Kazenori Merry The Bottom Line
Kazenori Merry felt a Ushitora Mk 1.1 – which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your view point of the bar. The whole interior and decor hasn’t changed since opening and it seems that neither have the prices either. It’s one of the more expensive places to drink in Shimo-Kitazawa but the lack of table charge and also the inclusion of tax in the price kind of helps things there. There is a smattering of English on the drinks menu but vegetarians and those that struggle with Japanese will be out of luck at Kazenori Merry. There is free WiFi so you can update your drinking list or use the craft beer map of Japan to help find a cheap place to drink.
Kazenori Merry The Full Review
Kazenori Merry is the phoenix from the flames of craft beer bars. When Ushitora upped and left for bigger premises, they left behind a bar space in the popular Shimo-Kitazawa area that noone seemed to want to takeover. However, the previous manager of Ushitora, Nakano-san, clearly didn’t feel like moving, or perhaps liked the decor too much to see it go to waste, and opened Kazenori Merry at the beginning of January 2017.
Kazenori Merry is located less than a five minute walk from Shimo-Kitazawa station though make sure you know where you are going as the back alleys of the area can be a tad confusing. It’s located on the second floor, just down from Ushitora 2 that didn’t seem to make the move with its older sibling. There is space inside for about 25 people, with 9 seats at the long stretched counter and another 16 or so at the tables dotted around the bar. The whole place is non-smoking, but the balcony outside isn’t, so if you’re sat by the door, you may get some smoke in your face. There is also no table charge and Kazenori Merry also offers up free WiFi too.
Like the previous Ushitora incarnation, Kazenori Merry has a wide range of taps with the 16 taps split between domestic and imports. The beers come in two sizes: half UK pint (270ml – 300ml) for ¥880 to ¥1280 and US pint (470ml) for ¥1280 to ¥1480, with the imports at higher prices than the domestic. I didn’t notice any happy hour or any beer flights available either. The beers were served up as I like them with a minimal amount of head. Thankfully the prices do include tax but at these prices, it does put Kazenori Merry at the higher end of the scale when it comes to drinking in Tokyo.
The food – well it was the fourth bar in the Odakyu Line crawl and I wasn’t hungry at this point of the evening to be honest. BUT they had chips on the menu and it would have been rude not to try them. I wish I hadn’t though as the amount of dry chili / curry powder on them was ridiculous. If you have seen the cinnamon challenge that people were doing in 2010 then it kind of felt like that. A shitload of spice dumped on one chip and then eaten – I think the staff knew what they were doing as they were probably hoping we’d order more drinks!
Kazenori Merry Details
Open: Weekdays and Weekends 15:00 – 24:00 (L.O Food 23:00 Drink 23:30)
Happy Hour: None
Homepage (in Japanese): http://kazenorimerry.blogspot.com
How to Get to Kazenori Merry
The closest station to Kazenori Merry is Shimo-Kitazawa on the Odakyu Main Line and the Keio Inokashira Line. It’s about a three minute walk to the bar.