The Aldgate is a British themed pub, don’t groan at the back there!, located in Shibuya, about ten minutes from JR Shibuya station. You could probably get there quicker if the gaggles of snickering schoolgirls and the bustling throngs of fashionistas moved out of the way. Can’t they see I need a pint? The Aldgate is smack dab halfway up that street next to Starbucks.
The only indication that The Aldgate exists from the outside is a small sign above a door. BeerTengoku had to ask at the local convini where the bar was, even though we had Google Maps on the go as well. When you do get there, The Aldgate is on the third floor, accessible by lift. The first thing you notice as you leave the lift is how British it is. Wood panels. Bar stools. Wooden floors. A serious amount of trees were cut down to make this bar. We were greeted at the door by the owner and were told to sit anywhere in the wooden interior. Crikey, has no-one visited a British pub of recent? There is nowhere near this amount of wood over there.
The Aldgate prides itself on having the largest selecting of craft beers in Tokyo. That has been well surpassed since the opening of Good Beer Faucets, but don’t let that put you off. The Aldgate had a good selection of beers on the day BeerTengoku went. With the main selection of Japanese beers encompassing a variety of styles, it was always going to be a difficult selection, compounded with them having cider on tap.
Prices. The be-all and end-all of discussions really. Well, prices varied from ¥900 a pint, UK size I hasten to add, to about ¥1,100 for a UK pint with tax included in the price. Not bad as at least you know how much you are paying immediately rather than waiting until the end of the evening. BeerTengoku has had many hazy ends to an evening where trying to calculate how much we should pay has led to giving up. There wasn’t any table charge included in the price either.
The Aldgate has a wide selection of British pub food; pies, chips, sandwiches, and so on but it was hard to judge the price. There are blackboards dotted around the bar with prices written in pounds and pence. Are these recent prices converted to make the bar seem more British or just random decorations to emphasize you’re in a British pub?
It all sounds good so far; however, we noticed a distinct lack of atmosphere. If this were a British pub, you would need the resident grumbling old-man standing at the bar, reminiscing about his youth to all that would listen. Fag stand tables and cushions were missing as were the youth of the day trying to get served although their pubic-hair like moustaches give them away. Perhaps it was the time we went but The Aldgate really lacked any kind of atmosphere. No warmth, no comfort. The bar staff were friendly and helpful in suggesting beers and giving us samples but chit-chat was kept to a bare minimum.
The Aldgate One Pararaph Review
If you’re even in Shibuya and looking for a place to drink, you are spoilt for choice; however, The Aldgate is best suited for those looking to watch sporting events with a couple of craft beers. The lack of atmosphere put us off and left us feeling cold and a bit unwelcome.
The Aldgate Details
Hours: Monday to Friday 18:00 to 26:00,
Weekends and national holidays 17:00 to 26:00.
Website (in English): Homepage beer list.
How to Get to The Aldgate
The best station to go from is JR Shibuya. It’s about five minutes on foot.