Japan drinking and nightlife

Top Choice Teahouse in Marunouchi & Nihombashi

Chashitsu Kaboku

Run by famed Kyoto tea producer Ippōdō – which celebrated 300 years of business in 2017 – this teahouse is a fantastic place to experience the myriad pleasures of ocha, Japanese green tea. It's also one of the few p…
Top Choice Bar in Kumamoto

Good Time Charlie

Charlie Nagatani is a living legend, the 'Johnny Cash of Japan', the founding figure behind the nation's entire country-music scene, and an accomplished musician and songwriter. He earned the rank of Kentucky Colone…
Top Choice Teahouse in Hakone-machi & Moto-Hakone

Amazake-chaya

This historic thatched-roofed teahouse, the last of several that once lined the Old Hakone Highway, has been relieving road-weary travellers with amazake (a sweet drink made from rice used to make sake) and seasoned…
Top Choice Teahouse in Arashiyama & Sagano

Hiranoya

Located next to the Atago Torii (a large Shintō shrine gate), this thatched-roof restaurant is about as atmospheric as they get. It serves matcha (powdered green tea) and a sweet for ¥840; the perfect way to cool of…
Top Choice Cocktail Bar in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

BenFiddich

BenFiddich is dark and tiny, with vials of infusions on the shelves and herbs hung to dry from the ceiling. The English-speaking barman, Kayama Hiroyasu, in a white suit, moves like a magician. There's no menu, so j…
Top Choice Teahouse in Harajuku & Aoyama

Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience

Tea master (and former bartender) Sakurai Shinya's contemporary take on the tea ceremony is a must for anyone hoping to be better acquainted with Japan's signature brew. The course includes several varieties – you m…
Top Choice Craft Beer in Roppongi, Akasaka & Around

Two Dogs Taproom

There are 24 taps devoted to Japanese and international craft beers, including its own Roppongi Pale Ale, at this convivial pub just off the main Roppongi drag. Work your way through a few jars to wash down the tast…
Top Choice Craft Beer in Chōkoku-no-Mori & Gōra

Gora Brewery & Grill

Sup on a Gora IPA or a Black Belt stout, among other ales from this stylish brewery venue, run by the folk behind Itoh Dining by Nobu. Grill treats include house-made sausages, Peruvian style lamb and Nobu's signatu…
Top Choice Teahouse in Hakodate

Tea Shop Yūhi

Filling the halls of a wooden building from 1885 (actually the old Hakodate Quarantine Office) is this magical teahouse overlooking the water. It's lit only by natural light so closes after the sun sets. In the mean…
Top Choice Bar in Kagoshima

Honkaku Shōchū Bar Ishizue

This chic, amber-and-wood shōchū (alcohol distilled from potatoes, wheat, rice or barley) bar has everything going for it, and it's one of the finest places to drink Kagoshima's prefectural liquor. There are more th…