If you want to spend the humid summers in a cool place, you should go to a beer garden! There are lively, fun ones as well as calm, relaxing ones. Here are 5 recommended Tokyo beer gardens.
1. Garden Beer Terrace Sekirei (Meiji Kinenkan)
You can enjoy beer inside a beautiful garden at Garden Beer Terrace Sekirei. It's popular thanks to the luxurious space in the garden full of greenery with nothing to block your view of the sky while still being within Tokyo. When the sun goes down, they light braziers so you can especially enjoy a special atmosphere.
They have a full Western-style menu as well as a large drink menu with beer (starting at 800 JPY), wine, champagne, and more. Some of their popular dishes are the domestic roast beef (2,800 JPY) and the lobster pizza (2,000 JPY). People who have a sweet tooth can't miss out on the French toast with maple syrup (900 JPY). Three times a day in the center of the garden performances are held, including nagauta (a type of music played on the shamisen, a traditional stringed instrument), Japanese dance, music played on Western instruments like flutes and violins, and more, to excite your summer evening for just a little while. This is perfect for people who want to enjoy a slightly luxurious beer garden.
Open from June 1st (Fri), 2016 to September 14th (Wed), 2016 Business hours: 5:00 pm - 10:30 pm (last order 9:30 pm)
*On August 13 (Sat) and 14 (Sun) they open at 4:00 pm because they will be specially open for the Obon holiday.
*Taxes and a 12% service fee will be added to your bill.
2. Tenku no Beer Garden Niku Terrace (Hilton Tokyo)
Tenku no Beer Garden is on the 7th floor of the Hilton Tokyo in Nishi-Shinjuku. Their theme of 2016 is meat, so they're offering popular dishes from restaurants like Kadosaki Jukusei Niku Kakunoshin, which always has a line, and Otawara Gyucho, a restaurant that offers the mysterious high-class Otawara beef. You can try their delicious meat dishes starting at 700 JPY (excl. tax), though be aware that the restaurants and/or the dishes may change at any time. Each dish is grilled in front of you, so it's especially delicious. The drinks are all-you-can-drink for 2 hours (3,500 JPY (excl. tax)), and includes a menu of around 30 varieties including beer, cocktail, shochu, and wine. How does enjoying the night view of high-rise buildings on a terrace, elegantly enjoying a beer sound? They're open early even on weekdays, so you can bathe in sunlight surrounded by glittering buildings while enjoying a glass for a lovely time.
Open from June 9th (Thu), 2016 to September 30th (Fri), 2016 Business hours: 3:00 pm - 10:30 pm (last order 10:00 pm, no entry after 9:30 pm)
3. OMOHARA BEER FOREST (Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku)
OMOHARA BEER FOREST is on the 6th floor, the ceiling, of Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku. It's an open-air beer garden where you can enjoy beer from Japan's famous craft brewery, Yo-Ho Brewing. Popular beers like Yona Yona Ale (700 JPY (incl. tax)) and Suiyobi no Neko (700 JPY (incl. tax)) are available. There are also limited beer cocktails. The menu has items that go perfectly with craft beer, like grilled chicken (700 JPY (incl. tax)) and gonbuto (thick) sausage (600 JPY (incl. tax)). It's a system where you can order food and drinks separately, so it's a beer garden where you can easily stop by. You can try the four kinds of craft beer to find the one you like best!
Open from June 24th (Fri), 2016 to September 4th (Sun), 2016 Business hours: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (last order 9:30 pm)
*Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and during Obon (August 12th (Fri), 15th (Mon), and 16th (Tue)) business hours are from 12:00 am - 10:00 pm (last order 9:30 pm)
4. Forest Beer Garden (Meiji Jingu Gaien)
The Forest Beer Garden, a place where you can enjoy draught beer surrounded by nature, is in Meiji Jingu Gaien. It's one of Japan's largest beer gardens, with about 1,000 seats. Every year it's very popular, and since it opens for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays, many families go there to enjoy barbecuing.
There are both all-you-can-eat-and-drink as well as ala carte menus, and you pick which one suits you best when you enter. For people who just want to drink a little and have a light meal it would be good to go ala carte, but if you want to enjoy barbecuing beef, pork, lamb, and vegetables with all-you-can-drink, then try that. Also, this year they have included 6 kinds of craft beer on their menu (separate from the all-you-can-drink), so more and more people will visit! Make sure to make prior reservations or go early.
Open from May 19th, 2016 to September 24th, 2016 Business hours: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (last order 9:00 pm)
*On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, business hours are from 12:00 am - 10:00 pm (last order 9:00 pm). During the high season (July 19th (Tue) - August 31st (Wed)), business hours are 2:00 pm - 10:30 pm (last order 9:30 pm), and 12:00 am - 10:30 pm (last order 9:30 pm) on Saturday, Sundays, and holidays. The 2 hour BBQ all-you-can-eat-and-drink costs 4,200 JPY for men, 3,900 JPY for women, 3,600 JPY for people of middle school age to 19 years old, 1,600 JPY for people of elementary school age, 600 JPY for children between 3 and elementary school age, and free for children under 3 (all incl. tax)
5. Beer Teien (Tokyo Sanuki Club)
Beer Teien is an oasis in the center of the city in Azabu-Juban. This is a beer garden opened by the lodging facility Sanuki Kaikan for the summer. The beautiful Japanese garden is cool even in the summer, and at night the trees are lit up so you can enjoy an elegant atmosphere. There are course menus like Genghis Khan (mutton and lamb barbecue from Hokkaido) and all-you-can-drink for 5,400 JPY ((incl. tax) for groups of five and up, reservations necessary) as well as a full ala carte menu. The place is named after Sanuki, the ancient name for Kagawa, so the menu is full of delicacies from there, like shoyumame (boiled fava beans pickled in a soy sauce and sugar sauce) (320 JPY) and bukkake udon (thick broth poured over chilled udon noodles) (420 JPY). The popular Genghis Khan is recommended, but why not try some of the famous dishes from Sanuki with some of the beers on their varied menu? You should visit on a day with great weather so you can leisurely enjoy a Japanese garden and the scenery!
Open from May 9th (Mon), 2016 to early October (6:00 pm - 10:00 pm (last order 8:55 pm)
*Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays business hours are from 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm (last order 8:55 pm); on rainy days reservations are necessary, children allowed only Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays
If you come to Tokyo in the summer, you should definitely enjoy a beer garden! Depending on the restaurant, there are various options like all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink, ala carte menus, and more, so it would be good to check before you go.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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