While Salt and Peanuts is a bit of a trek from central Tokyo, it is definitely worth the trip. Opened in 1981, the place started as a conventional bar but gradually jazz took hold. Since it’s actually quite spacious for a jazz bar, you might be surprised to learn that it’s a one-man operation.
The owner Hisashi Nakano, though not a musician himself, is a fanatic jazz enthusiast and collector who was dismayed to realise how expensive it can be to see high-quality jazz in Tokyo – so he decided to take matters into his own hands. The music charge here is ¥1,500, which is much less than most places housing a grand piano and drum set. There’s also a ¥500 table charge (otoshi), which comes with all-you-can-eat nuts and dried fruit that you can select from the giant mason jars lining the bar. If you’re looking for cosy elegance and excellent music without breaking the bank, this is the place.