We’re in the thick of Tokyo beer garden season, and summer wouldn’t be complete without a tipple to the tune of late cicadas and a trickle of sweat. Luckily, there are dozens of choices to fulfill your late night drinking habits. Some require an all-you-can-drink buy-in, which as we’ve mentioned before, isn’t always the best deal. There are also many that offer à la carte menus, BBQ and are even open until autumn (which, let’s face it, is the best outdoor drinking season.)
Best beer gardens with a view
Keio Asahi Sky Beer Garden, West Shinjuku
Lord your pint over the workers of Shinjuku while lounging on the rooftop of Keio Department Store. The garden has a renewed menu this summer, so enjoy your sparkling surroundings with a choice of over 30 types of drinks — of course, this includes Asahi Super Dry.
Everything is self-serve, so thankfully you don’t have to wait around for your beer (a shortcoming of many beer gardens). If you go early between 17:00 and 19:00 (last entry 18:00), you can get unlimited drinks for 60 minutes (incl. snacks) for ¥2,500. There is also a tortilla set with all-you-can-drink for ¥4,200 and many more options.
Aren’t interested in set meals? Opt for their one coin (¥500) à la carte menu, which includes noodles and edamame.
When: June to September
Opening hours: 17:00-22:00
Where: Keio Department Store Rooftop, 1 chōme−1−4 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo
Other info: Official site
Keio Asahi Sky Beer Garden
Beer Mount, Mount Takao
Beer Mount is definitely the highest beer garden in Tokyo at 500m up Mount Takao. From your terrace, garden, or hall seat, you can enjoy the views from Takao day or night.
There are four main types of Japanese beers with occasional festivals bringing added surprises. Apart from beer, you can also choose highball, wine, shochu, and cocktails. All are part of an unlimited drink plan. But this garden isn’t just for drinking (what!?); the all-you-can-eat buffet includes an array of Japanese, Western, and Chinese dishes. This year there is also an option to add a grill-at-your-table BBQ option for ¥2,000 per person (meat included). Prices start at ¥4,200 for a 2-hour free-for-all.
Takao Beer Mount
Eki Beer, Asakusa
In Asakusa, you can sip your brew (and get a crick in your neck) while gazing up at Tokyo Skytree. This beer garden, right on the Sumida River, sits on the rooftop of the Ekimise building at Asakusa Station. With seating for 170, they are open for dinner on weekdays and both lunch and dinner on weekends. There is a two-hour all-you-can-drink, plus barbeque set, for ¥4,000, with a few other plans available too. A la carte beers start at ¥700 a glass.
Best Value Flights To Tokyo
Best beer gardens for a date
Garden Islands, Shiba Park
Woo your date with a romantic backdrop of Tokyo Tower at Tokyo Prince Hotel’s very own beer garden. While the restaurant is open year round (when reserved from Oct. to Mar.), its indoor and outdoor seating fills with thirsty punters and BBQ enthusiasts in the summer. They also offer various seasonal food plans at this time starting from ¥3,500 for a BBQ lunch and ¥2,500 for unlimited drinks (all party guests must order). Individual beers start at ¥1,200, so it’s worth getting the plan.
When: July to September (restaurant open year round)
Opening hours: Weekdays 17:30-21:30; Saturdays and holidays 12:00 -15:00 and 17:30-21:30
Where: Tokyo Prince Hotel, 3 chōme-3 Shiba Park, Minato City, Tokyo
Other info: Official site
For a flashy, more intimate beer garden, take yourself to the 19th-century building Meiji Kinenkan (a popular wedding venue) and spend the evening at Sekirei. Only originally open in the summer months, this open-air restaurant gets pretty busy, so reservations are advised (this does cost around ¥1,000 for a terrace seat). There is also a beer hall inside, which is considerably cheaper, starting at ¥3,300 for an all-you-can-drink plan.
This is not far from Forest Beer Garden, which is also on this list.
Beer Terrace Sekirei
Best beer gardens for a large group
Forest Beer Garden, Shinjuku
This almost 1000-person capacity beer garden is held in the Meiji Shrine Outer Grounds. Running daily from late April to late September, the garden is open weekday evenings, and afternoons and evenings on weekends. An all-you-can-eat-and-drink option is offered for ¥4,800 and lasts two hours. This is a great pick for the sheer size and lovely location.
When: April to September
Opening hours: Weekdays 16:30-22:00; weekends 12:00-22:00
Other opening info: High season between July 24 and August 31: Weekdays 14:00-22:30 and weekends 12:00-22:30
Where: Meiji Jingu Gaien Nikoniko Park, 14-13 Kasumigaokamachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo, 160-0013
More info: Official site
Forest Beer Garden
Sky Beer Terrace, Ikebukuro
Held on Seibu Ikebukuro Main Store’s 9F rooftop, this Tokyo beer garden is right next to the train station and seats 500. Their two-hour BBQ + nomihodai (all-you-can-drink) set is ¥4,900. Other set combinations including hot pot and an à la carte menu are also available.
Ikebukuro Seibu Roof Garden
Best beer gardens for a local experience
Citabria Baypark, Toyosu
While this waterside venue may be a little out of the main city center, you are rewarded for your efforts with a beautiful and alternative view of Tokyo. Citabria Baypark has only outdoor seating — come rain or shine — with rows of benches that sit under umbrellas. It is also one of the locations for the Belgian Beer Festival, so it is set up nicely for a boozy evening out. A Heartland draft beer will cost you ¥600 and a small pitcher ¥2,400. They also do a mean mojito. Their oven-baked pizza and fish and chips aren’t too shabby either, and they have recently started offering a BBQ plan.
When: Year round
Opening hours: Hours change depending on the season and events; summer weekdays 16:00-22:00, weekends 11:00-22:00
Where: 6 chōme-4-26 Toyosu, Koto City, Tokyo
Other info: Official site
Petit Garden, Shimokitazawa
Not all beer gardens are built for hundreds. This quaint, unpretentious spot is a great neighborhood haunt for beer lovers and outside drinkers alike. Petit Garden is not big (slightly obvious from its name), but what it lacks in size it makes up for in character and greenery. It has its own appointed gardener, and you can rent out the space for your very own BBQ beer garden parties. They have an à la carte menu including snacks and serve beer from ¥650.
When: Spring, summer, and fall (hibernates during winter)
Opening hours: Times vary but generally, weekdays 18:00-24:00; weekends and holidays 13:00/15:00-23:00
Where: 2 chōme-33-1 Kitazawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo
Other info: Check the official site and Facebook page for up-to-date information
This article was first published in August, 2014 and last updated by the editorial team in August, 2022. While we try to make sure our information is accurate, details may vary. Reservations are strongly recommended for all of these beer gardens. Note that public holidays follow a weekend schedule.