Tokyo's best beer gardens 2015

Find your favourite and sip under the sun

Tokyo's best beer gardens 2015

As we say every year, summer just wouldn't be summer without an evening spent idly sipping frosty pints or elaborate cocktails in the open air – after all, what's the great outdoors for if not to be conquered one alcohol-packed drink deal at a time? Starting from June, city bars, department stores and hotels fling open their roofs and terraces to all of us thirsty Tokyoites, and the beer garden season starts in honest. But how do you, the discerning drinker, find the best settings, the best deals or a boat that you can get drunk on? Well, we've prepared this extensive list for you, so go ahead, choose your favourite and grab a pint – be it in a park, high in the sky or on top of Tokyo's most famous mountain.

Forest Beer Garden

Until September 26 | Trim Sports Centre
An expansive outdoor spot located within the children’s play area inside Meiji Shrine’s Outer Gardens, the Forest Beer Garden is separated from its boozy cousins by its tranquil, tree-lined surrounds and bubbling waterfall. The popular all-you-can-eat-and-drink option contains everything from barbecued beef and pork to flavoured rum cocktails, wine and three kinds of draft beer. Advance bookings are recommended.
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Aloha Natural Hawaiian Beer Garden Kichijoji

Until September 30 | Kichijoji Parco
No need to despair if you couldn't afford a trip out of Japan during Golden Week: Hawaiian restaurant Aloha Table takes you to the tropics in Kichijoji with this beer garden, serving all the barbecued food, fruity cocktails and decadent desserts you'll need to make the most of the hot Tokyo summer. There are also plans for gigs, performances and other events from May onward, while Ikebukuro's Parco also hosts a similar setup.
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Tokyo Bay Noryosen

July 1-September 30 | Takeshiba Ferry Terminal
The capital's very own booze cruise departs from Takeshiba Terminal at 7.15pm every night (weather permitting), and does a lap of the bay (all the way to Haneda Airport) while serving up all-you-can-drink beer, wine and cocktails. The tackiness of the setting is compounded by touches like the yukata dance performance, and you can get ¥1,000 off the price from Monday to Thursday if you go in a yukata yourself.
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Yona Yona Beer Garden at Ark Hills

June 19-September 6 | Ark Hills
Nagano's Yo-Ho Brewing brings its Yona Yona fest to Ark Hills again this summer. In addition to the signature Yona Yona Ale, a total of seven Yo-Ho brews like Tokyo Black, Suiyoubi no Neko and the limited-edition Garden Saison are available on tap (all ¥700), while the food menu includes classics like sausages and roast chicken.
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Mt Takao Beer Mount

June 15-October 15
On a clear night, you can gaze out across Tokyo and as far as Yokohama. Mt. Takao's beer garden is located 500m above sea level, and does a good job of keeping hikers well sozzled throughout the summer. You'll pay for a buffet of Japanese, Chinese and Western food – none of it exactly what you'd call gourmet fare – and two hours of free-flowing beer, wine and cocktails. To say that this place gets crowded at the weekend would be a gross understatement.
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The Rooftop – BBQ Beer Garden

Until October 12 | Lumine Ikebukuro
Fashion brand Journal Standard expands into the boozing business once again, taking over the upper floors of Ikebukuro's Lumine shopping mall. The theme for 2015 is 'Mexican Resort Barbecue', which apparently means everything from tequila cocktails to, uhm, 'taco burgers'. These bad boys can be customised to your personal tastes and prepared on the grills set up next to each table. Set dinner plans with all-you-can-drink deals included start from ¥4,000 for two hours.
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Sky Beer Garden

June 18-September 19 | Hilton Tokyo
Spend a night out in style at the Shinjuku Hilton, where this terrace setup serves not only the usual couples and larger groups but also singles and – yes – dog-owners eager to sip together with their pet pooches. ¥3,500 gets you 90 minutes of free-flowing booze and a set food selection, while yukatas can be rented and worn on the terrace for the rip-off rate of ¥3,000 per person. Might want to slip into your own summer robe at home before heading over.
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Tokyo Tower Highball Garden

Until September 27 | Tokyo Tower
Offering an alternative to the ubiquitous beer gardens, Tokyo Tower will again be serving up whisky highballs until late September. Head to the base of the Skytree's dowdy predecessor each evening for a lengthy menu of highballs, a variety of alcohol-compatible snacks and – yes – beer. Just watch out for foul weather, as the terrace closes in the case of heavy rain.
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Beer Terrace

Until September 30 | Garden Cafe with Terrace Bar
Shinagawa's straightforwardly named Garden Cafe with Terrace Bar does what it does best for summer, offering a ¥4,800 set with seven courses, from ample veg to savoury mini burgers. Two hours of free-flowing drinks, including a few craft beers, are of course also included. Reservations are taken for 5.30pm and 8pm every day throughout the warm season.
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Yebisu Bar The Garden

Until September 25 | Kasumigaseki Common Gate Annex 2F
Bureaucrats working late must look down in envy at the wooden patio outside Kasumigaseki's Yebisu Bar, which turns into a raucous beer garden for the duration of the summer. Drinking outdoors just feels that little bit better when you're doing it right in the seat of Japanese political power. Advance bookings for groups of two or more come with a choice of 'standard', ‘casual’ or ‘hearty’ courses that include free-flowing Yebisu beer, highballs and wine. And why settle for a conventional pitcher when you can get a dinky plastic keg to dispense your suds instead? Why indeed.
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Takanawa Forest Garden

