Behind a discreet wooden door that blends inconspicuously into the facade of alley 5 is undoubtedly one of the most charming nooks in all of Tokyo. While most closed doors in Golden Gai indicate a members-only venue, The Open Book is a happy exception. This charming standing bar is run by the grandson of award-winning Japanese novelist Komimasa Tanaka and is usually busy with lovers of literature.
One side of the bar is dedicated to its signature lemon sours, with jars of homemade lemon syrup and special double-chamber filters stationed behind the rustic wooden counter. On the other side are the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves referred to in its name, stacked with prized novels that guests can freely browse. Besides serving the best lemon sour in the city, the bar also cooks up a delightfully moreish curry toast for anyone craving a hot snack to go with their booze.