Beer retailers
Tanakaya (Mejiro - Liquor shop). 3953-8888
This spacious basement shop near Mejiro station is one of the best liquor shops in town. It's certainly number one when it comes to its selection of American microbrew beers, with dozens and dozens of brews that we haven't found anywhere else. They also stock an impressive choice of Japanese micros and Belgian craft beers, sake and awamori, Calvados and liqueurs and plenty more. Cash only.
mapMejiro 3-4-14. (on Mejiro-dori just a few seconds west of Mejiro station) Open 11am-8pm. Closed Sundays.
Shinanoya (Shinjuku Kabukicho - Liquor shop). 3204-2365
A good selection of wines and spirits and a dozen or so European beers at discount prices, plus random imported food items.
SunmapKabukicho 1-12-9. (on the main central street, across from Tokyo Kaisen Ichiba) Open 11am-4am daily.
Omotesando Niigata Kan N'espace (Omotesando - Antenna shop). 5771-7711
Several craft beers from Niigata are on sale here alongside the sake
SunmapJingumae 4-11-7. Open 10:30am-7:30pm daily.
!Good Meals Shop (Shibuya - Beer bar). 6805-1893
Run by the friendly folks at Tokyo Family Restaurant, Good Meals is most notable for their comfortable second-floor "stand" area, where you can pick out some nice imported craft beers from the refrigerators and either take them home or drink them here. (Don't worry, in spite of the name, there is some seating in addition to the standing bar area.)
mapHigashi 1-25-5. Open noon-3, 6-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Night Owl (Ebisu - Liquor shop). 6277-3743
This tiny shop serves as a standing bar, specialty liquor shop and gourmet grocer, with a bit of art gallery thrown in for good measure. Five taps serve craft beer from Japan and abroad (Y500 for a smallish pour), or you can bring in your own growler to fill up and bring home. Located just a minute from Ebisu Station, the shop is on the ground floor of a small residential building.
SunmapEbisu 1-8-3. Open 1-9pm daily.
National Azabu (Hiroo - Retail). 3442-3181
One of the best of the international supermarkets, with the widest range of imported foods in Tokyo (along with Nissin in Azabu-Juban). You'll find good selections of wines, cold cuts and imported cheeses, muesli and other breakfast cereals, canned soups, cake mixes, candies and many other European and North American products. They deliver within about a 20-minute radius of the store.
SunmapMinami-Azabu 4-5-2. Open 9am-8pm daily.
Nissin (Azabu-Juban - Retail). 3583-4586
Meat is Nissin's strong point, with over a dozen types of cold cuts, a cornucopia of sausages, and unusual items like pheasant, rabbit, and even kangaroo meat. And the third-floor wine shop is worth a visit in its own right - particularly for its wide choice of Australian and California wines in the under-Y2000 price range.
SunmapHigashi-Azabu 2-34-2. Open 9:30am-8pm daily.
Ibaraki Marche (Ginza - Antenna shop). 5524-0818
A dozen craft beers from Ibaraki Prefecture are sold here, including eight Hitachino Nest beers from Kiuchi Brewery.
SunmapGinza 1-2-1. Open 10:30am-8pm daily.
Iwate Ginga Plaza (Higashi-Ginza - Antenna shop). 3524-8282
Craft beers from three different local Iwate breweries (Zumona, Baeren, and Iwate Kura) are sold here.
SunmapGinza 5-15-1. Open 10:30am-7pm daily.
!Le Collier (Yaesu - Retail). 5220-5263
Located at the Marunouchi end of the basement Gransta complex inside Tokyo station (near the NeX tracks), Le Collier carries a huge selection of 130 different Japanese craft beers, making it a very convenient place to stock up before a Shinkansen journey (or just a trip home). There's also a small stand-up bar where you can order beer or wine by the glass.
SunmapMarunouchi 1-9-1, JR Tokyo Station B1F Gransta. Open 8am-10pm daily.
Hasegawa Liquors (Yaesu - Liquor shop). 3271-8747
Liquors Hasegawa focuses on hard liquors, with an impressive selection of rare Bourbons and Scotch whiskeys. Best of all, you can try them out in the shop - Y150-200 gets you a 10ml pour of many of the bottles they carry. Beer fans can find a decent selection of Japanese, British and other craft beers by the bottle.
