Shinjuku: Jazz kissaten
Samurai (Shinjuku: Jazz kissaten)
Open 6pm-1am daily.
Sun: Open Sundays

Thousands of maneki neko (good-luck cat statues) fill the interior of this spacious cafe-bar, along with signed covers of jazz albums and underground theater posters. There's a counter and several tables, making this a good venue for a small party. Service is friendly and the air isn't too smoky, although smoking is allowed throughout the cafe.

The background music at Samurai is almost exclusively sixties and seventies jazz played from the bar's huge vinyl collection. The manager seems to be a big fan of Johnny Griffin, whose records are displayed prominently. There are also regularly scheduled haiku-related events.

The bar's food menu is surprisingly large, with a dozen varieties of pizza along with pastas, fried noodles and other light fare. Food and drink are reasonably priced, although there is a table charge of Y500 per person along with a 10% service charge. Beers and whiskeys start at Y680.

by Hikaru Okabe

Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-35-5, Tera Bldg 5F.
sVhVh3-35-5 r5F

Sister sites:
Craft Beer Bars Japan
Bars, retailers and festivals
Animal Cafes
Cat, rabbit and bird cafe guide
Where in Tokyo
Fun things to do in the big city
Neighborhood guides and top-five lists from Tokyo experts
Barking Inu
Sushi dictionary and Japan Android apps

Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended