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Drinking Out: Goodbeer Faucets
Goodbeer Faucets is a nice bar in Shibuya that specializes in craft beer. They offer 40 different draft beers, most of which seem to be from Japan's Baird Brewery. The interior of the bar is modern industrial, with exposed concrete and metal as the primary decorations. They have a large bar, and numerous seats along the windows overlooking streets of Shibuya.
We sat at the bar, and were pleased to hear about the happy hour special: 200 Yen off all draft beers! We quickly ordered a few Baird Beers, neither of which were great. As I looked for a second beer, I realized that almost half of the menu was either Baird Beer or Brimmer Beer brewed at Baird. I have tried at least 6 Baird Beers, and none are what I would consider good. Unfortunately, this mediocre brewery dominates the beer offerings at Goodbeer Faucets.
Happy hour is 1700-2000 Monday through Thursday and 1600-1900 on Sundays.
Motown House 1: A Gaijin Bar
If you are looking for a Gaijin (Western expats) bar, here is the place. It was one of the ist few bars with foreigners clienteles. Many view this place alittle sleezy being perceived as a pick up place.
If you come across a table of Japanese ladies sitting by themselves with a glass of cocktails staring into blank space, they are most likely to be your target. Why? Think about it, if they were just there for drinks, they would have chat among themselves and not focus into the crowd. Obviously those ladies have finished their chat long ago and waiting for their chance now.
Dress Code: No slippers definitely.
Motown House 2: Yet another Gaijin Bar
Yes I know what you are thinking of. Can they be more original than having a similar name and naming it the 2nd?
This is the sister bar of Motown House 1. Its probably opened to cater to the huge influx of foreigners. I personally prefer Motown 2 to 1 as the decor is classier and air is fresher. Nice collection of music mainly spinning the 60s and black music. You can even make a dedication.
a-point: drink spiking,bar "A-point"
Let me start with a warning:
Look out for drink spiking when you go to Roppongi bars!
Here is my story:
We went to Tokyo with three guys for new year. Later the night we explored Roppongi and were brought to a small bar by one of those many black guys. We had some drinks and the next thing I remember is that we sat in the corner of the bar with terrible headaches and our wallets gone! Me and one of my friends had our credit cards in the wallet which were completely emptyfied as we had to learn some days later!!
We asked in the bar what happened, no answer. We went to the police told them about the bar, no reaction. Just recorded the loss of our wallets.
We even know the name of the place, A-point, in the third floor above a Kebab restaurant.
In the embassy we learned that we got drink spiked, which seems to happen rather often in Roppongi, especially in those small bars driven by the black guys out on the street. The embassy is even having a warning on their webpage
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Hub: Faux English Bars
These bars are all over Tokyo especially the main areas. They are an imitation English pub chain which is fairly reasonably priced both for drinks and food with a considerable selection of both.
They are good for the new person to tokyo as they provide a familar setting with the staff speaking english and a considerable amount of foreigners going there. If you are there longer than a vacation they do a good loyalty/discount card scheme, the happy hour is well worth it especially the pints of long island ice tea at 1/2 price. You usually get to meet an interesting amount of people and the one in roppongi is one of the cheaper places to drink. My favourite ones in central toky were the ones in Shibuya.
Dress Code: Anything but you got alot of english teachers in them so you may see a lot of people in shirts and ties.
Crow Forrest: Happy Hour
If you find yourself in Shimbashi area just under the JR train line station is a small step in bar. Happy hour is 4PM to 7PM and the beer is 300 yen. The normal beer price is 500 so it is a good savings. The clintel varies depending on the day and the busiest time are Thursday and Friday night. Very small bar and they have a DJ on the weekend.
Dress Code: Casual dress
Gaspanic Bar: Chasing the Happy Hours around town
Now it can get rather pricey when drinking in Tokyo and so it worth checking out the times of the Happy Hours in the local bars. If you’re lucky you should be able to do a crawl to take advantage of the discounts available.
Gaspanic was one of the bars we frequented. It was a bar that had rather strange signs all over the place, one of which said "Everybody must be drinking to stay inside Gaspanic". Now I don't know whether or not the locals just come in any hang about not drinking, but we certainly needed no excuse for constant drinking!
Dress Code: Casual
- Beer Tasting
Maniac Love: Underground club - truly underground
Weird. We came across this club in our guidebook and chose it cos I thought it sounded rather cool. We had great difficulty finding it - most of the locals we asked were unable to guide us and the buildings didn't seem to be annexed in consecutive numbers. Eventually we came across it rather accidentally. The club was rather inconspicuous, and was located in a basement. It looked kind of shady and the guy at the door looked pretty stoned out, but we were brave and paid our cover charge anyway... Turned out to be completely deserted! This was a Friday nite at about 11pm, 2002. Given the club's reputation according to online sources, this was truly weird. We were the only ones sitting there... til about half an hr later when 3 girls came in and took another table. Eventually, we gave up waiting for the place to fill up and left at about half past midnite. Donated a pack of marlboros (dutyfree and we were leaving Tokyo soon) to the stoned out door guy, who nodded his thanks. Shucks, I knew I should have asked one of the guys in HMV Shibuya for party info... I guess the tip here is:
Ask the locals for party advice.
