Sakura Taps, or to give it its full name, Sakura Taps Craft Beer & Coffee, is a small bar located about five-minutes south of JR Sakuragicho station in the Noge district that lies somewhere between Sakuragicho and Hinodecho station on the Keikyu line. This was the second visit that I’ve made to Sakura Taps, with the first being a drunken stumble across it with some friends though the owner remembered me. Without much recollection of that night though, I can’t be sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing?
Sakura Taps, let’s leave the long names aside now, opened in March 2015 on the outskirts of what is becoming a burgeoning craft beer area of Yokohama. Kannai, home to DeNA Baystars, is fast becoming THE area outside of Tokyo for craft beer fans to engage in drinking and bar crawls with around fifteen bars within walking distance as of October 2015, and that number is set to rise. Sakura Taps is located about five minutes away from another favourite of BeerTengoku’s El Nubichinom though Sakura Taps is bigger than there.
The first thing you have to decide when you walk into Sakura Taps is whether you want to stand up at the bar, or sit down at one of the tables around the outside. Why should that matter? Well the price of your beer is determined by this. If you stand up, you get a discount on your beers of either ¥50 off of your small beer (150ml), ¥100 off of your medium-sized beer (250ml), or ¥200 off of your large-sized beer (450ml). A neat little idea that could be dangerous if you want to work your way through the taps. At the time of writing, there were seven beers on tap as the owner wanted to slowly introduce the taps to ensure all the beer remains as fresh as possible. Tax is included in all the prices so there are no sudden surprises at the end of the night. My advice, stand up and chat away.
The atmosphere at Sakura Taps was incredibly chilled out with a mix of clientele that before you knew it, were talking about the state of the craft beer market in Japan through different eyes. The owner also jumped in and got involved, and the conversation lurched between Japanese, then to English, and back into Japanese again. Beers flowed and there were impeccably poured; none of the two centimetre head that seems to becoming a trend in craft beer bars. I paid for beer, so I want beer. None of this airy, frothy stuff if you please.
Food is also served at Sakura Taps but it seemed to be more finger food and snacking food rather than actual meals. When you’re running a bar and cooking food, it’s best to keep one of them as simple as possible. Maybe next time I’ll order some but until then, it was beer all the way for me. More importantly, the bar is non-smoking to keep the flavours of the beer and food intact rather than tainted by smoke. A small smoking area is available outside for those who want to.
Sakura Taps One Paragraph Review
Sakura Taps is a relaxed place to have a couple of beers with friends while laughing at the counter with the other customers. Else, if you’re looking for somewhere for a nice time, then take a seat at one of the tables but be prepared to pay more.
Sakura Taps Details
Open: Weekdays 17:00 ~ 23:00 Saturday & Day Before Holiday 15:00 – 23:30 Sunday & National Holidays 15:00 – 21:30
How to Get to Sakura Taps
The closest station to Sakura Taps is JR Sakuragicho which is one stop on the after Yokohama on either the JR Yokohama line or the JR Keihin Tohoku line. You can also use the Yokohama City Subway and get off at Sakuragicho station too. Use the south exit and it takes about five minutes to get there.