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Aug 9, 2007 02:33 PM

Tokyo/Kyoto Beer Gardens?

Any recommendations for beer gardens in Tokyo and or Kyoto at the end of August?

Would love any specifics re. if it's fixed price, food quality, etc.. In my experience, food quality is often less the point of the beer garden, but it would be great to know which are better than others.

Tokyo: Staying near Shinbashi

Kyoto: Staying in Central Kyoto.

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  1. I would google this topic since there are so many of them. Should be a bunch in the Tokyo Station / Shimbashi area. if you are a tourist in Japan, I recommend one of the classic ones on top of a department store. Food is usually sausage / fried chicken / french fry thing, but there are also all you can eat and drink deals with Genghis Kahn grilled lamb. Price is usually around 3000 YEN. I used to go to Yamashita Park in Yokohama where they converted the Hikawa-Maru ship, permanently docked there, into a beer garden. Those were the days.

    1. If you like just plain normal yellow beer, it would be a good idea to ask at the front desks of the hotels you are staying in. But if you like craft beer, check out some less conveniently located places. Near Shinbashi, go to TY Harbor Brewery on the Yuri Kamome Line which starts at Shinbashi. Go two stops to Tennozu Isle and you are a few minutes away. See their Web site in English
      For Kyoto, sake brewer Kizakura has a small brewery on their grounds, and an adjacent beer garden. It's the Kizakura Kappa Country complex, near Fushimi Momoyama station. Phone 075-611-9919 in Japanese.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Tripeler

        They do look similar after a few pints of TY Harbor's Pale Ale, but Tennozu Isle is actually the first stop on the airport monorail from Hamamatsucho. It's worth the trip though for the food and beer.

        I think there is also an okay beer garden a couple of Yurikamome stops away from Shimbashi (Takeshiba?), right on the waterfront by the boat pier.

        1. re: Robb S

          Ty Harbour sounds like it might be worth the trip for the craft beer. And I'll see what I can find out about the places near Shimbashi. Taking my boyfriend to Japan for the first time and want to find a good nomihodai beer garden in Tokyo, but that also has decent food.

          Thanks all for the recs. I was surprised there wasn't much to be found on this topic in the Chowhound Japan archives.

          1. re: takajin

            This isnt super close to Shimbashi, but i just went to a beer gardens at Meiji Kinenkan. It:s traditionally a wedding hall, but in the summer, they have a very popular beer garden. The wait can be awfully long (i believe reservations are 5000Y, we waited just under 2 hours instead). They have really nice grass, and a traditional Kabuki dance where they get people to participate. You can even take pictures with the girls in their Yakuta:s afterwards.

            The food was ok - my favorite dish was either the Korean smoked trout, or the chicken wing gyoza. Dont bother with the pizza or anything else like that. Beer's were reasonably priced (i think my Asahi Dark was 600Y?).

            YOu should be able to take the Ginza line or the Yamanote line to Shibuya, and transfer to a train to take you to Shinanomachi. Probably 20-25 minutes total. THere's another beer garden across the street at the Meiji Jingu OUter gardens, but it is pure drinking - no cultural element.

            1. re: yen

              Thanks. I saw that place online and it looked interesting. I was confused if reservations were necessary or not from the online info and it sounds like they're not.

              1. re: takajin

                They arent, but it:s quite popular, so expect to wait. It:s open from 4:30 pm. When we arrived at 5:15, there was already a 2 hour wait. Now, to be fair, it was the last day of a Yakuta competition and any girls in a Yakuta got a free drink. It was also Obon, so people were really looking for something to do.

                On the plus side, you get to wait in an airconditioned ball room where there are tables, chairs and couches. Not a bad way to wait at all. We just played cards ;)

        2. re: Tripeler

          CORRECTION: The Yurikamome Line from Shinbashi does NOT go to Tennozu Isle station. Instead, go one stop south to Hamamatsucho and take the Tokyo Monorail and go one stop to Tennozu Isle station.

        3. We recently discovered what I consider to be Tokyo's best beer garden, and probably one of the city's best-kept secrets. It's at the Tokyo Sanuki Club ( in the back streets of Mita, a short walk from Azabu-Juban station. (Just look for a tall building that could pass for the North Korean embassy.) I've been to Meiji-Kinenkan and a few of the rooftop places and this is by far and away the best. You can do all-you-can-drink or a la carte, and prices are very reasonable. Definitely worth checking out whether you're a local or a visitor.

          2 Replies
          1. re: tama

            I'll add that to the list as well. The website doesn't give much detail about the beer garden (other than when it closes for the season). Do you remember how much for all you can drink per person? or roughly how much per person for moderate amounts of food and drink (moderate meaning 2-3 drinks per person and a few food items) ?


            1. re: takajin

              I think it's 2,500 per person for all-you-can-drink for two hours (if you have six people or more you can get all-you-can-drink plus some food for around 5,000). The four of us got there kind of late and just ordered a la carte - for three pitchers of beer (2,500 each) and lots of food, we only paid 2,500 per person. We're pretty sure they forgot to charge us for one pitcher, because that seemed too cheap! The building is owned by a prefectural government so maybe that's why they can keep prices low. If you plan to go, you might want to make a reservation just to make sure you get a table - it was only about half full when we went, but you never know.

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