West of Shinjuku
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one or two beers
Zingaro - Cafe: Nakano
A project of well-known pop artist Takashi Murakami, this stylish cafe-bar offers a couple of local craft beers by the bottle - Baird lager and Hitachino Nest Daidai Ale, a nice American-style IPA. The setting is relaxed and appropriately whimsical...


craft beer
El Pato - American: Koenji
Tasty American-style burgers are the main draw at this casual diner, along with tacos and small tapas-style dishes. They also serve some top-notch craft beers from Nagano brewery Shiga Kogen on tap (IPA plus one seasonal beer), along with US craft...
craft beer
Craft Beer Market Koenji - Beer bar: Koenji
Known for their good food, lively atmosphere and reasonably priced craft brews, the Craft Beer Market chain has been growing quickly, and this fifth branch is their first foray into a residential neighborhood rather than an after-work business...
craft beer
Bankan - Beer bar: Koenji
This pioneer in Tokyo's craft-beer scene (open since 2011) offers a dozen or so Japanese microbrews on tap along with a menu of bar snacks like curry rice, pate de campagne and "Mexican Salad." Prices are typically Y1200 for a pint and Y770 for a...
world beer
Shimeji II - Bar: Koenji
If you've been touring Koenji's craft-beer bars, and you're still in the mood for a nightcap after the other bars are closed, Shimeji - open until 7am Fridays and Saturdays and 6am on weeknights - is worth knowing about. The dozens of bottled...


craft beer
Stone - Bar: Asagaya
A half-dozen beers from San Diego's Stone and other craft brewers are served on tap here, at prices ranging from Y980-Y1300 per pint. There's also a well-stocked retail shop with some fifty microbrews from both Europe and the US, ready to take home...


craft beer
Turquoise - Beer bar: Ogikubo
Located in an alleyway full of tiny drinking spots just across from Ogikubo station, Turquoise offers six Japanese craft beers on tap along with Suntory Malts'. There are five seats inside (where it can sometimes get smoky), and a small standing...


world beer
Turquoise - Beer bar: Nishi-Ogikubo
Craft beer fans will find a few brews of interest at this lively neighborhood spot. Punk IPA is often found on tap (priced at Y900 a pint) along with a couple of guest taps, plus a smattering of imported craft beers in the Y1000-1350 range per...


Schmatz - German: Kichijoji
This German bar-restaurant chain offers a variety of German and German-style beers at very reasonable prices, especially compared to other German restaurants in town. The eight beers on draft are mostly original beers from Schmatz, although they do...
craft beer
Craft Beer Market - Beer bar: Kichijoji
The bars in the CBM chain all offer different food menus, and this sixth branch features Okinawan-style Chinese cuisine. The food is quite beer-compatible, with tasty small dishes like maguro poki (tuna poke), stewed pork and chozume...
Bicke - Beer bar: Kichijoji
The very spacious Bicke feels like an old-fashioned Tokyo bar, with dark wooden furnishings, a big-screen TV showing sports, and bouncy eighties R&B on the sound system. The beer selection is mostly Belgian, and mostly by the bottle, although if...
craft beer
Yona Yona Beer Works - Beer bar: Kichijoji
This fourth branch of the popular Yona Yona beer bar, its first venue outside central Tokyo, offers the same lineup of a dozen or so beers from Nagano brewery Yo-Ho, including seasonal specials. The stylishly appointed, massive dining room is far...
craft beer
Beer Boy - Izakaya: Kichijoji
Beer Boy is the first craft-beer izakaya from the popular Craft Beer Market chain. The beer list is focused on "rare and extreme" craft beers, mostly from Japan but with a few US brews as well. The food menu is a mix of izakaya standards - grilled...


craft beer
My TaBReW - Eclectic: Tachikawa
With its wildly multinational food menu and over-the-top ethnic-restaurant decor, My TaBReW (aka "My Table") is a fun spot to grab a bite and a drink. And if you're a fan of craft beers, the tap list is well worth exploring. Small domestic...
craft beer
Rose Hogs - Grill: Tachikawa
The main attraction for craft-beer fans here is the tempting selection of more than thirty US bottled beers, from breweries like Fish Tale, Lost Coast and Lompoc. There are also around a dozen Belgian beers by the bottle, and three or four craft...
craft beer
Wagaya - Kushiage: Tachikawa
Deep-fried kushiage skewers go wonderfully well with beer, so the combination of kushiage plus craft beer is an appealing alternative to the insipid mini-pizzas and sausages found at so many bars. Run by Shizuoka-based Ten Ants brewery, Wagaya...