Dress Code: prolly didn't matter, there wasn't anyone to care!
What the Dickens!: What the Dickens!
An Ex-pat Bar for the Brit's and those who enjoy them. The name of the Bar is actually "What the Dickens!" And it is a blast!
Ok, there was a moment or two when the Guiness was flowing and I thought I was going to be in hte middle of a very large Bar fight while two guys were yelling their Premier Leauge Football club teams names at each other. (I still get a little bit on edge when I hear the word Arsenal).
There are live bands every night around 8 or 9, and the music varries. My first time there, I caught a dixieland band playing, the next time was Reggae. They also have the usual Pub-food staples such as lamb pie and steak and kidney pie. I went with the Lamb. Yummy. Plus you can wash it down with one of the many UK and Irish beers that are on tap here.
It is a great place to take in music, but a little loud, and a little too dark at times.
Dress Code: It's a pub. Dress like you are going drinking.
Roppongi: Inside Roppongi (I live here)
Hi All: I have been living in Roppongi (means 6 trees) for the last 5 months and have discoved a number of good clubs. Nothing really starts happening until 10:30/11PM
First rule, NEVER go with a Nigerian to a "Gentalmens Club". If you want that kind of stuff go to either 7th Heaven or Tantra or leave Roppongi and go to Shinjuku.
There are a number of good clubs and bars that are a lot of fun.
Okashii-gaijin-bar (Strange Foreigner Bar):
Most common Japanese folks are usually afraid of these bars. I recommend Geronimo's and Magumbos. The staff are nice and most people are very friendly. Most of my Japanese friends will only go to these places if they are escorted by a an american/brit. My friend Kumi went with me and had a blast but would never go alone.
Off the beaten path:
There are about 300 bars in a 10 block radius. At one point I was really into exploring and I would go to maybe 10 to 15 bars a night, everynight. Most of them I would just walk in take a quick look and take off. If you want to meet nice mellow Japanese people my favorite bar is called Shake. Emi is the owner and very customer service focused. Everyone who meets Emi, loves Emi. I have made more good friends here than anywhere else! This is NOT a pickup bar. It's a place where local folks go to have a drink and conversation. If you go there, you will meet one of the locals and have an intresting conversation.
Ok, on the map link I provided, you will see the street called Roppongi-don and the hotel Baden. Shake is the next block down and to the right. Basement 1 (B1).
Roppongi station exit #5 --> Down the street 3 blocks (maybe 4 depending on how you count). turn right on un-named street and and the Shake sign is to the right and lit. If you don't clearly see the sign your not in the right place. try walking down one more block or back 1 black. Opens at 8PM Mon-Sat.
Dress Code: Casual
Pub / Bar / Izakaya: Night Restaurant
A dinner at any restaurant / Bar Caffe inside the high-rise buidling basically need reservations. Otherwise you need to spend at least 2 hours to wait outside the reataurant.
While having dinner, look at the view to the outside world will make your dinner perfect and unforgetable.
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Pub / Bar / Izakaya: Speakeasy Ikebukuro!
This bar came recommended for Westerners when I researched on the internet. When I went in it was dead quiet, with a few very attentive waitresses serving drinks. The service was great of course but it was just to quiet, and very dark place but also very big. I'm sure if this place had more people in it would be more fun. Make sure to get there closer to closing time, I think we arrived around 8 pm, 9 pm or later I guess would be better.
Defintely gets support for the good drink selection! ;)
Dress Code: Nothing special
Pub / Bar / Izakaya: Dubliners Irish Pub, Ikebukuro
This is still the Irish bar to beat for me. Great drinks and atmosphere. Due to this being an mostly English bar there are always other people to talk to if you aren't a Japanease speaker on vacation. Many of the people in the bar are English teachers from Canada, the UK, and the US and is a GREAT place to meet other English speakers to discuss Japan and well... anything. Also the manager and bartender of the place is a great guy to talk to, I'll be going back to just to see him again!
Dress Code: Nothing special.
Misc places: A Night in Tokyo
Mega club in Shinjyuku Toho Kaikan. 3 huge dance floor and DJ booth.
A z z l o
For fetish lovers. Bar with art exhibitions and transformation salon. 13:00-22:00, Opens 7days a week. e-mail address:VYC00243@niftyserve.or.jp
33 56 92 67 / 21 Sakamachi, Shinjyukuku
Opens 7 days a week. Not for dance lovers, but nice place. 34 98 44 15 / 4-5-9 Shibuya.
Bar isn't it?
Bar filled with people from around the world. Located colse to sq.bldg. 3 chome Roppongi, Minatoku
B l u e
Jazz and Afro music. 1500 yen for 1 drink. Closes a little earlieer than other clubs. (usually 3am or so) 37 97 15 91 / 6-2-9 Minami Aoyama, Minatoku
C a v e
Two dance floors and a bar space.
