Springtime in Japan provides temperatures, sights, and events that make it nearly impossible to spend your days indoors. However, even after a day in the warm sunshine, there are still many reasons why you don’t need to retreat back indoors for the evening quite yet. One of the most popular ways to enjoy your spring nights under the stars is to head up to one of the major cities’ best beer gardens. These rooftop escapes are just starting to open up all across the country for the spring and summer season.
Take a stroll after sunset down any of the major streets of a big city in Japan and you’ll notice a number of buildings’ top floors beginning to illuminate with twinkling garden lights. Certainly the weather and the location of the beer gardens are important, but with so many to choose from, you really can’t go wrong. Don’t fret if you’re feeling overwhelmed, however. Not only are there many days of beer garden season for you to try out some different spots, but we’ve also rounded up a list of our five favorites across the country to get you started!
Tokyo has extensive options for rooftop dining and drinking, but Forest Beer Garden offers an experience that stands out. With a seating capacity of up to 1000 guests, this rooftop restaurant often feels more like a beer festival than an intimate evening outing. Unlike many other rooftop gardens in Tokyo, Forest Beer Garden is family friendly with a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet that will keep both children and adults satisfied well into the night.
Head over to the fish market district for one of Nagoya’s liveliest beer garden atmospheres. Yanagibashi hosts live entertainment almost every night, which is an appropriate accompaniment to the bottomless beers they serve! Be sure to check out their website for an updated schedule of performances.
If you’re looking for a cultural twist on the traditional Japanese Beer Garden experience be sure to head over to Aloha Hawaiian BBQ where the spirit of the islands will grace your evening. On the weekends you can enjoy a traditional hula or Tahitian dance performance as you transport your tastebuds to Hawaii with a large selection of delectable island fare.
Where: The 6th floor of Matsuzakaya’s Takatsuki branch
Season: Late May to early September
Price: Prices start at 2,300 yen and add 1,500 yen for unlimited drinks
For a truly authentic and historical beer garden experience, head over to Kamishichiken Kaburenjo Theater. Built in one of the oldest Geisha neighborhoods just 30 minutes from Kyoto by train, guests of this restaurant can enjoy a cultural evening like no other with traditional Geisha performances in the evening and the opportunity to be served by a Geiko or Maiko.
Where: Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture 602-8381
Season: July 1 until August 31 (from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.)
Come to the Med 22 to get your fill of delicious Mediterranean cuisine with a Japanese beer garden atmosphere. With live performances throughout the weekends, delicious authentic Mediterranean cuisine and views of the glittering city of Hiroshima, the Med 22 is certainly worth checking out this beer garden season.
Where: Hotel Granvia Hiroshima, 1-5 Matsubaracho, Minami Ward, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture 732-0822
Season: May 10 to September 21
Price: Prices start at 3,400 yen