Nakano Sakaue

craft beer
Lodi - Bar: Nakano-Sakaue
Located above Nakano-Sakaue subway station, Lodi serves both domestic microbrew beers (with a rotating selection of five on tap), and American wines (with six by the glass). At lunchtime (weekdays only) they serve gourmet coffee.
craft beer
Hangover - Beer bar: Nakano-Sakaue
"Craft beer, craft food" is the raison d'etre of this ambitious beer bar, and they do an excellent job on both counts. There's a well-chosen selection of craft beers from the US and Japan on tap, and they also stock a good number of bottles from...


Danke - Beer bar: Hatsudai
A very lively after-work beer hall, Danke serves a variety of Belgian and German bottled beers and inexpensive wines starting at under Y2000 per bottle. The extensive snack menu offers seasonal pizza variations as well as typical izakaya dishes.


craft beer
Gremlin - Beer bar: Hatagaya
Six Japanese craft beers are on tap here, including three hand pumps. Prices are reasonable and there's no cover charge. The soundtrack tends towards rockabilly.


Aglio - Bar: Shimo-Takaido
Aglio is a cozy neighborhood bar with a nice selection of Belgian beers and frites. They also serve several wines by the glass.

Yoyogi Uehara

craft beer
Swanlake Pub Edo - Beer bar: Yoyogi-Uehara
If you're in the Uehara neighborhood and have a hankering for craft beer, this taproom run by Swan Lake may be of interest - they offer a handful of beers from Swan Lake plus a few guest taps. Guest beers are priced around Y1350-1400 a large glass,...
craft beer
Shujitsu One - Cafe: Yoyogi-Uehara
With its minimalist industrial decor livened up by floral arrangements from the resident flower shop, this small craft-beer counter shares its quarters with gourmet-coffee shop Tomoca Coffee, an excellent use of the space. The coffee counter is...
craft beer
Good Town Bakehouse - American: Yoyogi-Uehara
The huge breakfast menu here (served all day long) covers everything from buttermilk waffles and brioche french toast to a hefty cornbread plate with chili con carne, smoked bacon, onion soup and cole slaw. The classic American breakfast (Y1700)...


Le Petit l'Ouest - Liquor shop: Shimo-Kitazawa
This Star Wars-themed neighborhood liquor shop stocks a wide selection of over 100 Japanese craft beers, one of the better selections in town. It helps to know what you're looking for though, as there are plenty of clunkers as well as hidden gems.
craft beer
Ushitora One - Beer bar: Shimo-Kitazawa
One of Tokyo's pioneering craft-beer bars, Ushitora devotes several taps to their own beers, brewed in Tochigi, along with a good selection of Japanese and imported craft beers - there are 25 taps in all. The small food menu offers tasty...
craft beer
Festa - Beer bar: Shimo-Kitazawa
This lively neighborhood bar offers a decent selection of craft beers - both Japanese and imported - from their dozen taps. One unusual feature is that they serve a number of Belgian and other European beers in addition to the usual American and...
craft beer
Kazenori Meri - Beer bar: Shimo-Kitazawa
The well-chosen selection of twenty craft beers here is accompanied by a very nice food menu, with enticing dishes like stewed pork belly and chicken wings, herb-infused fish and chips, and potato salad with chicken breast and avocado. There are...
craft beer
Ushitora Two - Beer bar: Shimo-Kitazawa
This cozy standing-bar branch of the Tochigi craft-beer brewery has fourteen taps, dispensing several of their own beers plus a good assortment of Japanese and imported craft beers. They also have a casual food menu that's bigger than you might...


Pigalle - Beer bar: Sangenjaya
While other Tokyo craft-beer bars may specialize in small Japanese breweries or US imports, Pigalle is a good place to find interesting European craft beers, both on draft and by the bottle, as well as craft ciders. The funky interior has a cozy...



craft beer
Ibeer Le Sun Palm - Beer bar: Futako-tamagawa
Other than the bottled selection at the nearby Good Meals cafe, there's not a lot of choice for craft-beer fans in Futako-Tamagawa, so iBeer is worth knowing about for that reason. Their ten taps focus on Japanese craft beers, and if you have...
british beer
Good Meals Shop - Cafe: Futako-tamagawa
More of a cafe than a bar, Good Meals does offer a few interesting beers by the bottle, plus one tap dispensing a local beer from Saitama brewery Coedo. When we visited, the selection included Thornbridge, Mikkeller and Brewdog, mostly priced at...


Hops and Herbs - Brewpub: Kofu
Up-and-coming craft beermakers Outsider Brewing run this brewpub twelve minutes away from Kofu station. There are six taps, and prices range from Y450-550 for a 300ml glass, and Y750-900 for a 500ml pint.

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