Alternative beer gardens

When the department store rooftop doesn't cut it any more...

Alternative beer gardens


Location, location | The gourmet option | A break from the norm

The gourmet option

Hibiya Saroh
Japan's oldest garden restaurant also boasts the best beer selection out of any open-air venue we've found in Tokyo. On a recent visit, we ended up drinking Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel (¥1,090) and Toshi's IPA (¥990), which made a welcome change from Kirin and Super Dry. The schizophrenic food menu – fish & chips, Vietnamese spring rolls and curry rice, anyone? – didn't really tempt us so much. Daily, from 11.30am (closing time varies). Year-round. Venue details

Oak Door
This is how a beer garden should be done, though it comes with a suitably high price tag attached. On the patio outside the Grand Hyatt's signature steak restaurant, ¥6,500 gets you as much as you like from a vaguely Tex-Mex menu including chicken wings, chorizo, guacamole and marinated squid, washed down with free-flowing Asahi Super Dry and organic wine. The French Kitchen has a tempting ¥5,000 summer terrace deal including barbecued grub and all-you-can-drink sparkling wine, but that's not the same as beer, is it? Daily, 6-10pm. Until Sept 30. Venue details

TY Harbor Brewery's floating bar sways from side to side when a boat goes past, though you might just feel like you've had a few too many. It's a spot that's positively made for summer, and the craft beer brewed on site costs just ¥500 a glass during the 5-8pm weekday happy hour (¥800 at other times). The food is on the pricey side, and not always piping hot – they have to bring it over from the kitchen on the shore side, after all. Daily, 5.30pm-1am (Sun, 5.30-11.30pm). Year-round. Venue details

Kagurazaka Beer Garden
As if having the plummiest terrace in the area wasn't enough, Kagurazaka Stagione has opened a beer garden up on the roof. Beer and spumanti goes for ¥650 a glass, and the menu includes ¥1,000 antipasti plates and the restaurant's trademark Napolitan pizzas (from ¥1,700). There's only space for 20 people, so reservations are pretty much essential. Mon-Fri, 5.30-11pm; Sat-Sun and nat. hols, 5-11pm. Until Sept. Venue details

Franziskaner Bar & Grill
There aren't many gardens or outdoor bars where you can order beer by the litre, albeit at prices starting from ¥2,300. The classiest of Franziskaner's Tokyo shops has a spacious patio, superior German grub and a very strong selection of suds, which just about compensates for the background hum of traffic and TV screen jingles emanating from inside Roppongi Hills. Daily, 11am-2am. Year-round. Venue details

Location, location | The gourmet option | A break from the norm

By James Hadfield
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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