If you’re travelling to Japan for the Rugby World Cup, you’ve chosen an excellent time to go! Despite concerns that Japan will run out of beer during this year’s Rugby World Cup, you can seek reassurance knowing that the beautiful coastal semi-finals location, Yokohama, is known as ‘beer city Japan’ - the home of Japan’s modern brewing industry and some of the best Japanese bars!.
We’ve put together a guide so you don’t leave Japan without celebrating wins or commiserating losses in the best Japanese bars. If you plan to eat out during your Japanese adventure, don’t forget to read up on local etiquette with our table manners and chopstick etiquette guide! Until then, let’s take a look at eight recommended bars:
England is playing Argentina in Tokyo on 5th October, giving rugby fans the perfect opportunity to discover Japan’s vibrant and futuristic capital! Turn your trip into a whirlwind visit of the best the capital has to offer with our Tokyo city guide, and enjoy the best bars in Tokyo:
Rugby Dinner No Side Club
This name might have given it away… Fully immerse yourself in the rugby scene in this rugby-exclusive bar just a stone’s throw away from Takadanobaba station on the west side of the city. The bar is decorated with rugby memorabilia and frequented by retired rugby players and rugby journalists, so it really is the place to be. You can settle for your favourite beer or whiskey but if you’re feeling peckish, snack on sporty American-inspired finger food like Doritos or larger meals such as the ‘No side scrum combo’ or fried chicken.
For a taste of Britain in Tokyo, pop to Campion Ale, a British pub and brewery in Asakusa. Order by the pint or go for the ‘Big Drinker’ which includes two hours of unlimited beer, wine, cocktails, cider, and soft drinks. Alternatively, ‘The Taster’ allows you to try three half-pints of different beers. Classic fish and chips are on the menu too, alongside bangers and mash and of course nachos.
Xex Atago Green Hills
For somewhere a little more sophisticated, visit the 42nd floor of the Mori Tower for a stunning view of Tokyo. Relax in the bar and lounge with a cocktail or tipple of choice, or discover the sushi bar or new tempura counter for an authentic Japanese delicacy.
Three Monkeys Café Akihabara
Don’t be fooled – this isn’t a café in the traditional sense of the word. Less sophisticated than Xex Atago Green Hills and more casual with darts, the Three Monkeys screens popular sports broadcasts in a relaxed setting. The hidden treasure is an all-you-can-drink option of over 120 draft beers, ideal for a group outing before, after, or during a rugby match.
Should England reach the semi-finals, they’ll be playing in Yokohama at the International Stadium in the Kanagawa Prefecture. To the delight of rugby fans, Yokohama is home to the Kirin brewery which is open for free-admission tours. Browse our in-depth travel guide here and explore the Yokohama nightlife:
If you’re looking for a taste of home while watching the semi-final, stop at The Hub, a sports bar located nearby to Yokohama’s station. Here, you can enjoy your favourite pint with traditional British pub grub, including fish and chips, pasties, or American-style pizza or nachos.
Another popular sports bar is family-run Laser Rush, located in Motomachi. Laser Rush is known for its fusion of Scottish and Japanese décor and its excellent selection of locally and internationally brewed beers. The widescreen TVs make for excellent sports watching, ideal for re-watching rugby matches.
BBQ Topia Yokohama Midtown
If you want a break from the sports to immerse yourself in Yokohama, book a table at the 9th floor BBQ terrace. Ideal for big groups, each table has its own grill for barbecuing meat and snacking on locally grown fresh vegetables.
Yokohama Landmark Tower Sky Garden
Take Japan’s fastest elevator to the 69th-floor observation deck and take in 360-degree views of Yokohama. On a clear day, you’ll see both Tokyo and Mount Fuji but the views are equally breath-taking at night, with cocktails and draft beer to sip while you enjoy the panoramic experience.
If England reaches the semi-finals, they'll be playing at the Oita Stadium. Although Oita isn’t known for its bar scene, it’s a few hours’ drive from the onsen city, Beppu. Why not take some time out to detox and refresh yourself in a tranquil hot spring during your trip to the beautiful city of Beppu? For things to do in Oita city, read our Oita guide for the best tourist attractions to explore during your time in Japan.
For more ideas of things to see and do whilst you’re in Japan for the Rugby World Cup, check out our blog post on the top five things to experience.