We’re in the thick of Tokyo beer gardens season, and summer wouldn’t be complete without a tipple to the tune of late cicadas and a trickle of sweat. There are dozens of choices, but some require an all-you-can-drink buy-in, which as we’ve mentioned before, isn’t always the best deal. Here are a handful of picks that offer a la carte pricing, and are open until the end of September.
This 1000-person capacity beer garden is held in the Meiji Shrine Outer Grounds. Running daily through September 27th, the garden is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, and noon to 10 p.m. on weekends. The a la carte menu has glasses of beer starting at 550 yen. An all you can eat and drink option is offered for 4100 yen for men and 3800 yen for women, and lasts 2 hours. The food is a mixed plate of meats, vegetables, and rice, and the beers on tap are Kirin and Budweiser. This is a great pick for the sheer size and lovely location.
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Where: 14-13 Kasumigaokamachi.
Held on Seibu Ikebukuro Main Store’s 9F rooftop, this beer garden is right next to the station and seats 500. A la carte beers on tap (Kirin) start at 400 yen a glass, and their 2 hour nomihodai (all you can drink) is 3500 yen. An a la carte food menu and other drinks and cocktails are also available. The Starry Sky is open from 5 to 10 p.m. and runs until Sept. 30th.
Where: 1-28-1 Minami Ikebukuro.
Parco department stores have Hawaiian-themed beer gardens going, with lomi lomi (the salmon, not the massage) on the menu as well as pineapple beer. They’re aiming for a fresh and healthy feel, with “resort chairs and sofas,” whatever those are. The Kichijoji location seats 300, and mugs of draft beer start at 580 yen. The two-hour all you can drink sets (no food) start from 1500 yen. Running until Sept. 30.
Where: 1-5 Honmachi.
Shibuya’s Tokyu has a 400-seater Green Garden on their rooftop. From 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., a la carte draft beers flow at 570 yen (Kirin) a glass. Their food menu, also entirely a la carte, has the standard offerings of things like edamame, fries, sausage, and yakisoba. Open until Sept. 28.
Where: 2-24-1 Dogenzaka.
In Asakusa, you can sip your brew (and get a crick in your neck) while gazing up at Sky Tree. This beer garden, right on the Sumida River, sits on the rooftop of the Ekimise building at Asakusa Station. With seating for 160, they are open for both lunch (11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) and dinner (4 to 10 p.m.), with a slight discount at lunch for the 2-hour all you can drink plus barbeque set (3500 yen/3900 yen respectively, sukiyaki option also available at dinner). A la carte beers start at 500 yen a glass, and Asahi is on draft. Going until Sept. 30.
Where: 1-4-1 Hanakawado.
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