Entertainment in Tokyo


Pubs, Cafes and Restaurants in Tokyo


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The Weekender website is one of the most popular sources of information if you're looking for entertainment while in Tokyo:
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Cafes/Bars/Pubs

Saké, or rice wine, is Japan's traditional alcoholic beverage. It is clear in colour, is a little less alcoholic than regular wine, and can be served hot (the traditional way) or chilled. Almost every Japanese town has its own saké producer so there are literally hundreds of labels.

Beer is also extremely popular in Japan, and is usually lager. The most famous names are Kirin, Asahi, Suntory and Sapporo.

An isakaya is a traditional pub, something between a restaurant and a bar: Hibiki is well-known for its excellent views and great food and is worth a try; the nearest station is Shiodome station on the Yurikamome or Toei Oedo lines (address: Caretta Shiodome 46F, 1-8-1 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku).

Other watering holes that are worth checking out are Kagaya with its country-themed drinks (B1F, 2-15-12 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, take the Karasumori exit at Shinbashi JR station), Ieyasu Hon-jin (1-30 Kanda Jinbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Jinbocho station), and the art deco Lion Beer Hall.

Restaurants

There are an estimated 300,000 places to eat in Tokyo, so whether you’re looking for stylish European cuisine or the pleasures of traditional Japanese food you’re sure to find what your heart desires. If you’re running on a tight budget the “conveyor belt” sushi restaurants are a good option. Here two or three sushi chefs are hard at work in the centre of a continually rolling circular conveyor belt. You just take what you want and the waiter or waitress will add up the coloured plates at the end of the meal (the colour indicates the price of the dish). There is often green tea on tap. Such eateries are popular with students because they’re cheap, but frozen fish is often used to prepare the sushi.

A popular restaurant is Hyakunincho Yataimura in the financial and shopping district of Shinjuku (2-20-25 Hyakunincho, Shinjuku-ku, Shin-Okubo station). It has a fun atmosphere and offers fine Asian cuisine. If you want to sample something more authentic then consider the “Zen” restaurant Daigo (2-4-2 Atago, Minato-ku, Kamiyacho station) , or one of the small, cheap and entertaining open-air eating places such as Yurakucho Under the Tracks (2-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Yurakucho JR station, Hibiya or Ginza exit). Two other excellent outdoor restaurants are Roti in the lively international neighbourhood of Roppongi (1F Pyramid Bldg, 6-6-9 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Roppongi station), which offers high quality western style cuisine and is favoured for its weekend brunch menu, and the appropriately named Terrace Restaurant, at Hanezawa Garden (3-12-15 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku).

If you're in the mood for something more sophisticated you might want to go to Afternoon Tea Baker & Diner (2-3-6 Ginza, Chiyoda-ku, Ginza-Itchome station,). The menu was created by the celebrated British chef Jamie Oliver and is appreciated for its original fusion of Japanese ad western influences. The Daidaya restaurant serves traditional Japanese cuisine with a touch of modernity and it's impressive interior makes it worth a visit (8-5 Ginza Nine No.1 Bldg 2F, Ginza-Nishi, Chuo-ku, Shinbashi JR station).

Update 20/03/2008


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