Summer in Tokyo can be a daunting experience. Soaring temperatures, humidity and overcrowded trains are far from an ideal triad. Still, warmer weather isn’t without its perks. Suds lovers have much to look forward to this season as establishments throughout the city clear out their terraces and rooftops for the beloved beer garden tradition.
A particularly enchanting stop on Tokyo’s beer garden circuit is the relatively new Yoyogi Village. Past a quaint alley of shipping containers decked out as shops, cafes and restaurants is the village’s “White Birch Garden” themed terrace, open until October 31. Tucked away at the tail end of a cozy, low-rise precinct just outside the chic code kurkku restaurant, the terrace feels like a magical find in the middle of a built-up urban atmosphere.
Patio string lights, white streamers and matching white furniture add to the charm. For seven years now, Yoyogi Village has hosted design-oriented beer gardens that focus on music and botany. The space is home to a flourishing garden of internationally sourced trees and flowers handpicked by Seijun Nishihata, the village’s plant hunter and garden producer. A vinyl-only DJ set during evening hours imparts an elegant and laid-back mood.
The 2-hour all-you-can-drink course includes appetizers, a main dish, tea-based cocktails, highballs and two Hoegaarden craft beers. The classic Hoegaarden White is a refreshing wheat beer with notes of citrus and coriander, while the raspberry-flavored Hoegaarden Rosée is a sweeter option. Guests can choose between a main dish of fried chicken or Angus beef sirloin steak, both accompanied by juicy chorizo sausage and french fries. The course is ¥5,000 on weekdays and ¥5,500 on weekends. An a la carte menu is also available.
Despite the generous meal, the best part of the experience is the village itself. After sufficient sipping and dining on the terrace, guests are free to migrate to the speakeasy-themed Music Bar located within the gorgeous, forest-like interior of the tall building that also houses code kurkku, a Japanese-Italian fine dining scene. Exposed brick walls, dim lighting and exuberant high ceilings give off an authentic Brooklyn vibe. The bar’s superb sound system and 3,000 vinyl records don’t disappoint.
Situated in an eclectic neighborhood of small eat-ins and sophisticated architecture, Yoyogi Village’s seventh annual beer garden is a serene alternative to the more bustling sip scenes scattered throughout Tokyo. The space tends to be fully booked during summer months, so reservations come highly recommended.
Yoyogi Village Beer Terrace
Lunch: 11:30am – 3:30pm
Dinner: 6pm – 10pm
1-28-9 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku
For reservations or questions, call 03-6300-5231 during lunch hours or 070-1489-882 during dinner hours.