July 19, 2022
A Guide to Tokyo’s Best Rooftop Bars
Kick back and take in Tokyo's galactic skyline
By Tara Salem
If you’re looking to pair a tangy summer cocktail with a panoramic view of Tokyo’s skyline, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a Tokyo local or a hopeful tourist, it’s perfectly acceptable to crave a thirst-quenching experience in a chic atmosphere. And plus, it’s a perk to enjoy a night away from the vexing mosquitos flying ground-level. No matter what you’re in the mood for, we have you covered. From laid back environments all the way to nightclubs, a rooftop experience should definitely be next-up on your summer bucket list.
The dim lighting, the lush plants, and the fine menu of fermented grapes makes Roku Nana one of our go-tos for date night. Just a short walk from Roppongi Hills, Roku Nana has both indoor and outdoor seating, with an emphasis on lighting as the main driver for their calm ambience. Outside, their tables are made of glass, boxing beaded candelabras, illuminating a glow that is dim enough to contrast the surrounding building’s lights and the blue sky at dusk. Spotlighting their truffle popcorn and their pickled quail eggs, their food menu consists of small appetizers made to properly counterbalance their potent drinks.
If you’re active in Tokyo’s nightlife, you probably already know this one. Cé La Vi is a rooftop bar-slash-club that’s popular to many crowds, and with its stunning view of Shibuya’s skyline, it’s not surprising. The terrace area combines distinctly luxurious vibes with the experience of floating above the heart of Tokyo. Even if you’re familiar with Cé La Vi as a club, it’s worth checking them out during the day or in the evening before they’re packed with dancing bodies. They have a selection of signature cocktails and an extensive wine list, and their BAO burger is great if you’re looking for something a little different but still comforting.
Asakusa’s building ‘MIRROR’ holds five floors of quality time. But if you’re new to Asakusa, the top floor is worth checking out. Privado offers both indoor and outdoor seating with an aerial view of the Tokyo Skytree. As it overlooks the Sumida River, this intimate space carries a quiet atmosphere accompanied by a great playlist of soft jazz. At night, the lights from the surrounding buildings glisten against the water, making it a perfect setting for date night. We tried their homemade pickles and their seasonal fruit cocktail, it being melon and fig. The pickles were fermented enough to hold a sheer amount of sour, balancing out their fruity cocktails. With their vast list of drinks and homemade bar snacks, Privado’s laid back vibe is the spot to end your day and start your relaxing evening.
In a city flooded with lights, it’s hard to overlook the glowing heart of the city, the Tokyo Tower, pumping blood to its people. Although the Skytree has had its fair share of fame, at the end of the day, the Tokyo Tower lives to be Japan’s Eiffel Tower. And if you want front row seats, head to the Sky Lounge “Stellar Garden” occupying the 33rd floor of The Prince Park Tower. The drink menu is chock full of creative cocktails and flamboyant mocktails. Our favorite was The Charlie Chaplin, made with apricot-infused brandy and gin, then lightly diluted with fresh lemon juice. We recommend reserving ahead to secure the couple’s seating for the best close-up view.
A two minute walk from Higashi Ginza Station sits the glowing ALOFT Hotel, attracting the young crowds. Once you take the elevator to the seventeenth floor, you’re greeted with an electric hallway, leading you to Roof Dogs, a bar reminiscent of San Francisco’s Haight Street. As the balcony is outfitted with picturesque lights along with a retro Volkswagen nestled in the corner, this bar is the perfect backdrop to update your socials with. Plus, this open-air terrace is enclosed with glass, taking care of the views across Ginza’s skyline. Roof Dogs plates American food; including snacks, hotdogs and their signature ALOFT burger. Although their list isn’t long, their drinks are reasonably priced. With wine and sangria at ¥800 per glass and beer for ¥600, Roof Dogs is a one and only that won’t break the bank.
Original Article by Jessica Thompson