SunmapYaesu 2-1, Yaesu Underground Shopping Naka #3. Open 10am-8pm daily.
!Hokkaido Foodist (Yaesu - Antenna shop). 3275-0770
The excellent North Island craft beer is sold by the bottle here, with four types priced at Y525 per bottle.
SunmapYaesu 2-2-1. Open 10am-8pm daily.
Sekai no Beer Hakubutsukan (Oshiage - Beer bar). 5610-2648
Rather than trying to represent the entire world, the "World Beer Museum" narrows its focus to brews from five beer-producing countries - Belgium, Germany, the UK, Czech Republic and the US - along with a "world food" menu of representative dishes from those same countries. Choose from 15-20 beers on draft, or another 150 by the bottle. Prices are a tad higher than average, but not outrageously so, given the location.
SunmapOshiage 1-1-2, Tokyo Solamachi 7F East Yard 2. Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
Stone (Asagaya - Bar). 5373-0312
A half-dozen beers from San Diego's Stone and other craft brewers are served on tap here, at prices ranging from Y980-Y1300 per pint. There's also a well-stocked retail shop with some fifty microbrews from both Europe and the US, ready to take home or drink here (after adding a Y400 bottle charge).
lateSunmapAsagaya-Kita 2-4-2, 2F. Open 6pm-2am daily.
National Den-en (Denenchofu - Retail). 3721-4161
This sister of the temporarily shuttered international supermarket National Azabu offers a similarly diverse selection of imported foods and wines. Despite their suburban location (midway between Denenchofu and Jiyugaoka stations), they deliver within most of the central-Tokyo area that was served by National Azabu.
SunmapTamagawa-Denenchofu 2-6-21. Open 10am-11pm daily.
Costco Iruma (Saitama-ken - Retail). 04-2935-2200
They may not be the fanciest craft beers around, but the mixed case of 24 Costco-branded beers from brewer Gordon Biersch may well be the cheapest you'll find in Japan.
SunmapIruma City, Saitama, Miyadera 3169-2. Open 10am-8pm daily.
Costco Shinmisato (Saitama-ken - Retail). 048-950-0800
If you have a membership card, cases of Costco's Kirkland-brand craft beers - six bottles each of IPA, Pale Ale, Amber Ale and German Lager - are quite inexpensive even compared to ordinary Japanese beers.
SunmapMisato-shi, Saitama, Shin-Misato LaLaCity 3-1-2. Open 10am-8pm daily.
Costco Makuhari (Kaihin Makuhari - Retail). 043-213-4111
Costco's very budget-friendly, mixed case of 24 craft beers - including six bottles each of IPA, Pale Ale, Amber Ale and German Lager - is contract-brewed by brewery Gordon Biersch.
SunmapMihama-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba, Toyosuna 1-4. Open 10am-8pm daily.
Costco Kawasaki (Kawasaki - Retail). 044-270-1140
They may not be the fanciest craft beers around, but the mixed case of 24 Costco-branded beers from brewer Gordon Biersch may well be the cheapest you'll find in Japan.
SunmapKawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Ikegami Shincho 3-1-4. Open 10am-8pm daily.
Costco Tamasaki (Machida - Retail). 042-798-6001
If you have a membership card, cases of Costco's Kirkland-brand craft beers - six bottles each of IPA, Pale Ale, Amber Ale and German Lager - are quite inexpensive even compared to ordinary Japanese beers.
SunmapMachida-shi, Oyamagaoka 3-6-1. Open 10am-8pm daily.
Antenna America (Yokohama Kannai - Beer bar). 045-315-5228
An ever-changing selection of American craft beers - all from top-class breweries like Southern Tier, Coronado and Anderson Valley - is on tap at this tasting room run by beer importing company Nagano Trading. They also carry more than a hundred bottled beers, and they're all sold at retail prices.
no smokingSunmapYoshidamachi 5-4, #6 Yoshida Bldg, 5F. Open 3-11pm daily.
Costco Kanazawa Seaside (Yokohama Bayside Marina - Retail). 045-791-6001
Costco's very budget-friendly, mixed case of 24 craft beers - including six bottles each of IPA, Pale Ale, Amber Ale and German Lager - is contract-brewed by brewery Gordon Biersch.
SunmapKanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Sachiura 2-6. Open 10am-8pm daily.