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Beer in Japan

Beer in Japan

Beer Gardens in Tokyo - Top 5 Summer Beer Gardens

Deryk Bliss

Deryk Bliss
An escapee from Northern B.C., "Dez" has made Japan home for the last 10 years. When not turning out for the illustrious Saitama Jets or turning up on a ski slope somewhere, he can be found in tireless investigation in his quest to find the perfect craft beer. At least so he claims.

 

Mt. Takao Beer Garden
Tobu Department Store, Ikebukuro
Mori no Beer Garden, Jingu Gaien
Kudan Kaikan Beer Garden, Chiyoda-ku
Sekirei, Meji Kinenkan

 

Beer Mount

Mt. Takao Beer Garden

Mt. Takao’s picturesque Beer Garden is perched on a knoll overlooking the valley below. Affectionately called “Beer Mount”, on a clear night the view is second to none.

Beer Mount at Mt. Takao

 

"Beer Mount" may be located just to the left of the cable car station, but why not earn that beer and enjoy a day's hike. On the way be sure to visit Takao’s famous Yakuoin Temple, waterfall and the beautiful scenery before helping yourself to a few draft namas and the decent buffet on offer.

A couple of notes- do watch out for the stairs leading to the restrooms from the 2nd floor terrace (steep!) and do keep an eye on the time for the last cable car down at 9:40!

View from the Takao Beer Garden

 

Access:
3 minutes from Takaosanguchi Station on the Keio Line. 6 minutes by cable car, 7 minutes by chairlift, hiking time will depend on the course.

Prices & Menu:
2 hours

• 3,300 yen for men
• 3,000 yen for ladies
• 1,500 yen for children, kids under 6 are 500 yen.
* Additional 30 minutes is 500 yen.

Dates & Times:
July 01 - September 30 (2009)
Open 4:30 pm - 9:30 pm weekdays
2:30 pm - 9:30 pm weekends and holidays
(including Obon!)
* Check for time and schedule updates.

More information:
Tel: 042-665-9943 (Japanese)
http://www.takaotozan.co.jp/beermnt/index.htm

Takao is just under 600 metres elevation but it is still close enough to surrounding mountain ranges to make conditions pretty changeable. You may want to bring a hat and long-sleeved shirt or sweater and consider plenty of water. If you do go hiking to first “earn” your beer, keep your eyes open for the rarely seen flying squirrels said to populate the forests! And may you have better luck than me. 10 years and nary a sight of one!

 

Nomi-hodai Over the City

Tamashii no Purukogi, Tobu Department Store, Ikebukuro

Again, location, location, location. The Tobu Beer Garden is said to be the highest in Tokyo at approximately 100 metres skyward.

Tamashii no Purukogi, Tobu Department Store, Ikebukuro

 

It may never win prizes for its culinary offerings but this is more than made up for with a great setting and serve-yourself drink machines including beer, cocktails and soft drinks. Live music and even Hula dancing (at least there was last year)!

Access:
Tobu Department Store Exit, Tobu Line Ikebukuro Stn.

Prices & Menu:
2 Hours nomi hodai (all-you-can-drink) and a Purukogi (Korean BBQ) set. A la carte menu from around 500 yen.

• 3,300 yen for men
• 3,000 yen for women
• Kids welcome! (1,500 yen 2 hours soft drinks and Purukogi)

Dates & Times:
June 05 - September 23 (2009)
5 pm - 11 pm Monday – Friday
4 pm - 11 pm Saturday
4 pm - 10 pm Sundays
* Check for time and schedule updates.

More information:
Tel: 03-5952-0358 (Japanese)
www.tobu-dept.jp/ikebukuro/

 

Beer in the Forest! …in the city

Mori no Beer Garden, Jingu Gaien

Located around Meiji Shrine's Outer Garden, with a seating capacity of 1,000 you'll never be short of company!

Rightly called an oasis in the urban sprawl that is Tokyo it can be easy to forget you are in a major city. Check out the all-you-can-eat BBQ and drink option while relaxing with friends and family.

Access:
5 minutes walk from JR Shinanomachi Station, 5 minutes walk from Kokuritsukyogijo Station or 10 minutes walk from Aoyama Itchome station.

Prices & Menu:
The BBQ nomi & tabi hodai (all-you-can-eat & drink) Set includes a welcome plate, meat plate with lamb, beef, pork and sausage, yaki soba, Kirin Draft, wine, sours, cocktails and soft drinks. Extensive a la carte menu available as well.

