We’re often asked about the best places to drink in Kanto – there’s plenty of craft beer to go around. If you’re a Patreon, then you already have access to personalised guides for ages here, but here’s a more general guide about areas for Kanto and some standout bars that come highly recommended. It’s not something that has been taken lightly either – it’s often a subjective choice about why one bar is here and another one isn’t. But that leads to discussion so leave some comments below.
The guidelines for choosing are as follows:
- Everything must be reachable in less than 10mins from the station. Even then that is quite high.
- The standout bars are personal choices. No money has changed hands and nor have we been paid to say one bar is better than another.
- If a bar lies equidistant between two stations, then for the sake of fairness, it’s going to be included in this list here.
Without much further ado, let’s look at the places:
Reason: This combines two areas that are hard to separate – where does Kannai end and Sakuragicho begin? It’s also one of the densest areas too for drinking in, so you have plenty of choices throughout the day.
Numbers of Bars / Bottle Shops / Brewpubs: 22
1) Sakura Taps
Bottom Line: Sakura Taps is a relaxed place to have a couple of beers with friends while laughing at the counter with the other customers
Review: Sakura Taps in Sakuragicho, Yokohama
Bottom Line: I liked the atmosphere at Uchida Biyori – it’s relaxed and fun – but it’s also on the pricey side.
Review: Uchida Biyori in Hinodecho, Yokohama
3) Bay Brewing Yokohama
Bottom Line: It’s well worth going to Bay Brewing Yokohama for a couple of beers and enjoying the atmosphere
Review: Yokohama Bay Brewing Kannai in Kannai, Yokohama
Honourable Mentions: Noge West End / Baird Beer Bashamichi / El Nubichinum
Link To Guide: Patreon Guide #1 : Kannai #1
Reason: It seems Kanda is the drinking district for craft beer in Tokyo with new bars seemingly pop up every so often. Lots of variety in the tap lists and a bottle shop for you to get some beers to takeaway.
Numbers of Bars / Bottle Shops / Brewpubs: 14
1) Himalaya Table
Bottom Line: If you like curry and craft beer then Himalaya Table needs to be on your to-go-list of places.
Review: Himalaya Table in Kanda, Tokyo
2) Devilcraft Kanda
Bottom Line: DevilCraft Kanda is well-worth a visit for some Japanese craft beer and pizza.
Review: Devilcraft Kanda in Kanda, Tokyo
3) Craft Beer Tap x Tap
Bottom Line: Craft Beer Tap x Tap is good little find in the back streets of Kanda
Review: Craft Beer Tap x Tap in Kanda, Tokyo
Honourable Mentions: BeerMa Kanda / Craft Beer Market Kanda
Link To Guide: Patreon Guide #3 : Kanda
Reason: Shibuya is better known for being a shopping district for both teenagers and tourists alike, but you can’t deny it’s craft beer credentials, with it seeing a boom over the last few years. Plenty of choices but get your walking boots on.
Numbers of Bars / Bottle Shops / Brewpubs: 15
1) GoodBeer Faucets
Bottom Line: Good Beer Faucets is leading the way forward in terms of affordable craft beer in Tokyo and other bars could certainly learn a lot from it.
Review: Good Beer Faucets in Shibuya, Tokyo
2) Tachinomi Beer Boy Shibuya
Bottom Line: Tachinomi Beer Boy Shibuya tweaks the tried-and-tested idea of Craft Beer Market to create something different, and it works.
Review: Tachinomi Beer Boy Shibuya in Shibuya, Tokyo
3) The Aldgate
Bottom Line: 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.
Review: The Aldgate in Shibuya, Tokyo
Honourable Mentions: iBeer Le Sun / Far Yeast Craft Beer & Bao / Mikkeller Tokyo
Link To Guide: Patreon Guide #5 : Shibuya
Reason: Not content on letting the hipper area of Shibuya take its role as craft beer centre on the west side of Tokyo, Shinjuku has also seen an influx of craft beer bars. Just make sure you can navigate around the station
Numbers of Bars / Bottle Shops / Brewpubs: 17
1) Watering Hole
Bottom Line: With a huge selection of beers, Watering Hole has got something for everything, especially with the wide range of Japanese craft beer on tap.
Review: Watering Hole in Yoyogi, Tokyo
2) Brussels Beer Project
Bottom Line: If you like Brussels Beer Project beers then Brussels Beer Project Shinjuku will be right up your street.
Review: Brussels Beer Project Shinjuku in Shinjuku, Tokyo
3) Tap Stand Craft Beer
Bottom Line: With its perfect location near JR Shinjuku station comes with a hefty price, it’s expensive for everything: beer, food, and everything else in between but at least tax is included in the price.
Review: Tap Stand Craft Beer in Shinjuku, Tokyo
Honourable Mentions: Swan Lake Edo Shinjuku / Shinjuku Bakushu Kobo / Highbury Home of Beer
Link To Guide: Patreon Guide #7 : Shinjuku
Reason: Ebisu started out as a mini town for craft beer when BeerTengoku began, but it has seen some growth in the number of bars since then. There’s plenty of trains that pass through and should see some more growth in the future.
Numbers of Bars / Bottle Shops / Brewpubs: 10
1) Craft Beer Bar iBrew Ebisu
Bottom Line: It’s great to have some cheap craft beer in what seems to be Tokyo’s newest area for craft beer bars.
