Smokehouse in Shibuya claims to be Tokyo’s first authentic BBQ restaurant. My husband and I recently visited on a date night and enjoyed the atmosphere and the food! They also offer a craft beer selection from T.Y. Harbor Brewery. We started with the smoked devil eggs which were delicious. For our main course, I had a hamburger and my husband had the Combo 4 meat platter with corn bread. We both really enjoyed our meals and I’d love to go back and try some of the other offerings on the menu. You can view the full dinner menu, in English, on their web-site. You can also link to their on-line reservations page. The restaurant is located on the 2nd floor above The Roastery, which looked like a great spot to grab a coffee. We walked to Smokehouse from Baird Beer in Harajuku. The restaurant is off of Cat Street which is a hip and pedestrian friendly shopping street. It was a great date night to celebrate my husband’s birthday with brews and meat! – Angela Vaillant, March 2019
Baird Beer Taproom is a great spot in Harajuku to grab a beer. A short walk from Harajuku Station, it is located off the popular Takeshita Street where you can also find unique shops and giant cotton candy. This Japanese style pub has a a large selection of beers on tap and a food menu as well. We tried a sampler of beers and only had the pickled vegetables since we were heading to dinner at Smokehouse after. You can sample 3 beers for Y1100. They have 12 beers that are available year round and a seasonal beer menu. We enjoyed all the beers we tried. The bar is small with some seating on either side. We arrived around 3:30pm on a Saturday and had no problem getting a spot by the bar. The place was full by 5:00pm when we left so arrive early if you plan to go on the weekend. – Angela Vaillant, March 2019
Need a meeting spot in Tokyo or just a place to grab a drink and a snack? Commune 2nd is an open air “restaurant” surrounded by beer and food trucks. You can walk in and grab a seat at one of the long tables or on a small bench with table for 2. It was a rainy night when my husband and I checked it out so we sat in the tent area under cover. We only tried some Gyoza but there were many other food options including ribbon fries. There were more seating options outside so I’d definitely go back on a nicer night. The night we went they also had a DJ, a wine tasting vendor, and an artist painting foxes on a large canvas. Visit their facebook page to see what is coming up as far as events. If you plan to go, go early, as they close at 10:00 pm. Take the train to Ometesando Station, take the A3 exit and its about a 10 minute walk from there to Commune 2nd. It was only a 15 minute walk to our dinner reservation in Shibuya (Trunk Kitchen) and a similar distance to Harajuku (Baird Beer), so you can easily walk to some other cool spots from here. – Angela Vaillant, January 2019
Oslo Brewing Co. in Shibuya is a Japanese Beer Bar dedicated to Scandinavian culture according to their web-site. About a 10 min walk from Shibuya Station Oslo Brewing Co. is down a small street that will feel like you are walking down an alleyway. I’ve stopped in twice to grab a craft beer but you can also order a few light food options from their menu. On my second visit they had a food truck outside with Mexican food options. They offer 20 different draft beer selections from Japan and Scandinavia. They also have their own beer available in bottles. I tried the Norwegian Blonde and enjoyed it. The beers are a bit pricy with most 12oz pours costing Y900-Y1500. You can also get a smaller pour for less. Inside the bar has a chill vibe, playing eclectic music. You can choose to sit at the bar, a table, or a bench with pillows and small tables. They also have outdoor seating available. Stop in and check it out the next time you are in Shibuya! – Angela Vaillant, November 2018
Hours: Sun-Tue 12pm-12am, Wed/Thurs 12am-1am, Fri 12am-2am, Sat 12pm-2am
My husband and I have visited Yona Yona Beer Works in Kichijoji 3 times now. Kichijoji is a great Tokyo neighborhood that doesn’t feel too far away from base. We had a friend drop us off at Seibu Tachikawa station and made it to Kichijoji station in one hour with two transfers. The first two times we just went for a beer tasting/drink before lunch and dinner. We recently celebrated my husband’s birthday there for dinner. This place has a great atmosphere and lots of beers to choose from. At lunch or dinner you can get a tasting flight to sample the different beers. On our last visit they had a special called The Merry Go Round which was a tasting of 9 different beers and one barley wine. We split this tasting as it was ¥5000 and the samples were larger. For appetizers we enjoyed the pickled vegetables, salmon and pineapple tartare, and a cheese plate. For dinner my husband ordered the sausage platter where he chose 3 flavors from about 10 different options. I had the Buckwheat Pizza which was good (but covered in mushroom that I took off). The menu is in Japanese and English but I missed the details of what was actually on the pizza. This place is great for a date night, boys/girls night out, or a destination to entertain out of town visitors. They also have a nice selection of beer glasses you can buy at check out. We trained back to Akishima station and took the bus to the stop right outside the East gate so we could walk home from there. You can also catch a taxi at Akishima for ¥1000- ¥1500 to the East gate. – Angela Vaillant, January 2018
A 45 minute drive from base, Okutama is an easy day trip with some beautiful views of the Tama River. While visiting there one weekend we stumbled upon a brewery called Vertere Beer Cafe. It is tucked back on a small street across from the Okutama Train station. We were able to parallel park on the street but there are also paid lots in town. We took our 8 and 4 year old boys with us so it was child friendly during the day. They had a variety of foods you could order along with a nice beer menu. We tried the homemade pickles, chips & salsa and french fries but there were many other options on the menu. We tried 4 out of their 5 beers and liked them all. They did not have a tasting flight so we both ordered two glasses and sampled each others. My husband liked the Cream and Red IPA while I enjoyed the Weizen and Golden. We sat out back in their garden area for about an hour before going out to explore more of the area. Its definitely a spot we will return to!