Bars

Your guide to bars and drinking in Tokyo. Find the best places for beer, cocktails, wine, sake and more

Best art bars in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best art bars in Tokyo

These bars and restaurants also double up as a gallery of sorts, serving up cool art alongside food and drinks

Best sake bars in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best sake bars in Tokyo

Appreciate a good cup of sake? Here's where you can get your nihonshu fix in the capital

Best record stores with bars in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best record stores with bars in Tokyo

Vinyl records and good drinks go hand in hand. Here are the best record stores with bars in Tokyo

Best bars in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best bars in Tokyo

Find the top bars in Time Out's ultimate guide to drinking in Tokyo: from craft beer and wine to sake and cocktails

Where to drink Japanese whisky in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Where to drink Japanese whisky in Tokyo

Ten of the best bars serving world-class malt

Bars of the week

Star Bar Ginza
Bars and pubs

Star Bar Ginza

Kishi's kingdom is called Star Bar, a quiet basement spot on Namiki-dori, where everything – from the handcrafted ice cubes to the exclusive leather stools – exudes a desire for perfection.

Ishinohana
Bars and pubs

Ishinohana

Seasonal cocktails are the speciality at Ishinohana, Shibuya's answer to the high-end cocktail bars of Ginza. At a basement location just a minute's walk from Shibuya Station, owner Shinobu Ishigaki wields an array of fresh fruit and vegetables when creating his distinctive drinks: a gin and tonic is enlivened with kumquat, a margherita gets an injection of housemade cassis confiture. There are entire menus devoted just to mojitos and martinis, plus a sizeable list of originals including Ishigaki's award-winning Claudia (martini with pineapple juice and caramel syrup) and Polar Star (aquavit, apple syrup and lemon juice). The quality is generally very high indeed, and first-time visitors should find the atmosphere considerably less intimidating than at Ginza's bartending temples.

Bar Oak
Bars and pubs

Bar Oak

Hotel bars usually aren't very inspiring places, especially if you're not staying at the establishment in question. But the Tokyo Station Hotel's boozer sure isn't like most hotel bars: moved to its current location after a six-year renovation completed in 2012, it incorporates red bricks and wood in the décor and is manned by Hisashi Sugimoto, who's been with the hotel since 1958. 'The Master' mixes up his signature Tokyo Station cocktails from 5pm every day – best be there on time for the chance to grab a counter seat and watch Sugimoto work his magic up close.

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YYG Brewery & Beer Kitchen
Bars and pubs

YYG Brewery & Beer Kitchen

Just down the road from the famed Shin Udon, this casual brewery/gastropub is a great place to wind down from the intensity of Shinjuku

Bar Benfiddich
Bars and pubs

Bar Benfiddich

When we visit Bar BenFiddich, Hiroyasu Kayama gives us an unusual souvenir: a bag of dried senburi root (pictured above on the left of the bar counter), a virulently bitter herb that’s normally used to relieve indigestion. ‘I’ve got loads of this stuff sitting around,’ he says, as he grinds a section of root with some red wine, brandy, orange peel and an array of spices to create his own version of amaro, the potent Italian digestif. When a regular customer comes in, Kayama whips out a vintage bottle of Suze that he just bought online – ‘it’s from the ’30s or ’40s’ – and invites him to do a taste test. A first-time visitor’s question about making the perfect gin and tonic leads to a lengthy discussion about the surface temperature of ice cubes. He’s like the hippest chemistry teacher we never had. ‘Oh, I wasn’t into science at high school,’ he says. ‘I was too busy playing baseball.’ Kayama opened BenFiddich in 2013, after working for years as the head bartender at Nishi-Azabu mixology bar Amber. It’s given him free rein to pursue a longstanding interest in traditional elixirs and herbal liquors, often using ingredients – anise, fennel, wormwood – grown on his family’s plot in Chichibu, Saitama. The bar has an impressive whisky selection too, but Kayama’s apothecary style cocktails are the main attraction. Jars of spices and housemade infusions line the shelves behind the counter, and he’s as likely to prepare your drink with a pestle and mortar as a cocktail shaker. He wa

The Open Book
Bars and pubs

The Open Book

Tanaka uses a double-chamber Randall filter to bring out the zesty best in the lemons while mixing them with power-packed shochu and homemade lemon syrup, resulting in a harmony of sweet, sour and crisp...

More bar reviews

More bars in Tokyo

Best Tokyo bars with a view
Bars and pubs

Best Tokyo bars with a view

Get a taste of the high life at these fine establishments

Best gin bars in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best gin bars in Tokyo

The gin revival has hit Tokyo. Here are the best bars in the city for a gin-tastic evening

Best cocktail bars in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best cocktail bars in Tokyo

Whether you fancy a classic drink or the kind of creative concoction you’d only ever find in Tokyo, these cocktail bars are the best in the city

Best tourist-friendly gay bars in Shinjuku Ni-chome
LGBT

Best tourist-friendly gay bars in Shinjuku Ni-chome

Whether it be dancing the night away at a club or drinking and meeting new people in a tiny dive bar, Shinjuku Ni-chome offers some of the best nights out in Tokyo. No matter if you’re straight, gay or non-binary, the capital’s LGBT hub will deliver. If you want to experience one of the best parts of Japanese bar culture – talking with and being entertained by the staff – but don’t quite know where to head for English-friendly banter, these five bars will fit the bill.

Best one-coin bars in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best one-coin bars in Tokyo

Forget happy hours with their pesky time restrictions, these cheap ‘one-coin’ bars serve drinks for just ¥500 or less all night long

Best casual bars in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best casual bars in Tokyo

There's more to Tokyo's bar scene than the serious, formal bars of Ginza. Talk, laugh and just be yourself at these lively and cool bars

Food and drink news and events

Best beer gardens and events in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best beer gardens and events in Tokyo

Cool down with a cold pint at the city's top beer gardens and festivals

Gin Live Festival
Things to do

Gin Live Festival

Taste over 60 varieties of gin, including international labels like Sweden’s Göteborg and Scotland’s The Botanist as well as domestic Japanese products like Awa from Tokushima and Hinata from Miyazaki...

Mount Takao Beer Festival
Things to do

Mount Takao Beer Festival

Mt Takao's beer garden is located 500m above sea level, and does a good job of keeping hikers well satiated throughout the summer...

Tokyo Sky Resort Wild Beach Shinjuku
Things to do

Tokyo Sky Resort Wild Beach Shinjuku

For those wanting to experience the beach life without leaving the conveniences of the big city, Lumine Est is turning a part of Shinjuku into a beach-themed beer garden...