Hitsuji The Bottom Line
Hitsuji had so much going for it – nice setting and a great atmosphere but with the table charge and the additional tax that are added on at the end left a bitter taste in my mouth. From having a reasonable price for a beer to then ¥1,326 just to have a single beer means I won’t be returning there in the future. While the bar is non-smoking, it isn’t enough to compete with other, better bars in the area such as Sakura Taps and Noge West End. The bar is non-smoking though.
Hitsuji Full Review
Hitsuji opened in June 2016 and only came up on our radar when a friend posted a picture of the place on Facebook. The Noge district near Sakuragicho station isn’t teeming with craft beer bars, and is in much need of some considering the hubbub in the area during the daytime, along with the busy nightlife in the area. With a name like Hitsuji, which means sheep in English, I expected there to be something on the outside resembling a sheep to make the bar stand out, but nothing.
Located about 10 minutes from JR Sakuragicho station and 10 minutes from Keikyu Hinodecho station, Hitsuji is pretty much in the middle of the Noge main eating and drinking area and on the day we went, the bar was full up besides for a couple of counter seats. There is space for about 20 people inside with 6 people at the counter, along with two people outside when the weather is good. The inside could be mistaken for the latest identikit bars that appear to be appearing in Japan – white walls and some wood thrown in for authenticity, but the relaxed Noge atmosphere is apparent in Hitsuji. The whole bar is non-smoking. However, there is a table charge that needs to be paid of ¥300 plus tax, for which you get what appeared to be one-sixth of a boiled egg as a the “bonus” food. Great.
There are seven taps of beer on at Hitsuji, with all but one being being dedicated to craft beer with one tap of domestic lager for those coming with friends who don’t drink craft beer – there are some of them out there. Beers come in two sizes – small (~240ml) for ¥550 and medium (400ml) for ¥950. Neither of those prices include tax, so add on another 8% of that and you’ve already spent close to ¥1,500 before you’ve even had a sip on your beer. The beer list had some favourites on there but nothing exciting compared to other bars in the vicinity. There isn’t a happy hour and nor is there a tasting set so you better like your beer at that price.
Having already spent so much money on beer before even looking at food, I was deeply disappointed not to see any lamb on the menu – with the name, I expected to see some on the menu but nothing. The speciality at Hitsuji is rotisserie free-range chicken, but costing ¥3,000 for one chicken meant that was off the menu.
Open: Weekdays 16:00 ~ 24:00, Weekends and holidays 15:00 ~ 24:00
How to Get to Hitsuji
Hitsuji is located between JR Sakuragicho station and Hinodecho in the Keikyu Line from Yokohama to Yokosuka.