Tokyo craft beer pubs have quickly become popular in Japan's capital - here's our hand-picked recommodations of some best places for a craft beer in Tokyo.
A craft beer tasting flight.: VDB Photos / Shutterstock.com
Say ‘Japanese beer’ to someone and the usual brands that pop to mind are big names like Asahi, Kirin, and Sapporo – maybe even Orion if you’re at an Okinawan restaurant. But who needs run-of-the-mill supermarket beer when you can have craft beer?
Glasses of light and dark beer: Viiviien / Shutterstock.com
Craft beers are, in a word, artisanal. They’re typically made in small batches but independent, non-corporate microbreweries. ‘Craft’ says it all: there’s a real depth of flavor and complexity to them that you rarely have with large companies. Best of all, no two craft beers are the same.
Though it’s still not entirely mainstream, craft beers have made their presence felt in Tokyo’s drinking scene. Indeed, there’s no shortage of bars in the city serving great craft beers from both international and domestic microbreweries. Whether you’re into lagers, IPAs, stouts, or pale ales, you’re sure to find a tipple you love at any of these bars. Your only trouble might be visiting all of them on your trip!
Inside Beer Club Popeye - image © Florentyna Leow
- Popeye (Ryogoku)
With over 70 beers on tap, Beer Club Popeye in Ryogoku is a favorite with Tokyo beer drinkers for their vast selection. It goes without saying that the quality here is high, too.
The entrance to Watering Hole - image © Florentyna Leow
- Watering Hole (Shinjuku)
Located in a quiet part of Shinjuku, Watering Hole is the perfect place for craft beer enthusiasts looking for something different.
The entrance to Maltan, easily missed - image © Florentyna Leow
- Maltan (Kanda)
Located near the south exit of Kanda Station, Maltan is a funky little basement bar serving Japanese craft beers and single-malt whiskies. It can be a little smoky, but the cozy atmosphere and eccentric owner make it a great little place to visit.
Outside Ibrew. - image © Florentyna Leow
- Ibrew (Tokyo and Marunouchi area)
Many of Tokyo’s trendy craft beer bars have above-average prices for their tipples, but not Ibrew. You won’t find any surprising drinks at this down-to-earth standing bar in Yaesu - just inexpensive but delicious beers on tap.
Swan Lake Pub Edo - image © Florentyna Leow
- Entrance to Swan Lake Pub Edo. (Tokyo and Marunouchi area)
The elegant Swan Lake Pub Edo in Yaesu serves up some brilliant craft beers and has great food - though the drinks are a little pricey, even for Tokyo. If you’re looking for an upscale craft beer experience, however, this is the perfect place for you.
Harajuku Taproom, down a quiet street. - image © Florentyna Leow
- Harajuku Taproom (Harajuku)
A craft beer bar in Harajuku? It’s not as weird as it sounds: you’ll find excellent pints at Harajuku Taproom, and it’s a nice escape from the madness of Takeshita-dori Street nearby.
Favori is located down a quiet street in Ginza. - image © Florentyna Leow
- Favori (Ginza)
Down a quiet street off the main Ginza thoroughfare is Favori, a gem of a drinking spot. This Belgian beer pub has an impressive 120 different beers in stock!
DevilCraft serves Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. - image © Florentyna Leow
- Devil Craft (Hamamatsucho)
DevilCraft in Hamamatsucho specializes in Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas, paired with some of the finest craft beer around. The classic combo of beer and pizza here is every bit as good as it’s advertised.
Entrance to Brewdog - image © Florentyna Leow
- Brewdog (Roppongi)
The Tokyo outpost of Scotland’s most famous beer export, Brewdog, finds its home in a stylish beerhouse in Roppongi. Go for their fantastic craft beers and scotch eggs.
Two Dogs Taproom also does lunch. - image © Florentyna Leow
- Two Dogs Taproom (Roppongi)
If you’re feeling homesick for the States, Two Dogs Taproom is here to help. This Roppongi craft beer and pizza bar serves up all-American favorites with a dose of warmth and coziness.
Inside Brasserie St. Bernadus. - image © Florentyna Leow
- Brasserie St. Bernardus (Kanda)
If you’re yearning for Belgian beer in Tokyo, a good place to visit is Brasserie St. Bernardus in Kanda. It’s not the cheapest place around, but it does cost less than a round-trip ticket to Belgium.
Entrance to Asakusa Beer Kobo (formerly Campion Ale). - image © Florentyna Leow
- Asakusa Beer Kobo (formerly Campion Ale) (Asakusa)
Asakusa Beer Kobo (formerly Campion Ale) in Asakusa is another great addition to Tokyo’s pub scene. Conveniently, it’s right next to a tasty okonomiyaki restaurant - so you can wash dinner down with a pint or two.
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Where Are These Places Located?See these places on the Truly Tokyo Google map:
- Open the Tokyo map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels / Ryokan / Guesthouses | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | GREEN: Shops | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
- Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals. Check my guides to arriving at Narita Airport and at Haneda Airport.
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's why it's worth it
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world