Yanaka Beer Hall : The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a cosy little spot to have some craft beer – perhaps some quiet time with friends, a date with someone special, or maybe just tired after a long day of walking around Ueno – then Yanaka Beer Hall is a good little choice, with one caveat, it’s not going to be cheap. That last issue is a sticking point, considering how cheap August Beer and the other bars used to be. When you do get to Yanaka Beer Hall, make sure you sit outside when the weather is nice, but to be honest, the whole bar is a little treasure trove. The whole place is non-smoking, has no table charge, and also has some wifi – but that could have been because one of the houses in the area had an unsecured connection.
Yanaka Beer Hall : The Full Review
I have been wanting to get to Yanaka Beer Hall for a while now – isn’t that what I always say about a particular bar – but this one was different as I had read so much about it leading up to my visit here. The Yanaka area of Tokyo – west of Ueno park – is still often seen as one of the last old outs of the Showa era gone by. You can walk around the area and see shops offering up traditionally made sembei (rice crackers) alongside old coffee shops, with some traditional style wooden buildings from the early time of that era, and Yanaka Beer Hall is in one of those buildings.
Yanaka Beer Hall is located in what is called “Ueno Sakuragi Atari” which was refurbished in 2015, and the building was renovated from what was previously an old traditional Japanese home that was constructed in 1938. While the outside appears to be the same, the idea of the area it towards the dichotomy that exists in Japan – keeping the old while keeping up with the future and enriching the lives of its modern neighbors. The space also two other two-storey buildings, which house a bakery and a bistro alongside an event space – so a little something for everyone.
Yanaka Beer Hall itself opened in March 2015, and is located around a 10 minute walk from Nippori station or Ueno station, both on the JR Yamanote line. It’s located on a backstreet behind Yanaka cemetary – a famous sightseeing spot in the area, if you’re into graveyards – so I strongly suggest making sure you have the location on Google Maps, or use the location below to help you get there.
Yanaka Beer Hall : Atmosphere & Interior
As you step into Yanaka Beer Hall, you’re transported to a period of Japan from around 80 years ago as the interior of the building appears barely to have changed. This is because the NPO “Taito Cultural and Historical Society” helped Yanaka Beer Hall to ensure the authenticity of the building, and also the architecture and decoration inside of the bar. All of the brik-a-brak that lines the walls is authentic from the time period – so the newspapers, furniture, tables is all correct from that period, along with the glass sliding doors, though the iPads you use for ordering are definitely not 1940s Japan.
Depending where you choose to go as you enter Yanaka Beer Hall, you’re left with plenty of seating options. The first floor has space for around 12 people inside, with some low tables and chairs, alongside some counter seats, while if you walk a bit further around the corner, there is a small deck outside for 6 people. The deck is slightly covered up, so it’s good even when the weather isn’t nice, and on the day we went, it filled up within 10 minutes of being there. There is also a second floor area upstairs that is decked out in traditional Japanese tatami and seating, with space for around 8 people upstairs. Yanaka Beer Hall is non-smoking, has no table charge, and also some free wifi.
Yanaka Beer Hall : Beer & Tap Information
Yanaka Beer Hall has 9 taps of craft beer, with all of them being brewed at August Beer. There are four regular in-house beers, with a few specials, and the rest being August Beers. The beers come in three different sizes, with 1/2 size (285 ml) from 700 yen, regular size (385 ml) from 1,000 yen, and then large size (568 ml) from 1,300 yen. There are also two choices for a beer flight, though you do not get to choose which beers are in them, with both flights being 1,600 yen for four 130 ml beers. The beers themselves are not going to blow anyone away and I’ll be honest, there are better beers in Tokyo than the ones at Yanaka Beer Hall but something about the aesthetics of this place make them taste better than they should. There is also an option for takeaway beer, with a small window hatch at the front of the store, though it was closed on the day we went, so I suspect it’s really only in use for event days or busy weekends.
Yanaka Beer Hall : Food Information
Here’s where things went a bit south for the day. I was too hungry to really think about ordering any food properly so plumped for the first thing I saw, which were some sausages, and let me tell you this. No matter how good you think they look, they tasted even better. They were plump and juicy and also piping hot when served so don’t do what I did and try to eat them straight away. The menus are all on the iPad at your table, with pictures to help you see what they have in store, and while there were some larger meals, such as Japanese curry and some pastas, there were also some smaller dishes, with vegetarian options also being covered. There is also someone in store who speaks English – the man there walked up to us and just used English without battering an eyelid – so if you are having trouble, then don’t worry.
Yanaka Beer Hall : Bar Information
- Open : Tuesday to Sunday 11:00 – 20:00 (L.O Food 19:00 Drink 19:30)
- Closed : Mondays
- Happy Hour : –
- Phone : 03-5834-2381
- Homepage (in Japanese) : –
- Social Media : Facebook / Instagram / Twitter