Where To Drink in Tokyo
Collected by Jon Sheer, AFAR Local Expert
Be it 65-year-old single malt or the world’s best sake, Tokyo’s got watering holes to suit every taste, style, and budget. Most bars don’t close until the last customer goes home or passes out, so some serious partying awaits those with the will and fortitude. (And the coffee’s darn good, too!)
Japan, 〒105-0013 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Hamamatsuchō, 2 Chome−13−１２ ライズウェルビル １F
While the craft beer revolution was busy sweeping the US, Japan was getting left behind, content with admittedly tasty but decidedly stodgy national brew brands like Asahi and Kirin. Thanks to strict tax laws prohibiting brewers from producing...
Japan, 〒107-0062 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Minamiaoyama, 7 Chome−13−１２ 南青山森ビル 2F
Owner Nobiyuki Nakamura’s whiskey obsession is on display at his scotch bar. He has a full collection of traditional Irish whiskeys and Scottish single malts. The whole place is obsessive, right down to the hand-carved ice cubes that go into the...
2 Chome Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan
Ishi no Hana in Shibuya is one of the most progressive bars in the city. The mixologist, Shinobu Ishigaki, creates forward-thinking, modern concoctions from rare seasonal ingredients such as saffron syrup and lavender brought over from Hokkaido. —...
Japan, 〒104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza, ３丁目5−８ 銀座らん月地階
I was with friends who wanted to learn about sake. Our biggest challenge was finding someplace open for lunch. Sake no Ana in Ginza was not only a great find, the variety and selection of sake was amazing. The sake sommelier here, Sakamoto-san (no...
3-7-1-2, ３丁目-７ 西新宿 新宿区 東京都 163-1055, Japan
Immortalized on celluloid in the film Lost in Translation, the modernist property spreads across the upper floors of the three connecting granite, steel, and glass columns of Shinjuku Park Tower. The 770-foot building rises in a succession of...
Japan, 〒150-0022 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Ebisuminami, 2 Chome−1−１１ エーエムビル 2F
Billy Barew’s (yes, that Billy Barew—Judge Smails' putter from the movie Caddyshack) is one of several bars specializing in imported beers. What sets its apart is the number available in both cans and bottles, roughly 120 at last count. With...
4 Chome-13 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
When I stumbled upon a pristine vintage Airstream trailer in a tiny lot in one of Tokyo's most expensive neighborhoods, I had no idea what would be inside. I was amazed to find a gem of a café, ironically called Uchu (Space) Café. With no more...
2 Chome-14-7 Kitazawa, 世田谷区 Setagaya-ku, Tōkyō-to 155-0031, Japan
This is a great little coffee shop located in the super-funky neighborhood of Shimo-kitazawa that specializes in single-origin coffee beans hailing from such faraway places as Tanzania and Papua New Guinea, which it roasts in-house using a Fuji...
Japan, 〒104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza, 2 Chome−6, 銀座２丁目６−５ 銀座トレシャス9F
Hidden away on the 9th floor of an unassuming building near the Apple Store in Ginza is one of Tokyo’s best-kept secrets of the Italian osteria variety—even the name is hard to remember (at least for me, but that’s not unusual). Upon disembarking...
Japan, 〒150-0021 Tokyo, Shibuya, Ebisunishi, 1 Chome−5−８ ＤＩＳビル １０２
According to the laws of physics, time travel in the real world is impossible, but the physicists who say so obviously have never been to a certain bar in trendy Ebisu. The moment you step through the door, you are instantly transported to an...
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