Summer heat and humidity in Tokyo can be oppressive, but an afternoon or evening spent with a few cold beers and good company can definitely raise spirits during the dog days. Fortunately, we’re well into beer garden season in Tokyo, when hotels, department stores, and other locations turn their terraces into ideal outdoor spots for making merry. Here are 12 of our favorite places to say kampai.
American Beer Garden
Held at Grand Hyatt Tokyo, this All American-themed beer garden has plenty of barbeque and a wide variety of tipples on offer, from beer to frozen margaritas and mojitos — those are some truly refreshing concoctions. From June to July, the theme will be “Southwestern Barbeque”, with an array of slow-smoked meats. August and September will focus on “Northeast Seafood Boil”, with New England delicacies like lobster, clams, and more. There are plenty of classic American sides on offer, like coleslaw, potato salad, and corn on the cob. Dining experiences start at ¥6,800, and you’ll need to make a reservation in advance, on their site.
When: Jun 1-Sep 20, 2018
The smallest (maybe the name gave you a clue?) beer garden around, though big on style and beer selection, is the quaint Petit Garden. Only 200 meters from Shimokitazawa Station, this is a small but fun place to drink. You’ll recognize this beer garden by its Tudor-style building, and there is plenty of greenery and small accents that enhance the atmosphere. This elf-sized establishment seats about 38, and in keeping with the neighborhood’s late-night tendencies, this it stays open until 11pm. Find more info here.
When: On now until late fall
Ginza Sky Beer Terrace
Four varieties of Premium Malts are the draft beers on offer on the 13th floor of Kotsu Kaikan, and the food comes courtesy of the Tokyo Kaikan, an eatery that dates back to the 20s. All-you-can-eat and -drink plans start at ¥5,000. This venue features live music and impressive views of downtown Tokyo. See the official site for more info.
When: Jun 1-Sep 14, 2018
Tokyo Dome City Beer Garden
Head out to Korakuen to enjoy a variety of international beers on tap at the terrace between Tokyo Dome and Tokyo Dome City. Their all you can eat/all you can drink plan features a wide variety of snacks and finger foods, as well as four different draft beers: Kirin, Kirin Stout, Budweiser, and Heineken. If Irish eyes are smiling, Guinness and Kilkenny are available on tap for ¥830. For more info see the official site.
When: On now until late fall 2018
Lugar Ha Amor
This luxury rooftop beer garden offers tasty brews, superb night-city views, and a selection of comfy sofa beds (including cozy ones made for couples). Open until September 30 on the rooftop of Machida Modi department store, Lugar Ha Amor has three different course menu options: midnight (¥3,000), standard (¥4,000), and VIP (¥5,000). Aside from relaxing music, entertainment is provided by way of a gigantic TV screen that you can rent for birthday message videos, marriage proposals, and so on.
Forest Beer Garden
One of the largest beer gardens around, Forest Beer Garden at the Trim Sports Centre in Meiji Shrine’s Outer Garden is a sure-fire way to guarantee quick eating and drinking. Families frequent the park because of the fantastic playground for kids, the sprawling lawns, and surrounding forest to play in. Forget the city around you and enjoy two hours of kampai-ing for ¥4,200 for men and ¥3,900 for women. But note that last order is a little early at 9pm.
When: May 18-Sep 30, 2018. More info on the official website
The Night Pool
Another offering at the New Otani: Surrounded by a Japanese garden, the pool at the Hotel New Otani is the largest outdoor hotel pool in Tokyo. Known as Garden Pool by day, this urban oasis transforms into The Night Pool after sunset, complete with decorative lights, free-flowing drinks, and music by top DJs. The night pool is open on Fridays and Saturdays until June 30 from 6pm to 10pm (last admission 9pm). Hotel guests pay ¥2,000 (¥1,000 for children), while visitors are charged ¥10,000.
When: May 11-Jun 30, 2018 (Sat & Sun only). Find more info on the official site
Sky Paradise Beer Garden
The scenic view from the top of the Isetan department store in Shinjuku makes a perfect backdrop for a beer garden, and this one offered up in collaboration with the Italian food chain Salvatore Cuomo makes for a toothsome two hours of drinking and dining. There are six different plans available, ranging from ¥4,800 to ¥6,000.
When: Jul 5-Sep 24, 2018. For more info see the official website
Beer Mount (Mount Takao)
You have two options with this destination: you can hike your way up to the top and brave the summery swelter, or ride a cable car to this lofty beer garden. We won’t judge you either way, and the beer will taste just as nice whichever way you go. A two-hour all you can drink and buffet is available for ¥3,800 for men and ¥3,600 for women. The garden closes up at 9pm, but don’t be too leisurely as you make your way down: the last cable car leaves at 9:40pm, and it’s a fairly long ride back to central Tokyo from Mount Takao.
When: Jun 15-Oct 15, 2018. For more info see the official site
If you’re looking for a quieter way to enjoy your brew, why not check out the Suntory Brewery Tour in Musashino?