Sometimes you just want a drink. Tokyo can accommodate that. And sometimes, you want a drink with a view. Luckily, you’ve come to the right city. Tokyo at night turns into a magical metropolis, compelling you to sit and stare for hours at its futuristic landscape … and more than a few bars have capitalized on this scene. Below are a few of my favorite choices:
1. The New York Bar at the Park Hyatt – Alright, alright. Give a girl the right to be cheesy. Sure, everybody goes to this bar, to see where Bill Murray spent his jet-lagged hours in Lost in Translation. But truthfully, they have one of the best views in the city, and if you come in the winter before the 8pm cover charge takes effect, it’s not as pricey as it could be. (For a nearly identical but free view, check out the nearby Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
2. Bar Six, Asakusa – This bar was one of my newest discoveries on my last trip up to Tokyo. Located on the 6th floor of the Amuse Museum just outside Senso-ji’s east gate, it offers stellar views of the shimmering temple complex after dark. If you don’t mind the hard stuff, Bar Six has a significant collection of whiskeys from the tsunami-hit Tohoku region.
3. Two Rooms Grill and Bar, Aoyama – This crisp restaurant with a terrace is a favorite among expats thanks to their lovely (though pricey) brunch. Arrive after dark, however, you’re treated to an extensive wine list, more good food and staff that speak fantastic English.
4. The Bar, Akasaka – I love the New Otani Hotel for its beautifully laid out Japanese garden. At night, however, the most picturesque view is available from The Bar, the rather aptly named watering hole on the hotel’s 40th floor.
5. Bellovisto, Shibuya – Sitting atop the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya, this bar offers dazzling night views of the Roppongi neighborhood and Shinjuku skyline. Sit at the bar to avoid a cover charge and enjoy the hourly piano concerts on weekend evenings.
**Sorry, no real good nighttime shots to go with this post so here’s a lovely afternoon shot from Bar Six in Asakusa.