The Ginza Lion Building, which houses Japan’s oldest beer hall, has been officially registered as a Tangible Cultural Property of Japan. It opened on April 8 1934 as the headquarters for Dainippon Beer, and its first floor beer hall has been slinging suds for over 87 years now.
Like many pubs in Japan at the time, its design was inspired by old-fashioned German beer halls. What makes Beer Hall Lion Ginza (as it’s known today) so special is that it survived the bombing of Tokyo during World War II. So the interior of this gigantic beer hall has been kept exactly the same as when it was built.
It still has its recognisable red brick walls, green tiled pillars made to look like barley and round pendant lights sporting designs inspired by beer foam.
The glass mosaic mural behind the bar, which depicts women harvesting barley, has been preserved, too.
While the beer hall is the most popular place to dine here, the six-storey building is home to other venues including a beer and wine grill restaurant and two other Japanese restaurants. On the very top floor is Ginza Classic Hall, which was originally used as a conference room, but now is available to hire for parties.
Today, the building and the Ginza Lion brand are owned by Sapporo Breweries. Beer Hall Lion Ginza serves a range of Sapporo beer on tap, sake, wine and cocktails, in addition to classic German beer hall food like sausages, pretzels and potato dishes. It’s open from 11.30am to 10.30pm (until 10pm on Sunday and holidays) and is only a three-minute walk from Ginza station.
Check out Beer Hall Lion Ginza’s website for more information.
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