Tokyo Izakayas

Izakaya, meaning "drinking house", is a type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food. They're great places for a casual meal, with a wide selection of food, hearty atmosphere and, of course, plenty of beer and sake. Izakaya food is usually fairly inexpensive and typically includes yakitori (skewers of grilled chicken), kushiyaki, sashimi and grilled fish. Here we list some popular Tokyo izakayas and restaurants that serve izakaya food.

Den Rokuen-tei

Den Rokuen-tei, Shibuya Izakaya, Tokyo, Japan

Den Rokuen-tei Restaurant is located on the eighth floor of the Parco Part 1 department store, just a 5 min walk from Hachi-ko exit of JR Shibuya station. This modern izakaya offer healthy seasonal Japanese food and dishes are matched with an array of wine, beer and sake cocktails. Private tatami (woven floor matting) rooms are available, but the best seating is found on the spacious terrace with dark-wood interior and decorative plants overlooking downtown Shibuya.

Address: 8F Parco Part 1, 15-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shibuya station (Hachiko Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-6415-5489
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:00 to 16:00, Dinner 17:00 to 22:30

Doma Doma

Doma Doma, Shibuya Izakaya, Tokyo, Japan

Doma Doma is a classic izakaya establishment in Shibuya, near the Marui Young store and across from Marui City department store. It has a communal table, or private booths or hori-kotatsu (low tables with a well in the floor for your legs). The extensive menu at Doma Doma offers a variety of Japanese dishes, while the real focus is typically the sake, nama biiru (draft beer), and other beverages. Japanese businessmen often come here after work to relax.

Address: B1F Minagawa Building, 1-22-10 Jinnan, Shibuya, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Shibuya Station (Hachiko Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-5728-1099
Website: http://www.doma-doma.com (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: 17:00 to 05:00 daily

Issui

Issui in Ikebukuro is one of the most welcoming and original izakaya in Tokyo. The menu is all in kanji, but offers a nice selection of food and drinks. Whether you want a night of drinks and food or if you are just in the area and need somewhere to relax with a beer, its location and atmosphere make it just the ticket.

Address: 1-1-10 Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Ikebukuro Station
Telephone: +81 3-3985-5155
Opening Hours: 15:00 to 24:00 daily

Jidaiya

Jidaiya, Roppongi Izakaya, Tokyo, Japan

As you enter through the tiny door that you almost have to crawl through, it's like stepping back in time to the Edo-era. Jidaiya is a very traditional looking izakaya with Edo Period décor and a friendly and welcoming service, even if you don't speak much Japanese. The tasty set menus span a broad range of different Japanese food - e.g. sushi or sashimi, tempura, shabu-shabu, great for people who haven't tried much Japanese food before.

Address: B1F Yuni Roppongi Building, 7-15-17 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Roppongi Station on Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (Exit 2) and Toei Subway Oedo Line (Exit 4B)
Telephone: +81 3-3403-3563
Website: http://www.tokyo-jidaiya.jp
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri 17:00 to 04:00, Sat-Mon 17:00 to 23:00

Sakura Suisan

Sakura Suisan, Shinjuku Izakaya, Tokyo, Japan

If you're looking for cheap eats, this chain is the Holy Grail. Sakura Suisan is one of several cheap izakaya chains serving such Japanese staples as grilled fish, rice, miso soup, pickled plums, natto - and all at daft prices. Food and drinks are generally priced between ¥ 200 and ¥ 400. The chain operates more than 100 restaurants in Tokyo, with nine in Shinjuku alone. Look out for the familiar red jumping fish logo and the chain's English motto: Every day the same low prices.

Address: 1-26-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Shinjuku Station (Central West Exit) on Seibu Shinjuku Line and JR Shinjuku Station (East Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-5287-1625
Website: http://www.teraken.co.jp (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: 16:00 to 24:00 daily

Sasashu

For an old, traditional-style pub, with an excellent sake selection, visit Sasashu in Ikebukuro. It also serves some of the best izakaya food in town, the Japanese wouldn't dream of drinking well without eating well. Located in a rambling, two-story building, with thick beams and tatami floors, Sasashu is a wonderful experience, in victuals, libation and ambience.

