Where to watch the Olympic Games Rio 2016

Experience the Olympics with a cheerful crowd and a beer in hand
Footnik Osaki
By Time Out editors |
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The year of the Olympics is finally back and whether you're in Rio or half way around the world, you can still root for your home country and take part in the Olympic experience (not literally, obviously). Instead of sitting at home and watcing the games on your old TV, why not hit up the best sports bars around Tokyo and watch the magic happen on the big screen? 

As the Rio Olympics are broadcast on network television – and tend to dominate the schedules of most channels – you'll probably be able to watch the events in any watering hole. But for those after a more thrilling environment with bigger screens, here are our top recommendations.

Bars and pubs, Sports bars

Tokyo Sports Café

icon-location-pin Roppongi

One of the longest-established and largest sports bars in Tokyo, this place screens all major sporting events from around the world, with space to show two things at once. It offers an extensive range of beers - both domestic and imported - and cocktails. Happy hour lasts from 6pm to 8pm daily.

Bars and pubs, Sports bars

The FooTNiK Osaki

icon-location-pin Shinagawa

One of the more football-centric of Tokyo's British pubs, The Footnik is the place to head if you want to watch international games and J. League matches in rowdy company. It also has satisfyingly hearty pub food and a pretty respectable selection of draft beer and ales.

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Bars and pubs, Pubs

Meguro Tavern

icon-location-pin Meguro

An above-average English pub with a menu designed to reassure expats. The Sunday lunch roast beef and Yorkshire pud is a local institution. One of the best places too for traditional Christmas dinner.

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Hub pubs all over the city

Everyone loves to hate the Hub, but the fact remains that this pseudo-British pub chain beats out much of the competition just with its extensive network. Japan matches will be on at most locations from Kawasaki to Kichijoji and beyond, while the rest of the schedule varies by shop. Check out their official website or your local Hub for the full schedule. 
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Bars and pubs, Izakaya

Wagan

icon-location-pin Ebisu

This small, cheap and cheerful izakaya near Ebisu's West Exit boasts a feature that's quite unusual for its kind – a television. The TV has pride of place in the bar and the staff are happy to put on whatever customers want to watch. Beers are ¥450 – ¥300 during happy hour (5:30pm-7pm) – with most dishes costing less than ¥500. The place has a local feel and while the menu may not be so different from that of a chain izakaya, the quality of the food is much better. Bear in mind that staff speak little English and the menus are only in Japanese.  

Bars and pubs, Pubs

Akasaka Hobgoblin

icon-location-pin Akasaka

Although it now has branches in Shibuya and Roppongi as well, homely British pub Hobgoblin first landed here in Akasaka around the turn of the millennium and has been going strong ever since. As is to be expected, the grub served here is good, honest bar food like fish and chips, pies and sausages, while salads and the like are also available. The drink menu maintains the same quality level, with Wychwood dark ale and other true English offerings on tap. The staff all speak English, and the best sports events are practically always available for viewing.

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Bars and pubs, Sports bars

Tasuichi

icon-location-pin Shibuya

A Japanese standing bar located in the heart of Shibuya, Tasuichi offers an array of foods and drinks at budget-friendly prices, with draft beer a mere ¥300. This is a good place to watch live sports events in a lively atmosphere, as they have serveral TVs set up around the room. 

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Bars and pubs, Sports bars

M-Spo Café/Dining

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Conveniently located in the heart of Shibuya, this sports bar and restaurant is a great place to watch football, as well as everything from horse racing to darts and golf (the latter two can also be tried on the spot). With several big screens and TVs in practically every corner, you won't be missing any of the action here. As for the food, make sure to try the pizzas and pastas, whereas the drink menu is rather uninspiring (think Guinness, Carlsberg and cocktails). Note that reservations are required for some of the most popular sporting events, including Japan's World Cup matches.

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Bars and pubs, Sports bars

Los Cabos Shinjuku

icon-location-pin Shinjuku

At this bar you can play darts while knocking back a couple of beers and chatting with your friends. Feeling hungry? Order their massive 'honey toast' to fill yourself up on a massive loaf of bread topped with ice cream and fruits. You can also enjoy live sporting events on their TV screens. 

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Public Viewing

Watching the matches on huge screens with thousands of fellow fans around you is one of the best ways to enjoy the World Cup. You can check out several of these NHK events for free with 8K Super Hi-Vision televisions. Most of these events in Tokyo require you to register beforehand, as there are limited seats. 

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