July 1-September 27 | Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa
One of the more exclusive outdoor boozing spots opening around town in summer, the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa's poolside garden offers treats from sparkling wine to all-you-can-eat domestic beef. The lit-up pool adds to the atmosphere at night, while the gazebo-style roof means this one remains an option even on rainy days. It all comes with a rather steep price, however: the barbecue sets start from ¥6,800.
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Rooftop Beer Garden Tokyo Kosora

Until September 30 | Lumine Shinjuku 1
Returning for the entire summer after last year's short-term experiment, the rooftop beer garden at Shinjuku's Lumine offers all-you-can-eat European fusion cooking, desserts like gelato, and free-flowing drinks for a flat ¥4,500 per person. That deal can be upgraded to a beefy churrasco version for an extra ¥1,000 – well worth it – while midday imbibers will be happy to hear this one is also open for lunch, albeit with a slightly trimmed-down menu.
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Kagurazaka Beer Garden

Until October 31 | Kagurazaka Stagione
As if having the plummiest terrace in the area wasn't enough, Kagurazaka Stagione has again opened its beer garden up on the roof. Suds and spumanti go for ¥650 a glass, and the menu includes ¥600 antipasti plates and the restaurant's trademark Neapolitan pizzas. There's only space for 20 people, so reservations are pretty much essential. This one stays open even on rainy days, as the staff put out sturdy tents on the deck when the weather turns uncooperative.
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Tokyo Seafort Beer Garden

June 22-August 28 | Dai-ichi Hotel Tokyo Seafort
Had enough sausages? Swap the wurst for healthier delights at Tennozu's Dai-Ichi Hotel, where the Grand Café's canal-side terrace serves up barbecued lamb and veg throughout the summer. Two hours of food and free-flowing suds go for ¥4,800 – not exactly a steal, but the location and the fresh sea breeze help soften the blow.
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Barbacoa Beer Garden

Until August 21 | Keikyu Shopping Plaza Wing Takanawa West
Super-popular churrasco purveyors Barbacoa operate branches all over town, specialising in chunky, crispy, barbecued meat, and now bring their show to Shinagawa for this summer special also featuring adaptations of Brazilian cuisine classics. In addition to the suds, you can quench your thirst with tropical cocktails, but fill up your wallet before heading over: the food and drinks start from ¥750.
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Asagaya Beer Workshop

Part of the beloved Beer Kobo or Workshop 'chain' of brewpubs along the Chuo line, this Asagaya branch occupies an entire two-storey building on the north side of the station and stands out with a no-frills but atmospheric rooftop terrace. No set deals are available, but the ¥500 and change for a tankard feels like a bargain. All the brews here make the grade, but we have to recommend the flavourful IPA with its tempting grapefruit aroma.
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Ginza Sky Beer Terrace

July 1-September 30 | Tokyo Traffic Hall
We're not sure how well upscale French cuisine and a beer garden go together, but that's exactly what the recipe is at Yurakucho's Kotsu Kaikan, where the 13th floor turns into this 'Beer Terrace' for July, August and September. Opt for one of the all-you-can-drink deals (¥4,800/¥6,400) for free-flowing Premium Malts, sparkling wine and highballs, plus meaty cooking courtesy of the chefs at Tokyo Kaikan. Paired with the gorgeous views toward Marunouchi, this combo looks like it just might be a winner.
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Tokyo Dome Beer Garden

Until October 25 | Tokyo Dome
Renowned for catering to adventurous and cold-resistant drinkers from mid-March onward, Tokyo Dome's annual al fresco bash offers average-at-best suds (Kirin, Sapporo, Budweiser...), but the nachos and buffalo wings maintain a reasonable level of quality. The real crowd-pleaser, however, is the sports coverage: mega-screens showing live matches (mostly baseball, natch) are set up in strategic spots around the area.
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Kinbeer Beer Garden

Until September 20 | Marui Kinshicho
Kinshicho residents have been denied a decent outdoor beer garden for a while now, so this bubbly upstart sure fills a need. Head up to the top floor of the Marui department store right outside the station for barbecued grub (set deals from ¥2,400 per head), Korean-style spicy hot pots (from ¥1,800) and rotating appetisers, plus the usual suds and highballs, and lounge in the cool evening air while looking out at the Skytree.
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Nihonbashi Beer Garden

Until September 23 | Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi main store
Nihonbashi's venerable Mitsukoshi department store brings back its rooftop boozer for the 11th summer in a row. With room for around 700 revellers, an ample fusion menu and more than 20 kinds of drinks, this one is sure to satisfy anyone looking for a slightly fancier brew experience. Hitachino Nest beers are on offer between May 27 and June 2, June 6 features a special Spanish programme complete with flamenco and tapas, while June 13 is samba and Brazilian food night.
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Yozora no Niwa Beer Garden

June 3-September 27 | Isetan Shinjuku
You've probably never been up on it, but Shinjuku's Isetan actually boasts one of the more beer garden-worthy rooftops in town. The department store is now setting up seating for around 300 imbibers on it throughout the summer, serving a washoku version of traditional outdoor boozing classics plus delicacies from Brazil (between June 3 and 9), Hawaii (June 10-16) and Okinawa (July 22-27). The all-you-can-drink deals start from a very reasonable ¥1,800.
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Vento Beer Garden

Until September 30 | Keikyu Shopping Plaza Wing Takanawa West
The Wing Takanawa West shopping mall outside of Shinagawa Station plays host to this ground-floor terrace beer garden that offers convenience above all. The theme is 'Italian barbecue', with vaguely Mediterranean dishes like spicy shrimp pizzas and meat skewers served along with drinks such as sparkling wine and Aperol liqueur.
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Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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