Editor’s Note: Kura Kura Ji-Beer has closed. This review is being kept up for posterity’s sake.
Kura Kura Ji-Beer House One Paragraph Review
Kura Kura Ji-Beer House does its job well but with other bars in the area offering a wider variety of Japanese craft beers at cheaper prices for larger sizes, it has got its work cut out. The range of craft beers is comparatively safe and are well looked after though, and with it being busy every night, they must be doing something right. There isn’t a table charge; however, the lack of inclusion of tax in the prices will make the evening more expensive than you think it is. Thankfully the whole bar is non-smoking.
I’ve tried to get to Kura Kura Ji-Beer House for a long time now but it’s always been full up whenever I’ve tried to get there. With Devilcraft over the road also being full up most nights, it can be difficult trying to find a craft beer place in Kanda to sit and drink. Luckily, turning up at 5pm for opening meant I got a seat at the counter, and as the evening progressed, Kura Kura Beer House quickly filled up with groups of office workers on the way back home to Kanda station.
Kura Kura Ji-Beer House is located about two minutes from JR Kanda station’s south exit, though this isn’t its original place. The bar was originally located in Shim0-Kitazawa for a decade until though they moved to the current location. Some of the original customers from that place still come to the current location, so they must be doing something right here.
The bar is quite narrow but there is still space for five people at the counter and there are about six table dotted against the window side of Kura Kura Ji-Beer House. The whole bar is non-smoking so there is no risk of coming home smelling of smoke though it can be a bit hard to see as the lights got turned down low as the evening moved on. Turning up at 5pm meant a seat at the counter though by 6pm, the tables were three-quarter full up with office workers too. The conversation flowed between the owner and customers, with discussions about the craft beer scene in Yokohama and music, with an eclectic mix of 60’s British pop in the background. The atmosphere at Kura Kura Ji-Beer House reminded me of a small restaurant than a bar. Perhaps a good thing?
Kura Kura Ji-Beer House has twelve taps on daily, though one of them is dedicated to Hoegaarden and the other eleven to Japanese craft beer. Beers come in two sizes, outside of the happy hour special, either a glass (280ml) from ¥750 to ¥850 or a large (400ml) from ¥1125 to ¥1250, which unfortunately do not include tax in those prices and are on the expensive side of prices for beers in Tokyo. There is a happy hour special from 17:00 to 18:30 where you get two small glasses of beer (150ml) and a small otsumami, or snack, for ¥1000 but the beers are chosen for you by the owner. The beer list changes whenever a keg runs out so check out their Facebook page for up-to-date listings.
The food at Kura Kura Ji-Beer House… who are we trying to kid. We were there for the chips and the plethora of sauces on offer at the bar. There is some Belgian theme going on at the bar and the chips, or French Fries, come with a choice of twelve dips. I have trouble deciding a beer, so imagine the problems I had trying to choose a beer AND sauce with my chips. There are also some sausages to try though the speciality is the raw chicken and the slightly grilled chicken with both of them coming with some kind of wasabi-like dip. Due to health scares in the 80s in the UK, I’m adverse to eating raw chicken but the customers around me seemed to wolf it down with clammer.
Kura Kura Ji-Beer House Details
Open: Monday to Friday 17:00 to 23:30 Saturday / National Holidays 16:00 to 23:30
Homepage (in Japanese): http://j-beer.com/
Social Network: Facebook
How to Get to Kura Kura Ji-Beer House
The closest station to Kura Kura Ji-Beer House is JR Kanda on the Yamanote line though it can be reached from Shin-Nihombashi on the Chuo Line. Take the south exit from JR Kanda and walk south and it’s about a three minute walk. From JR Shin-Nihombashi, take exit number three, turn right and turn right at the first set of traffic lights.