21 epic drinking options in Tokyo

Sep 24 2018, 12:46 am

Japan’s most populated metropolis is a whirlwind of modern wonders and old-world traditions. It’s a unique blend that colours the city’s dizzying range of drinking options.

So where to start? Here’s a sampling of some of the best bars that Tokyo has to offer.

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Craft beer bar: Goodbeer Faucets

 

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In the heart of vibrant Shibuya you’ll find Goodbeer Faucets. This lively brewpub offers a wide selection of craft beers from Japan and around the world (including an original spicy chai beer). With over 40 beers on tap in a great location, Goodbeer is a solid option for some good drinking.

Address: Shoto, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 1-29-1 CROSSROADS 2F
Neighbourhood: Shibuya
Phone: +81-03-3770-5544
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Sleek speakeasy: Bar High Five

 

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Bar High Five is a classic speakeasy. A big wooden bar, a huge selection of top-notch hooch, and bowtie’d staff serving up fine cocktails. This place takes its craft so seriously they don’t even have a menu, but instead listen to what guests want and whip them up a custom made drink. Located in Ginza, this is a popular spot for fine drinking.

Address: 104-0061 Tokyo, Chūō, Ginza, 5 Chome−4−15 Ginza5 Bldg, B1F, Efflore
Neighbourhood: Ginza
Phone: +81-3-3571-5815
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Finely crafted: Gen Yamamoto

Gen Yamamoto is the name of both owner and the bar. This classy but simple 8-seat location was built in the spirit of a Japanese tea ceremony, focusing on simplicity, hospitality, and fine ingredients. Yamamoto makes every drink himself and uses only fresh, seasonal fruit. A unique and high-end experience.

Address: Anniversary Building 1F, 1-6-4 Azabu-Juban, Minato-ku
Neighbourhood: Azabu-Juban
Phone: +81-3-6434-0652
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Gin joint: Star Bar Ginza

Star Bar is another one of Tokyo’s understated, high-quality cocktail bars. Located in a small basement in Ginza, some of the city’s most respected barmen have trained here. A classic gin joint that delivers the goods.

Address: 1-5-13 Ginza, Chuo-ku
Neighbourhood: Ginza
Phone: +81-3-3535-8005

Shots!: Geronimo Shot Bar

Did we mention, shots!? Located at jumping Roppongi crossing, this bar caters to a younger, more ready-to-party crowd. At Geronimo you can shoot just about anything. Come for happy hour and stay till 6 AM, if you’re up for the challenge.

Address: 106-0032 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi, 7−14−10
Neighbourhood: Roppongi
Phone: +81-3-3478-7449
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Beer & sake: Another 8

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Hip and stylish with a side of chill seems to be the theme at Another 8. A local craft beer bar focusing on select Japanese sake and beers, this low-key joint in the quieter Meguro district is a great spot to have a drink like the locals do.

Address: Chome-2-1 8 Shimomeguro
Neighbourhood: Meguro
Phone: +81-3-6417-9158
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New retro wave: 8bit Cafe

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8bit Café is a throwback to the times of Nintendo and Super Mario. All drinks are named after legendary video game characters and you can game some classics while you drink. A fun place to hang out and get nostalgic.

Address: 3-8-9 Shinjuku, 5F, Q building
Neighbourhood: Shinjuku
Phone: +81-3-3358-0407
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Original brew: Ant’n Bee


Hidden among the clubs of Roppongi you’ll find Ant ‘n Bee, one of the original craft beer bars in Tokyo. Boasting a rotating selection of over 20 brews, this is still one of the city’s better options for underground, top-notch beer drinking. With tasty bar bites and a fun atmosphere, it’s an oldie but a goodie.

Address: 150-0043 Tokyo, Shibuya, Dogenzaka, 1 Chome−6 5F                   Neighbourhood: Roppongi
Phone: +81-3-3478-1250
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Whiskey heaven: Zoetrope


Zoetrope is widely considered the top whiskey spot in Tokyo. Set in a classic and warm ambiance, it’s an ideal location to sit comfortably and sample fine liquor.

Address: 3rd fl, 7-10-14 Nishi-Shinjuku                                                              Neighbourhood: Shinjuku
Phone: +81-3-3363-0162
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More whisk(e)y: Tokyo Whisky Library


Tokyo Whisky Library – spelled the Scottish way, without the ‘e’ – is another Tokyo whiskey paradise. With over 1,000 varieties, a high-end restaurant menu, and an impressive cathedral-like venue, this is a must-visit for single-malt connoisseurs.

