Photo: Virtù

5 Tokyo bars make a splash on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list for 2023

Two bars outside Tokyo – one in Nara and another in Kyoto – are also featured in this year's 50 best bars list

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen

Japan's vibrant bar scene continues to thrive, with seven local establishments gracing the prestigious Asia's 50 Best Bars list for 2023. Tokyo leads the pack, with five of these world-class bars found right here in the city.

Photo: Bar Benfiddich

First, we're raising a toast to Hiroyasu Kayama's Bar Benfiddich in Shinjuku. Climbing from last year's fifth position, it's now lauded as the fourth-best bar in Asia while retaining the top spot in Japan.

The SG Club
Photo: The SG Club

The celebrated SG Club continues its success story, jumping to the 14th spot from last year's position at No 22. As for the newcomers, Virtù in Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi made an impressive debut at No 20. Headed by world-class mixologist Keith Motsi, Virtù also won the coveted Disaronno Highest New Entry Award.

Photo: Four Seasons OtemachiVirtù

Outside Tokyo, Nara's much-lauded Bar Lamp clinches the 23rd spot on the list. Kyoto speakeasy Bee's Knees continues its steady presence in the rankings, coming in at No 44.

The Bellwood
Photo: Kisa ToyoshimaThe Bellwood

Back in Tokyo, 50 Best Bars regular Bar High Five made a comeback at No 45 while The Bellwood stormed into the rankings at No 49. Now independent from the SG Group, but still under the stewardship of founder and head bartender Atsushi Suzuki, The Bellwood is winning acclaim for its exquisite sushi cocktail pairing by chef Ayaka Terai.

With its strong showing, Japan further solidifies its place as a top destination for global cocktail aficionados. As for the top spot on the 2023 list, Coa from Hong Kong retains the crown as Asia's best bar for the third consecutive year.

Visit Asia's 50 Best Bars' website to see the full 2023 list

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