Discover secret bars and establishments from the world's best bars lists where locals love to sip sake and cocktails.
Well hidden in Shibuya, this bar has amazing interiors – red dimmed light, brass bar and chandeliers that come in all shapes and sizes. Frequenters are a diverse – tourists, young couples, freshmen and recently retired salarymen. The cocktail menu is nothing special but cheap – 500 yens for one. No photos inside are allowed – violators will be asked to leave.
Opened in 1928, this bar was Tokyo's La Rotonde – artistic and bohemian. This dark basement is still home to mysterious painters, actors and photographers in wide-brim hats and with cigarettes-holders The atmosphere has its price - the cheapest cocktail they have is 1,300 yens plus Y 700 fee. The bar is closed Sundays, Mondays and bank holidays.
A favorite of international style bible Monocle magazine, the Fuglen bar that came from Oslo is located by Yoyogi park – in the morning they have great coffee, and awesome cocktails at night. The menu has no starters so BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) rules – get some snacks in a supermarket in advance.
The Oregon Bar&Grill
The bar is lovely and affordable unlike other panorama places. The Rainbow Bridge view from the 42nd floor is amazing. They also have Sunset Happy Hours – the place is almost empty and all cocktails are JPY – seems like the lights of Tokyo are shining for you only.
Rigoletto Bar & Grill, Roppongi
Affordable prices, eclectic interior and any-stranger-is-a friend atmosphere makes this venue a perfect pre-party spot to cheer up with their special cocktails (they have cool names, like Gay Punch) or munch on an awesome dinner – a big bowl of salad, a couple of tapas and tender Quattro Formaggi pizza.
Its frequenters are gaijin (foreigners who've been living in the city for ages) and hipsters following Lonely Planet tips. The place is really intimate so in an hour you'll have some new Facebook friends and will be chatting with them to the latest indie and funk releases or good old Jim Morrison. The bar has just moved to a basement in Shibuya love hotel labyrinths so check directions.
The bar is not rooftop at all – just the fifth floor – but offers stunning Tokyo views. This lovely terrace encircled with an infinity pool is perfect to watch the sunset. Come around 5-6 pm and watch the crowd - high prices attract posh folks - chatting Japanese wives of wealth expats and Latin American models. If you like it here, try R2 Supperclub at Roppongi.
A charming French bar in Ebisu where it feels so like home. The place is tiny, that's why it' s always busy, so be ready to sip you drink on your feet.
Behind the nothing-special looking door you will find a jazz-lover paradise – vinyl records in the bar instead of bottles. The rules are strict – no companies bigger than 6 persons, no pictures and no loud talking or laughing. Those who follow will be rewarded with great music and service, an extensive cocktail menu and free peanuts and banana chips. Service fee (tips) is 700 yens.
Another secret bar is well hidden in Costume National Complex behind the white door with no sign – looks like a cleaning facility. Inside you'll find an edgy bar featuring two green walls – a vertical garden by French botanist Patrick Blanc. The menu offers pricey cocktails, cheese and peanuts. If you come before 6 pm you'll save a 1,000-yen service fee.
Сafé & Bar LX
The place is an ideal location for Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey - a 10-m egg-shaped space is so white you have to remove your shoes not to spoil it. Three levels are split into a DJ lounge with cushions, a bar and a TV-zone with DVD and karaoke. The owner, young Takafumi looks like Edward Scissorhands and mixes gin-tonic and other cocktails for Y 500-600 only while his girlfriend makes great curry rice for 700 yens.