Japan is known for having exceptionally hot summers. What better way to relax then to drink outside in the sun? One problem though – Japan isn’t known for its greenery in cities. However, there are some places where you can sit outside and have some beers with friends. And you know what? BeerTengoku has got you covered. These places below offer up some of Tokyo’s best craft beer bars to drink outside at. Like the other guides, there are some constraints:
- The outside drinking area has to be permanent. You want to get a tan from the cold? It’s open in winter as well;
- Cost – we’re not concerned with cost in this article. If you want cheap beers than check out our happy hour guide or our cheap beer guide;
- Smoking / No smoking – we’ll let you know;
- Individual bars and not chains are being evaluated here, so there may be more than one bar from a chain if they offer outside drinking;
- Inside the Yamanote line – we’re going to do a best outside of the Yamanote next month; and
- The list is not in any order of ranking from 1 – 10.
Without much further ado, then let’s go:
Why we chose it: In terms of outdoor space, it’s one of the largest in Kanto, let alone Tokyo. Huge seated area on a patio with a coffee truck and space heaters too for the colder months of the year. While the beers at Anchor Point may not be the best, they are improving rapidly. There is some segregated smoking area on the terrace though I didn’t notice any smoke when I was there last time. The only thing to watch out for is the food prices. Eat before you go. Review: Anchor Point
Why we chose it: Another place with a large outdoor drinking area, but this time IR Second House also offers up a decent range of craft beer too. In the summer months, there are often BBQs going on. In the winter, there are large outdoor heaters and covered seating areas too. The main problem is that smoking is allowed out on terrace so pick a part that is uncovered to allow the smoke to move away. There isn’t a table charge though. Review: IR Second House
Why we chose it: If you haven’t been to a Craft Beer Market, then this is one of the better ones in our opinion. The large outside drinking area can get quite raucous in the summer months, with groups of business people drinking. In the colder months, there are blankets and space heaters going. The whole area is also covered so come rain or shine, you can drink outside. The whole place is non-smoking so an added bonus there. Annoyingly though, there is a table charge. Review: Craft Beer Market Otemachi
4) Wiz Craft Beer & Food – Awajicho
Why we chose it: Another bar with a large drinking area outside – and also with reasonable prices too. The outside drinking area is covered up with umbrellas, so it’s slightly exposed to the elements. However, there are space heaters and blankets too, if you ask. Wiz Craft Beer & Food also has a decent range of beers on tap and their price drop in January made it a viable place for some cheap drinking too. For those smokers, there is a small booth located near the toilets, but the outside drinking area is completely no smoking. Review: Wiz Craft Beer and Food
Why we chose it: Like the entry above for Craft Beer Market Otemachi – if you haven’t been to a branch of Craft Beer Market, then Jimbocho Terrace is a great choice. The drinking area is smaller than the Otemachi branch, but just as lively in the warmer month. Likewise, there are space heaters and blankets for those that feel the cold during the cooler months of the year. With 25+ taps of craft beer on at some of Tokyo’s cheapest prices, the only downside really is the table charge system you have to pay. The whole bar is also no smoking too. Review: Craft Beer Market Jimbocho Terrace
Why we chose it: With three branches, you’re always spoilt for choice in terms of beers and pizzas. However, the outside drinking area at the front is great in the warmer months. The doors open up, the breeze comes in, and you’re left with a great environment for drinking. The whole place is no smoking too and also forgoes table charge too. Devilcraft Hamamatsucho also offers up some happy hour prices too if you can get there for opening, bringing the price of beers down just a little bit more. Review: DevilCraft Hamamatsucho
Why we chose it: The outside drinking area is incredibly comfy. Seriously. Pull up early enough and you can get one of the comfy sofas that always go first at YYG Brewery. The beers have begun to show signs of improvement too – which could mean for a rewrite of our article too. The outside area also has the option of being covered up, so you can watch people walk by in the rain as you stay dry or warm in the winter months. There is no table charge but the downside is that smoking is allowed outside. Review: YYG Brewery and Beer Kitchen
Why we chose it: One of the most chilled out places we’ve been to, Cafe & Craft Beer Dining SOUL BIRD to give it its full name, also has a pleasent outside deck for drinking. The outside area isn’t large enough for big groups of people but it is a welcome addition in the eastern parts of Tokyo. The beers are also reasonably priced too at Soul Bird and the deck outside is also non-smoking too. The main downside to Soul Bird is that the outside is not covered up and not in use when the weather is rainy. Review: Cafe & Craft Beer Dining SOUL BIRD
Why we chose it: Tokyo’s oldest craft beer brewery, and also one of the largest brewpubs in Japan, TY Harbor offers up some great views of the canals that surround it in the Shinagawa area. With lots of outdoor space, you’re bound to find somewhere to sit at TY Harbor. The in-house beer, while not at the cheapest prices in Tokyo, are good for the price. Moreover, TY Harbor is open throughout the day as is the outside area. The whole place is non-smoking and has some covered areas for those wanting to drink and watch the rain. Review: TY Harbor
Why we chose it: A slighlty strange choice here considering the Hitachino Nest range of beer has been surpassed by other breweries, both in terms of quality and cost. Hitachino Nest Brewing Lab is nestled in some old arches, about 5 minutes from Akihabara station, but offers up something cosy in the winter, and chilled in the summer. While the outside drinking area isn’t the largest, it is covered, so no chance of a sun-tan or getting rained on either. The whole place is no smoking and there is no table charge either. Review: Hitachino Nest Brewing Lab
These places didn’t quite make our top 10 of places to drink outside – but doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go.
1) Baird Beer – Takadanobaba
Why we chose it: We like Baird Beer and we like the bars. Takadanobaba is the only “official” Baird Bar in Tokyo that offers up some drinking space outside though it is enclosed by buildings around it.
Review: Baird Takadanobaba Taproom
2) Pitman’s – Kiyosumi
Why we chose it: Drinking alongside the River Sumida? What’s not to love? Just a shame that it appears to be a temporary area.
3) Dragonfly Beer Hall – Kiyosumi
Why we chose it: Techincally not an outside drinking area – more of an area open to the elements on one side. Still, great atmosphere and decent beer on tap.
Review: Dragonfly Beer Hall
4) Yona Yona Beer Works – Kanda
Why we chose it: If you like to people watch as people go past, then here’s your place. The outside area is small and open to the elements though.
Review: Yona Yona Beer Works Kanda
5) Vector Beer – Shinjuku
Why we chose it: Covered in winter, open in summer. What’s not to like? The major problem is how smokey this place gets.
Review: Vector Beer