Mugi no Oto in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Mugi no Oto Front ・麦の音フロント

Mugi no Oto The Bottom Line

Mugi no Oto is a place I really wanted to like – went in with an open mind, looking forward to some craft beer and relaxing music in the background. I definitely had some beers but the music and prices of beers left me a bit cold, despite the beers being well served. The prices don’t include tax. Perhaps it was my fault for not checking if there is a music schedule but it was neither relaxing nor quiet. The smoking rules are also peculiar, with one end of the bar allowing for smokers, while the opposite end didn’t – very unusual setup. Mugi no Oto also operates a table charge system, so go before 10pm if you don’t want to pay, but if you end up there after 10pm, then it’s ¥500 per person. What was interesting about Mugi no Oto is that you do get two bars for the price of one, with Brian’s Bar offering up spirits at the back. There is free Wifi at the bar with the details posted on the menu, and there is also some English as well. In terms of food, the menus are heavily based around meat.

Mugi no Oto Inside・麦の音店内

Mugi no Oto The Full Review

Let’s be honest, if you’ve heard of Kabukicho, then the first thing that comes to mind isn’t craft beer, it’s more than likely the sleazier aspects of Japanese society you’ve thought of. Or perhaps even Yakuza – the famed video game that is set in Kamurocho but we all know in reality is a knock-off of Kabukicho. Clearly the owners of Mugi no Oto, Smappa!Group which run a series of host clubs in the area, though that the area could do with some craft beer, and in March 2019, Mugi no Oto was opened up.

Mugi no Oto is located about 10 minutes walk from Shinjuku or Seibu-Shinjuku station – both of them are about the same distance – but it’s easy to miss the entrance to the bar as only a mere sign greets you, and it’s begging you to know that you can really go in and not be scammed as some people have found to have happened to them in the area. It’s kind of funny how they have to advertise the fact that you can trust them, but hey, it’s Kabukicho. Inside, there is space for about 70 people, with 15 seats at the counter, and then the rest at various low and high tables around the bar. If you going to Mugi no Oto, then make sure you go and finish your evening before 10pm to avoid the table charge, else if you end up staying past 10pm, then you have to pay the dreaded table charge of ¥500 per person. Moreover, the smoking rules in the bar are weird – you can smoke at one end of the bar, closest to Brian’s Bar, but the opposite end of the bar, the music end, is non-smoking.

As an aside, let’s take the opportunity to talk about the atmosphere. Most craft beer bars in Japan have some kind of music playing in the background, with the level just enough to hear it so you can zone out on a conversation, but also not so loud to drown out a conversation if you want to hear it. Mugi no Oto has some live music on various days of the week, but it’s worth checking out the schedule before you go to make sure there is music on that you like.

There are six taps of craft beer on at Mugi no Oto, with most, if not all, dedicated to Japanese craft beer. The beer lists are posted up on their social media feeds on a daily basis, with changes of kegs also posted up too. The beers come in two sizes: half US pint (235ml) from ¥820, and US pint from ¥1,220. Those prices don’t include tax either – so make sure you come with someone who has lots of money or you don’t plan on getting drunk as it could be very expensive. There is a beer flight option, that gets you 3 x 120ml for ¥1,000 if you want to try a few different things. Mugi no Oto also has some cans and bottles for sale, but expect a hefty mark up. While Mugi no Oto does have a happy hour for cocktails and other spirits-based drinks, there is no happy hour for craft beers. Let’s not talk about the imported cans and bottle prices either shall we?

Mugi no Oto prides itself on its sausages with them being made specially for them; however, at two half pints in costing me ¥2,000, I was not in any mood for any sausages nor the other meat-based options on there.

Mugi no Oto Details

Open: Sunday / Monday 17:00 – 23:00 (L.O Food 22:00 Drink 22:30) Tuesday to Saturday 18:00 to 05:00 (L.O Food 04:00 Drink 04:30)

Happy Hour: None

Phone: 03-6273-9541

Homepage (in Japanese): https://mugioto.com/

Social Media: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

How to Get to Mugi no Oto

The closest stations to Mugi no Oto are Shinjuku Station and Seibu-Station.

Directions From Shinjuku Station
Directions from Seibu-Shinjuku Station
About the Author

Rob

Been drinking beer since longer than I can remember. You can find me in a bar, on the slopes, or doing DIY. I enjoy porters, imperial porters, golden ales, and amber / viennas.

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