Where to watch the World Cup in Tokyo

Root for your favourite football team with a cheerful crowd and a beer in hand
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The FIFA World Cup is back, and even if you didn't make the trek to Russia to see it in the flesh, you can still root for your (chosen) country and take part in a proper World Cup experience. Instead of watching the football matches on your telly at home or in your room, why not hit up the best sports bars around Tokyo and watch the magic happen on the big screen?

As the World Cup 2018 matches (the ones that Japan participates in, at least) are broadcast on network television, you'll probably be able to watch the events in any restaurants, cafés and bars that have a TV. But for those after a more thrilling environment with bigger screens, here are our top recommendations – although do note that they may still primarily screen the Japan matches if they're not official sports bars.

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. If this one is full, they also have a sister outlet in Ebisu. 

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Bars and pubs

World Kitchen Baobab

icon-location-pin Kichijoji

A cosmopolitan spot where you can enjoy music, food and alcohol from around the world, including the Caribbean, Africa, and Central and South America. World Kitchen Baobab is almost considered a sacred place by world music fans; it’s full of precious records and miscellaneous goods collected by the owner on his travels. Of course, such a worldly environment should include international sports events: they occasionally show big international games such as the World Cup. 

Bars and pubs, Sports bars

Bar & Curry Noi

icon-location-pin Aoyama

A basement along Aoyama-dori hosts this competent sports bar and café (formerly known as Cafe & Bar Noi) with Guinness on tap, an 80-inch screen showing mostly European football and Samurai Japan matches, and a lunch menu including some rather tasty curries. The free Wi-Fi adds to the attraction.

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Bars and pubs, Sports bars

Kiten!

icon-location-pin Koenji

Kiten! is a sports bar-izakaya just a few minutes' walk from Koenji Station. The owner is Kawano-san, said to be a mega-fan of any sports team from Fukuoka, whether the Softbank Hawks baseball team or Avispa Fukuoka football team. Luckily for fellow sports fans, that means there is a 80-inch screen, plus three 40-inch TV monitors, on which various sport events are screened.  Their drinks menu is worth a browse, if not just for the rather interesting naming system. If you pay ¥1,000, you can name a drink of your choice for one year, which has led people to name all kinds of drinks after their favourite teams and players. After you've chosen your drink, have a side of homemade, quite voluminous karaage.

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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Restaurants

Dining & Bar Estadio

icon-location-pin Shibuya

Produced by domestic football-centric shop Kamo, sports bar Estadio stocks over 50 types of beers, with a focus on those countries that are (or were traditionally) strong at football such as Spain, Germany, Belgium and the UK. Inside, there's a large 2,5mx1,77m screen, plus a TV monitor for you to follow the most popular matches, especially at night. During lunchtime, however, the place is generally populated with local salarymen. 

Bars and pubs, Sports bars

B One

icon-location-pin Ginza

Smack in the middle of flashy Ginza is this sports bar, which shows pretty much anything from international football matches to Japanese professional baseball, the Major League, boxing, and more. There's a 5m screen, a 2,5m monitor, and a 60-inch TV to watch it all, and if that isn't enough, there's two 50-inch TVs too. On top of that, although it's only one floor, it is relatiavely spacious, with a capacity of 140 people. If you can't find it, note that it's in the basement of the same building as bottle shop Liquor Mountain.

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Bars and pubs, Sports bars

Alvorada

icon-location-pin Kichijoji

Choose from a long list of caipirinhas to go with your feijoada or fried chicken at Kichijoji's comfy Alvorada, found just north of the station. The edibles are clearly adjusted to local tastes, but the menu comes complete with detailed explanations of each dish and is fun to explore over drinks. Alvorada is best visited when there's a major football match on, as the owner is a passionate fan of both the Blue Samurai and the Seleção and always comes up with something special for game nights. In the offseason, you'll get bossa nova and samba gigs instead.

Bars and pubs, Sports bars

Legends Sports Bar and Grill

icon-location-pin Roppongi

Legends sports bar has become a focal point for watching both the British Premiership and US sports such as American football. The bar is fully equipped for all sports events with a number of large TVs and often draws in crowds for major games. An American-themed menu includes pizzas, buffalo wings, chips and chilli, with beers running around the ¥1,000 mark. Their burgers are worth checking out too - with most of them running around the ¥1,500 priceline, they're not the cheapest ones around, but are definitely substantial and come with a serving of nicely-crisp fries. 

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