tokyo.
Learn from the expertise of Shonzui's owner and wine expert Shinsaku Katsuyama when you stop by at his bar when you're in the search for a classy night of drinking in Tokyo. A night at Shouzui is filled with elegance and class. When setting out to drink at this amazing Roppongi bar, you won't just get your fill of finely aged wine you will also get a lesson in fine wine history which you can bring home with you.
2F, 7-10-2 Roppongi,
Minato-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo
How to get there:
Right at the heart of Tokyo's drinking center is Roppongi. Although the city has been slowly developing into a modern place for the younger crowd to find their fix of booze, Shonzui has remained unchanged for over 20 years. The classy bar can easily be found in Roppongi as it stands out from the other bars in the area for being elegant. It's a famous bar that a local will be able to point to you where the bar is located if you do get lost along the way.
Mondays - Saturdays: 6:30- 9:30pm
Phone: +81 3-3405-7478
A step back in time is what Kamiya Bar in Tokyo offers guests and patrons during their visit. Established back in the late 1800's, Kamiya Bar is still up, running, and serving guests to this day. The bar's old western–themed decor may not be the biggest draw to this bar that's stood the test of time, it is the friendly and welcoming atmosphere that keeps the crowd coming. Locals who are in the working-class are regularly found gracing the tables of Kamiya for a relaxing drink of wine, gin, or brandy to cap the night off.
Getting a drink at Kamiya Bar should be part of a tourist's to do list when they're in Tokyo. It's not only a good way to relax and put your feet up after a day of sight seeing and shopping around the area, but you also get to experience a part of Japan's history. This very first bar in Japan is famous and popular for many locals and tourists especially in the summer time. Beat the heat and take a break at Kamiya Bar when you're in Tokyo. It's a drinking affair that you will remember for the rest of your life!
Kamiya Bar is part of Tokyo's rich history and should be paid a visit, at least once. It doesn't hurt that you can get a glass of wine while admiring this historic bar.
1-1-１ Asakusa, Taito,
How to get there:
The Kamiya Bar is a famous and historic part of Tokyo. It is a must see and must drink at location that many locals and tourists alike know where the bar is located in. Tourists who have shopped and seen the sights at Senso-ji Temple must head over to Kamiya. The bar can be found on the corners of Umamichi Street and Kaminarimon Tori Street. Simply look for an old looking building with the Kamiya Bar sign plastered on its side and you've found Japan's oldest and probably most famous bar.
Phone: +81 3-3841-5400
Website (Japanese): http://www.kamiya-bar.com/
The Japanese culture may be a little different compared to what Westerners are used to, but their pubs and bars are just as stunning, varied, and enjoyable. There's no shortage of bars in Tokyo that will let you recline and enjoy every sip of beer, wine, or any other spirit without the hassle of bright neon lights and loud music. Complete your trip to Tokyo with a pub crawl through only the best bars with the best drinks in town.
There is something calming and comforting when going through a Tokyo pub crawl which does not involve any nightclubs. These bars offer a different kind of drinking experience minus the loud crowds but it comes with the best drinks the Japanese can serve up. Sometimes they can be cheap, sometimes you may have to shell out a little extra. Which ever bar you choose in Tokyo, there's something amazing waiting for you!
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