Address: 2-2-2 Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Ikebukuro Station (East Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-3971-9363
Opening Hours: 17:00 to 22:30 (closed Sundays)

Shunju

This upscale lounge/bar by renowned designer Takashi Sugimoto is a typical modern izakaya - a sophisticated blend of modern and traditional. The food is good with many creative touches. Shunju specializes in seasonal contemporary Japanese cuisine, with a heavy focus on locally produced farm-fresh ingredients. They are also famous for their sake list, which includes a lot of unique bottles.

Address: 1F Fontis Building, 2-23-12 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Shibuya Station
Telephone: +81 3-3770-0019
Website: http://www.shunju.com/ja/restaurants/ (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: 18:00 to 23:30 daily

Sui Sui

Sui Sui, Ikebukuro Izakaya, Tokyo, Japan

This upscale, tastefully decorated izakaya adds a touch of elegance to the neon-lit, seamy backstreets of Ikebukuro. A cozy atmosphere and an interior with wooden warmth awaits as you enter this stylish restaurant. The extensive menu and large selection of cocktails, makes this a suitable place for a romantic date as well as a drinking party.

Address: 2F, 1-20-3 Minami Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Ikebukuro Station
Telephone: +81 3-3983-1528
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 17:00 to 24:00, Fri-Sat 17:00 to 05:00

Takara

Takara, Ginza Izakaya, Tokyo, Japan

Takara is an Izakaya style restaurant, in the sense that it keeps up with the traditional Izakaya pattern of serving drinks with food. Located in the Tokyo International Forum, Takara is a joint venture between Mushu sake pub and several sake companies. Takara restaurant in Ginza serves both Japanese food and Spanish tapas, along with sake, awamori, shochu, excellent Japanese microbrew beer (Baird's), and Spanish wines.

Address: Tokyo International Forum B1 Concourse, 3-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Yurakucho Station or Yurakucho Station on Subway Yurakucho Line
Telephone: +81 3-5223-9888
Opening Hours: 11:30 to 23:00 daily

Taruichi

Taruichi, Shinjuku Izakaya, Tokyo, Japan

Dark, woody and lively with a traditional Japanese feel. Taruichi a classic izakaya in the heart of Kabuki-cho is constantly ranked as one of the best in Tokyo. Their specialty is whale meat, prepared in many different ways. They are also known for their strong sake list, which includes a lot of bottles from Miyagi prefecture.

Address: 5F Dai-ichi Asagawa Building, 1-7-12 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station (East Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-3208-9772
Website: http://www.taruichi.co.jp (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 17:00 to 23:00 (closed Sundays)

The Lockup

The Lockup, Shinjuku Izakaya, Tokyo, Japan

The Lockup is a jail-themed restaurant with several branches around Tokyo. On entering this prison-style restaurant you will be handcuffed by a waitress in plastic-miniskirt police uniform, and escorted to your dining table inside a stone cell. The menu consists of izakaya-style food and lots of odd drinks that come in test tubes, beakers and syringes. Food and drink in the dungeon are pure entertainment, but it's the presentation and the overall experience that makes it special. The Lockup is popular for private parties and also a great choice for an entertaining date.

The Lock Up, Shibuya Izakaya, Tokyo, Japan
The Lockup - Shibuya
Address: B2F Shibuya Grand Tokyo Building, 33-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Shibuya Station
Telephone: +81 3-5728-7731
Website: http://www.kitanokazoku.jp/lockup/ (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 17:00 to 01:00, Fri-Sat 17:00 to 05:00

The Lockup - Shinjuku
Address: 6/7F Shinjuku Square Building, 1-16-3 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku Station (East Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-5292-5516
Website: http://www.kitanokazoku.jp/lockup/ (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: 17:00 to 05:00 daily