Address: 07-0062 Tokyo, Minato, Minamiaoyama, 5−24                                                  Neighbourhood:  Minami-Aoyama
Phone: +81-3-6434-1163
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Shinjuku chill: Brooklyn Parlor

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Brooklyn Parlor is a hybrid cafe/restaurant/bar/bookshop/club. Come to hang out and read during the day, or stay late and listen to live DJs. The menu ranges from classic American burgers to fine Japanese-inspired cocktails. A good option in busy Shinjuku.

Address: OIOI Annex B1F, 3-1-26
Neighbourhood:  Shinjuku
Phone:  +81-3-6457-7763
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Secret hideaway: Bar Sting

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Bar Sting is hidden in a slightly seedier part of Shinjuku, tucked in between go-go bars and cheap eats. Named and inspired by the film, the Sting’s decor has a gangster 1930s feel to it. But don’t let the location fool you, they serve up some top quality drinks.

Address: 3-8-2 Shinjuku
Neighbourhood: Shinjuku
Phone: +81-3-3341-8641

Traditional cocktails: Bar Ben Fiddich

 

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Bar Ben Fiddich is a well-respected cocktail lounge, with a traditional, high-quality atmosphere. Seating is limited but the drinks are worth the wait.

Address: 160-0023 Tokyo, Shinjuku, Nishishinjuku, 1 Chome−13−7
Neighbourhood: Shinjuku
Phone: +81-3-6279-4223
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Shibuya smooth: Bar Trench


Located on a small street near Ebisu Station in Shibuya, Bar Trench is a unique cocktail bar with an old Parisian style. Serving everything from absinthe to quirky herbal liqueur concoctions, this classy watering hole is a must-visit.

Address: 1-5-8 Ebisunishi
Neighbourhood: Shibuya
Phone: +81-3-3780-5291
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Little Europe: Bar Doras


Everything in Bar Doras is meant to evoke old Europe. The owner regularly travels to collect art, crystal, and long lost secrets to bring back for his clientele. It’s a niche spot built out of a love for liquor.

Address: 2 Chome-2-6 Hanakawado, Taitō
Neighbourhood:  Asakusa
Phone: +81-3-3847-5661
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Absinthe Eden: Bar Tram

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Part of the same family as Bar Trench, Bar Tram in Ebisu is well-known for its selection of herbal liqueurs. With over 70 varieties of absinthe and an ambiance brimming with brooding character, Bar Tram is definitely one of a kind.

Address: Swing Bldg 2F, 1-7-13 Ebisu-Nishi, Shibuya-ku
Neighbourhood: Ebisu
Phone: +81-3-5489-5514
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Cocktail champion: Tender Bar

 

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Tender Bar is home to a Tokyo barkeeping legend whose mixes have been honoured at the World Bartender Championships. This is a high-end joint with a cover charge and dress code, but worth the effort if you’re looking for the best Tokyo has to offer.

Address: Ginza Noh Theatre Bldg 5F, 6-5-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku
Neighbourhood:  Ginza
Phone: +81-3-3571-8343
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King of beers: Popeye

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Popeye is one of the kings of Tokyo beer, boasting 70+ beers on tap, mostly from Japanese breweries. A casual beer bar serving up the best the city has to offer, this friendly brewhouse is a beer lovers’ heaven.

Address: 2-18-7 Ryogoku, Sumida-ku
Neighbourhood:  Ryogoku
Phone: +81-3-3633-2120
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Booze bookmark: The Open Book

 

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This bookshop-bar specializes in only one drink – a Japanese lemon sour. But don’t let the lack of options fool you, The Open Book is an original concept bar worth visiting. The small locale is decorated in old books and the owner, grandchild of a famous author, crafts the drinks himself.

Address: Golden Gai 5-Ban Gai, 1-1-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku
Neighbourhood: Shinjuku
Phone: +81-80-4112-0273
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Nordic nightlife: ØL Tokyo


One of the better bars in bustling old Shibuya is Øl Tokyo, the fun face of the Oslo Brewing company. This Scandinavian style bar serves 20 beers on tap with some tasty Scandi treats. It’s a lively place with great beer and very popular with the after-work crowd.

Address: 37-10 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku
Neighbourhood:  Shibuya
Phone: +81-3-5738-7186
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Vinyl love: Grandfather’s


This is not your usual rock bar. Grandfather’s has been around for over 40 years and the owner is still there, hand selecting vinyl records to soundtrack the evening. With classic tunes and a selection of snacks, this a great night out in Shibuya.

Address: B1F Flat Bldg, 1-24-7 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku
Neighbourhood:  Shibuya
Phone: +81-87-837-5177
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