BBQ set above:
• 4,000 yen for men
• 3,800 yen for women
• 3,500 yen for 13-19 year olds
• 2,000 yen for 6-12 year olds
• 4-5 years old 500 yen
• under 3 years old free.
* A la carte food menu items from 400 yen, drink menu items from 400 yen.

Dates & Times:
May 22 - September 23 (2009)
5 pm - 10 pm (last order at 9 pm) weekdays
12 pm - 10 pm (last order at 9 pm) weekends & holidays
* Check for time and schedule updates.

More information:
Tel: 03-5411-3715 or (Japanese only)
www.rkfs.co.jp/restaurant/resutaurant_3.html

* Kirin’s Ichiban Shibori is available by the glass or a 7- litre keg! Reservations are fine but only accepted for groups of 4 people and up.

Have your Beer with a bit of History

Kudan Kaikan Beer Garden, Chiyoda

Great location, amazing rooftop views, delicious fare and really good beer. What more could you ask for?

How about a summer evening atop a former officer’s club (now hotel) dating back to the 1930s to add a bit of history and architecture to your evening?

Access:
Toei/Tokyo Metro Kudanshita Station,
Exit 4- 1 minute walk:
http://www.kudankaikan.or.jp/access/index.html

Prices & Menu:
Nomi hodai (all-you-can-drink) sets with assorted Japanese and Western appetizers or Yakiniku sets start at 4,000 yen.

Extensive a la carte food menu starts from 400 yen, drinks from 250 yen (mineral water).

Ladies Day (every Wednesday) 1,200 yen All-you-can-drink or with appetizer set 3,500 yen.

Assorted appetizer sets are 4,000 yen or Yakiniku sets are 4,600 yen- both include 2 hours nomi hodai.

Dates & Times:
May 11- September 30 (2009)
Weekdays 5 pm - 10 pm (last order at 9:15)
Weekends 5 pm - 9 pm (last order at 8:15)
* Check for time and schedule updates.

Reservations Required:
Reservations are required every day except Wednesdays. Reservations are accepted for groups of 4 minimum and tables must be reserved no later than 2 PM on the day.

More information:
Tel: 03-3261-5521(Japanese)
www.kudankaikan.or.jp/restaurant/beer/index.html

Kudan Kaikan is one of the better examples of early Showa era buildings around Tokyo so give yourself a bit of time to tour the premises. In addition to a wonderful beer garden it also serves as a hotel, houses several restaurants and is a popular wedding ceremony and picture location. www.kudankaikan.or.jp/

 

More History, More Beer

Sekirei, Meiji Kinenkan

As can be seen from the stunning photos (below), Sekirei is no ordinary beer garden.

Sekirei - Meiji Kinenkan Beer Garden

 

Situated at Meiji Kinenkan, Sekirei occupies a massive 33,000 square metres (no small feat considering its location). Known to be a site of Meiji Constitution discussions with the Emperor Meiji himself, the main building dates back to Meiji 14 (1881) and is one of the most outstanding architectural sites you will see anywhere in Tokyo.

Access:
3 minutes walk from JR Shinanomachi Station

Prices & Menu:
Extensive drinks menu including beer, sake, wine and cocktails as well as a wide ranging light meal menu to compliment the fine surroundings. Please view their website for more information.

• 8,000 yen Course
2.5 hour nomi hodai (all-you-can-drink) is available for the inside terrace area. 9 different dishes and the service charge are included.

• A la carte menu items starting from 840 yen.

Please note the nomi hodai option is not available for the Premium Seats. Nomi hodai plans must be reserved a minimum 3 days in advance for groups of 4 and up.
www.meijikinenkan.gr.jp/english/

Reservations:
Required for Premium Seats. Reservations can be made up to 1 month in advance. Please note there is a table charge of 5,250 yen per table in the Premium Seats garden area. Groups of 4 maximum per table.

Dates & Times:
June 01 - September 11 (2009)
closed weekends and national holidays

17:00- 22:30
(Last order for food at 21:30, last order for drinks at 22:00)

More information:
Tel: 03- 3746-7723 or (Japanese only)
www.meijikinenkan.gr.jp/english/restaurant/sekirei.html

Sekirei - Meiji Kinenkan Beer Garden Sekirei - Meiji Kinenkan Beer Garden

 

Related Article:

An Introduction to Tokyo Beer Gardens

 

 

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