Review: Craft Beer Bar iBrew Ebisu in Ebisu, Tokyo
2) TBE Brewing
Bottom Line: If you’re in the area though, just make sure you take a calculator with you to work out the bill before you get it.
Review: TBE Brewing in Ebisu, Tokyo
3) Bakushuan Ebisu
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a date place, then Bakushuan Ebisu is really nice place to sit down and have some decent Japanese craft beer and food;
Review: Bakushuan Ebisu in Ebisu, Tokyo
Honourable Mentions: Burger Mania Ebisu / 101 Tokyo
Reason: Stretching up north towards Saitama and we have Ikebukuro, a busy commuter hub that ferries people out. However, there are a few bars here that are worth going to for a couple of beers.
Numbers of Bars / Bottle Shops / Brewpubs: 12
1) Two Fingers Craft Beer
Bottom Line: If you’re in the area, then Two Fingers Craft Beer is one of our picks in the Ikebukuro area to try some new craft beer in a warm, inviting atmosphere.
Review: Two Fingers Craft Beer in Ikebukuro, Tokyo
Bottom Line: Vivo! would be a good place to pick up some beers, if you don’t mind the prices being towards the higher end of Tokyo’s range.
Review: Vivo! in Ikebukuro, Tokyo
Bottom Line: I liked the atmosphere of Nonsuch a lot – if someone were to ask me to point out a British pub (and there are lots of them in Japan, let alone Tokyo) then Nonsuch would be quite high up on the list.
Review: Nonsuch in Ikebukuro, Tokyo
Honourable Mentions: Pump Craft Beer Bar / Darcy’s Beer & Burger
Reason: Shimbashi, for a long time in my eyes, was a weird place that seemed to have one foot in the past but trying to push itself to be a centre for offices. This has meant plenty of drinking establishments have come into the area, and craft beer has ridden their coat tails to bring it to the masses.
Numbers of Bars / Bottle Shops / Brewpubs: 17
1) Shinshu Osake Mura
Bottom Line: It’s cheap, close to the station, non-smoking, includes tax in the price, has a huge variety of beers for sale, open all-day, and has a great atmosphere.
Review: Shinshu Osake Mura in Shimbashi, Tokyo
2) Craft Beer Bar iBrew Shimbashi
Bottom Line: If you like cheap craft beer, and who doesn’t, then Craft Beer iBrew Shimbashi doesn’t stray from the successful formula that has worked so well for the other two places.
Review: Craft Beer Bar iBrew Shimbashi in Shimbashi, Tokyo
3) Craft Beer Market Toranomon
Bottom Line: Simply put, Craft Beer Market Toranomon should be on every craft beer fan’s checklist to go and check out.
Review: Craft Beer Market in Toranomon, Tokyo
Honourable Mentions: Brasserie Beer Boulevard / Dry Dock / Brewin’ Bar Monde
Reason: Sandwiched between Yokohama and Shinagawa is Kawasaki – an area better known for industries than for craft beer in the past. However, Kawasaki is trying to shed that old image and has seen lots of investment to help improve its profile. Craft beer has caught in a big way to overshadow the area around Yokohama.
Numbers of Bars / Bottle Shops / Brewpubs: 9
1) TK Brewing
Bottom Line: TK Brewing is definitely the better of the two brewpubs in Kawasaki and offers up some excellent beers at reasonable prices.
Review: TK Brewing in Kawasaki, Kanagawa
2) On The Marks Kawasaki
Bottom Line: On The Marks isn’t your usual place to drink beers but it’s the best choice in Kawasaki for some decent craft beer at the time of writing. The prices are towards the upper end of reasonable, but with tax included and no table charge, they’re bearable – just.
Review: On The Marks in Kawasaki, Kanagawa
3) Tokaido Beer Kawasaki Factory
Bottom Line: If you enjoyed the beers Tanoue-san was making at Kazekami Brewery, you’ll like the (restrained) versions he is making at Tokaido Beer Kawasaki Factory.
Review: Tokaido Beer Kawasaki Factory in Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Honourable Mentions: Platinum Fish Kawasaki / iBeer Le Sun Palm Kawasaki
Link To Guide: Patreon Guide #9 – Kawasaki
Reason: We’re looking at Kanto, so it makes sense that we include Tokyo itself, doesn’t it? Tokyo’s myriad of mazes can easily get confusing but it’s worth taking a trek around to discover some new places.
Numbers of Bars / Bottle Shops / Brewpubs: 17
1) Swan Lake Pub Edo
Bottom Line: Swan Lake Pub Edo is a great place to try some of the Swan Lake Beer range; however, it would get very pricey if you want to try some of the guest beers from other breweries.
Review: Swan Lake Pub Edo in Kyobashi, Tokyo
2) Liquors Hasegawa Yaesu
Bottom Line: A good little place to pick up some craft beers in bottles to take away or walk and drink.
Review: Liquors Hasegawa in Yaesu, Tokyo.
3) Craft Beer Bar iBrew
Bottom Line: If you can get to Craft Beer Bar iBrew and manage to get a seat, then you will have the perfect opportunity to sample some decent Japanese craft beers at a much reasonable price.
Review: Craft Beer Bar iBrew in Yurakucho/Ginza, Tokyo
Honourable Mentions: Ise Kadoya Taproom / Craft Rock Brewpub / Craft Beer Market Otemachi