The Best Beer Pubs in Tokyo

For many years, Popeye—opened in 1985—was the only place for beer aficionados to congregate (and it remains a must-see if beer is your passion). But craft beer fever has set in and with the boom of excellent brewpubs and local breweries, Tokyo is finally home to a vibrant and rapidly developing beer scene. Here are just a few of the excellent places to grab a pint in the city.— Yukari Sakamoto 

[Ed. note: For ease in navigating with locals and taxis, all addresses are included in Japanese at the end of each venue’s description.]

  • 1

    Craft Beer Market

    Craft Beer Market offers 30 domestic and imported craft beers on tap alongside a definitively Western menu, featuring pizza, sausages and fries. The clientele for Craft Beer Market varies depending on its location (the brand has grown to include five outlets throughout the city), but this one—which popular with young professionals from the neighborhood—is a favorite for its central location and superior food menu. (Craft Beer Market: 千代田区神田神保町2-11-15 住友商事神保町ビル1F)

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    KNOWN FOR

    • bar food
    • outdoor / patio
    • day drinking
    • craft beer
  • 2

    Goodbeer Faucets

    With over 40 beers (Japanese, American and European) on tap it can be difficult to decide where to begin the night at this spare bar located just up the street from the famous Shibuya crossing. If you can't be sure, try one of the beers bottled under owner Teruya Hori’s label—Nide Beer—which is brewed by Baird Brewing Company, one of Japan’s best craft beer breweries. (Goodbeer Faucets: 渋谷区松濤1-29-1クロスロードビル2F)

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    KNOWN FOR

    • bar food
    • craft beer
  • 3

    Popeye

    Opened in 1985 by Tatsuo Aoki, Popeye is Tokyo’s most famous and oldest craft beer bar. (In fact, Aoki is considered by many to be the godfather of craft beer in Japan.) A cozy nook for beer geeks, the bar is frequented by locals and staffed with knowledgeable bartenders who can help you work your way around the taps. (Popeye: 墨田区両国2-18-7)

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    KNOWN FOR

    • bar food
    • craft beer
    • historic
  • 4

    T.Y. Harbor

    A microbrewery located on the canals of Tennoz Isle, T.Y. Harbor is one of the city’s oldest spots to enjoy beer brewed on-site. When the weather is nice, be sure to grab a waterfront seat and do as the locals do: Drink T.Y.'s beers alongside a burger and fries. (T.Y. Harbor: 品川区東品川2-1-3)

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft beer
    • outdoor / patio
    • day drinking
    • low wine markups
  • 5

    Watering Hole

    Featuring about 20 domestic and imported beers on tap, Watering Hole is one of the early supporters of Japanese craft beer. The location is on a quiet street between Shinjuku and Yoyogi, making it something of a destination bar. But the friendly and knowledgeable staff make it worth the journey. Stop in between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. daily when the bar features beer flights alongside a full menu of Japanese- and American-style vegetable dishes, like julienned carrots with ponzu and seasonal crudité with blue cheese sauce. (Watering Hole: 渋谷区千駄ヶ谷5-26-5-103)

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    KNOWN FOR

    • bar food
    • craft beer

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