A Night Out at These Tokyo Watering Holes for Around 1,000 Yen

Zara Sekhavati

Tokyo is seen as one of those super expensive cities for accommodation, food and drink. For me, and many others, Japan isn’t as pricey as it’s made out to be. Compared to the rest of Asia, yes you could definitely say you pay a fair bit; but compared with other major cities across the globe such as London and New York, Tokyo isn’t as expensive as you might think.

So you’ve done your holiday research, found your reasonable accommodation and got a list of affordable restaurants. And now here is your list of cheap places to drink in Tokyo without paying tourist prices and steep cover charges.

(Psst. Izakaya is the key word for you budget travelers in Tokyo. They are a sort of gastropub that serves a range of small dishes at relatively low costs. Remember to fill up on food as well as your drink, my budget traveler friends.)

Tokyo Cheapo has the best deal on Ninja Mobile WiFi, Japan's leading Pocket WiFi device rental service for international travelers, with more than 30% off click here for details
 Suggested Activity 

1. Izakaya Medaka – Shinjuku

Address1 Chome-3-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0021
Closest StationShinjuku Station, East-Sanchome-Higashi
Hours5pm-1am Mon-Thurs, Sun | 5pm-5am Fri and Sat

This is as cheap as it gets for drinks. Beers go as cheap as 110 yen—yes, you read that right—110 yen! Located in Shinjuku’s crazy and energetic Kabukicho and right around the corner from the famous Robot Restaurant, you really get a feel of a typical Friday night in Tokyo here. Squished in with heaps of other people, this bar is quite good for a social mingling. Don’t expect too much from the food though, it’s the inexpensive drinks that people go here for.

Be sure to read this guide to Japanese drinks, so you know what to order.

Edamame and Shochu - Cheap Places to Drink in Tokyo
Photo by Lloyd Morgan used under CC

2. ToriKizoku – Shibuya

AddressThird Tanaka Building 3F, 31-3 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo
Closest StationJR Shibuya Station
Link https://tokyocheapo.com/place/torikizoku-shibuya/

ToriKizoku is a keen favorite in Tokyo boasting good-quality as well as cheap food and drink. Everything costs just 280 yen. Their chicken dishes are well loved along with a very special yakitori. There is no need to worry if you don’t speak Japanese here, you order your food and drinks by using a touchscreen. Very Japanese indeed.

3. Fujiya Honten – Shibuya

AddressB1 F, 2-3 Sakuragaokacho, Shubuya-ku, Tokyo
Closest StationShibuya Station, South Exit
HoursMon-Fri 5pm-11pm | Sat 5pm-10pm

This little watering hole is one of those unique finds in Tokyo. Boasting cheap—and I mean very cheap—bottles of wine for just a few hundred yen, you can’t go wrong with this spot. It’s a cheap and classy bar, just the way we like it. It’s essentially a hip tapas bar, and that for Tokyo is pretty sweet. Expect queues, but there is a quick turnover of customers so you’ll be boozing before long.

4. JBS – Shibuya

Address1-17-10 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo, Japan
Closest StationJR Shibuya Station, Hachiko Exit
HoursOpen everyday 2pm-11pm

This trendy joint is in the midst of all the liveliness of Shibuya. Packed with over 10,000 vinyls, the owner has made his passion for music into his workplace. He plays his favorite jazz music, while serving reasonably priced drinks. With wooden décor, vintage radios and vinyl players on display, this place oozes total coolness.

How to Hike Up and Down The Peak read more
Hong Kong Cheapo

JBS boasts the perfect amount of hip without being cliché and is a memorable spot. It’s so cool it doesn’t even have a website. One of those hard to find local places.

Essential reading before a night out in Tokyo.

New Video: Worst Times to Visit Tokyo

There are certain times in the year that can make your visit to Tokyo less than idea.

JBS Bar - Cheap Places to Drink in Tokyo
Photo by Zara Sekhavati

5. Kinno Kura – Ikebukuro

AddressMasumoto Building B1, B2, 1-23-6, Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 171-0021
Closest StationJR Ikebukuro Station, West Exit
HoursMon – Sat 4pm – 5am | Sun 4pm – 5am

This izakaya is a franchise which means one thing—easy-to-locate cheap drinks. The clue is to look for the large red ‘¥270’ sign. Everything unfortunately isn’t that cheap, but order correctly and you’ll definitely be saving a few bob. There is a more expensive all you can drink/eat (nomihodai/tabehodai) in two hours for 3,280 yen. And coupons are available on their website.

Izakaya -- Cheap Places to Drink in Tokyo
Photo by Yuya Tamai used under CC

These little drinking places will be at the top of your to-do list in the Japanese capital. Tokyo is known to host late night workers who enjoy a good drink come the weekend. Expect to see business workers packed into these joints—but that’s all part of the fun, mixing with the locals and seeing how they do their thing. And go to the areas that are recommended, with Shinjuku and Shibuya being the places to be on a Friday and Saturday night in Tokyo. Enjoy my friend, you deserve it after all of that sightseeing.

For more ideas on where to drink in Tokyo, check out our video on yokocho—back alleys crammed with bars and eateries,  laid-back vibes and fun crowds.

Written by:
Filed under: Drinking, Eating & Drinking
Tags: 1000 Yen, Cheap, Drink, Drinks, Izakaya, Japan, Nightlife, Nomihodai, Social, Tokyo
Tokyo Cheapo small logo
Name: Places mentioned in this article:
Location(s): Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Shinjuku,
Places Mentioned

Watch this next
New Video: Exploring Toyosu—Tokyo's Revitalized Fish Market

Our video guide to the tuna auctions at the shiny new Toyosu Fish Market

Get our Tokyo Cheapo Hacks direct to your inbox

Questions or comments about this article? Start a thread on our community forum