Nightlife

Top Choice Cocktail Bar in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

BenFiddich

BenFiddich is dark and tiny. Vials of infusions line the shelves, while herbs hang drying from the ceiling. The English-speaking barman, Kayama Hiroyasu, in a white suit, moves like a magician. There's no menu, but …
Top Choice Bar in Shinjuku & Northwest Tokyo

Zoetrope

A must-visit for whisky fans, Zoetrope has some 300 varieties of Japanese whisky behind its small counter – including hard-to-find bottles from cult favourite Chichibu Distillery. The owner speaks English and can he…
Top Choice Cafe in Kōrakuen & Akihabara

Imasa

It's not every day that you get to sip your coffee or tea in a cultural property. Imasa is the real deal, an old timber merchant's shophouse dating from 1927 but with Edo-era design and detail, and a few pieces of c…
Top Choice Cafe in Ginza & Tsukiji

Cafe de l'Ambre

The sign over the door here reads 'Coffee Only' but, oh, what a selection (coffee from ¥650). Sekiguchi Ichiro started the business in 1948 and – remarkably at the age of 100 – still runs it himself, sourcing and ro…
Top Choice Pub in Asakusa & Sumida River

Popeye

Popeye boasts an astounding 70 beers on tap, including the world's largest selection of Japanese beers – from Echigo Weizen to Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout. The happy-hour deal (5pm to 8pm, from 3pm on Sat) offers …
Top Choice Sake in Ginza & Tsukiji

Japan Sake & Shōchū Information Centre

This isn’t a bar, but who cares when you can get 30mL thimbles of regionally brewed sake or shōchū for as little as ¥100 a shot? There are dozens from which to choose (and tasting sets of three glasses from ¥300 to …
Top Choice Cafe in Kōrakuen & Akihabara

Mugimaru 2

This old house, completely covered in ivy, is a charmer with a welcoming owner and two of Tokyo's most famous shop cats. Seating is on floor cushions; warm, squishy manjū (steamed buns) are the house speciality. It’…
Top Choice Bar in Shibuya & Shimo-Kitazawa

Ghetto

What are the odds that the characters for 'moon' and 'light' could be pronounced together as 'ghetto'? It's not unlike the uncommon synergy that comes together nightly as musicians, travellers and well-intentioned s…
Top Choice Lounge in Roppongi, Akasaka & Around

These

Pronounced teh-zeh, this delightfully quirky, nook-ridden 'library lounge' overflows with armchairs, sofas, and books on the shelves and on the bar. Imbibe champagne by the glass, whiskies or seasonal-fruit cocktail…
Top Choice Club in Roppongi, Akasaka & Around

SuperDeluxe

This groovy basement performance space, also a cocktail lounge and club of sorts, stages everything from electronic music to literary evenings and creative presentations in the 20 x 20 PechaKucha (20 slides x 20 sec…