37 80 07 15
This place used to be MC1000. Various music are played. Relax! 52 72 42 72
Asian music and dance tracks with Internet connected machines. 3,000yen with 2 drinks, girls don't have to pay entrance fee.
54 58 59 63 / 1-8 Maruyamacho, Shibuyaku
Reggae club as the name shows. 2500 yen with 2 drinks. Opens on Tursday, Friday, and Saturday. 34 07 88 44 / 4-16-14 Nishi Azabu, Minatoku
Garage and House. Men only on Saturdays, and women only on 3rd Thursdays.
33 52 62 97 / 2-14-6 Shinjyuku, Shinjyuku
Very deep place. On Wednesday, admission fee is free for women. After hours on Saturdays. 34 79 81 61
Hip hop, soul, raggae and more.
34 97 03 03 / 3-25-12 Jingumae, Shibuyaku
It's a bar not a club except for Saturdays. On weekdays, it's a bar with Japanese food. Every Saturdays, soul and blues party.
34 78 49 56 / B1 2-9-11 Jingumae, Shibuyaku
K i s s
1st and 2nd floors are cafe, and 3rd and 4th are bar with a small dance floor. Entrance fee for 3rd and 4th floors is 2000yen with 2 drinks. Located on 246, between Apollo and Omotesando cross.
L o o p
A small and cozy place. 2,500yen with 2 drinks 37 97 99 33 / 2-1-13 Shibuya
House, Trance , ambient and more. Hi-quality sound equipments as Master Blaster speakers. After hours on Sunday morning.
34 06 11 66 / 5-10-6 Minami Aoyama, Minatoku
M i l k
Opened on October 13, 1995. Eros and Rock.
54 58 28 26 / B1 1-13-3 Ebisu Nishi, Shibuyaku
M i x
Soul, funk, raggae, etc. Friendly staff and drinks tastes good. 'My favourite is Long Island Ice Tea' 2500 yen with 2 drinks. Closed on Sundays. 37 97 13 13
M u s e
Used to be called BCBG. 2,500yen with 2 drinks. 34 01 69 69 / 4-1-5 Minami Aoyama
DJ's bar in shimokitazawa. All genre of music as reggae, hip-hop, house... Usually 2000yen with 2 drinks.
54 78 16 42 / 2-37-2 Kitazawa, Setagayaku
Opens on Fridays and Saturdays. 2,500 with 2 drinks. Soul, funk, raggae, and more.
34 78 18 70 / 3-5-11 Kita Aoyama
Small club in Shibuya for people who're into jazz. 34 61 71 67
2,500 with 2 drinks. Garage and House. Every Friday, girls are invided for free!
ABIC bldg 8F, Roppongi, Minatoku/ 34 05 44 94
Used be 'Jungle Bass'. Confortable place for dancing. Various events and music.
54 11 41 36
Huge one. Many DJ's around the world play there. Usually 3500 yen with 2 drinks.
34 79 06 90 /1-10-11 Nishi Azabu, Minatoku
Soul, Reggae and anything. If you like Mix, you'll like this place, too. 2500 yen with 2 drinks. Closed on sundays.
34 78 49 46 / 4-4-14 Jingumae, Shibuyaku
This place is often used for off-line parties.
54 13 75 233F, 3-3-11 Kita Aoyama, Minatoku
Tiny place, but crowded with young boyz and girlz. 34 22 14 05 / 3-30-10 Ikejiri
3 2 8
Very old place where you can meet friendly staff and various people. Soul, Reggae and more. you'll see a red arrow from Nishi-Azabu Cross.
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Pub / Bar / Izakaya: Jazzy Izakaya with Sizzling Food
Tofuro is one of my all-time favorite Izakaya (Japanese Tapa style pub). Here you can enjoy everything Japanese food has to offer.
The architecture of Tofuro is one of the important aspects of creating that unique atmosphere. Wood screens and wood benches, Irori (open hearth) in the middle cooking fresh fish on the sticks. If you would like more privacy, you can ask for a private room looking down the crowd downstairs.
Food is another important aspect of what makes Tofuro my favorite. Along with regular menu, you will get a piece of paper that has special dishes for the day. Depending on what is fresh that day, or maybe how the chef feels like on that day, you will get something different all the time. Most importantly, whatever dish you choose you are guaranteed to get tasty, fresh food.
Don't be reluctant to ask for a English menu if you are not familiar with the language. Some stuff can also speak very good English and would be very happy to help you choose food.
As I described above, whatever you get would be very nice but especially any kind of law fish (sashimi) is very nice. Look out for what is fresh on the piece of paper that I mentioned.
If you are not too keen on low fish, try their Irori grilled fish or skewered meat (kushiyaki).
They have a killer drink menu as well and my all-time favorite is Ume-shu (plum wine) on the rocks.
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