Picks - 5 random martinis in Tokyo
There are about a million bars in Tokyo, so this article can't cover them all. Regardless, I'm guessing you wish there was a comments section here so you could write "But you didn't add myyy favourite one, me me, meeee!", but there isn't, so hah!

Moving on, here are five random places that I like to visit when I get that Martini itch.

[by Ryo Seven]
1. Splash out in style - Tsuya (Shirokane)

As tasty as it is theatrical, Tsuya is one of my favourite places to go to when simply having a dry martini isn't enough - you need the whole casino table, private booths, interesting music and a cast of zany characters in the form of the staff and patrons.

There's nothing else like it, but you have to pay for what you get. But sometimes, the cash is secondary to the experience, and this is the definition of that. If you're up for splashing out a bit in style, run here. Sipping on a dry martini has never looked cooler.
2. Showa-era Ginza - Brick (Ginza)

If Hemingway were alive, he'd write, "Brick is a fine place and worth fighting for." It is a place where I seem to bump into a lot of writers actually writing things down on paper and not stuck to screens, like you are now. It conjures up images of Ginza's '50s and '60s heyday quite nicely, and the jazz on offer is always perfect for your mood somehow.

It isn't too expensive in comparison to others on this list and, like all good martinis, it takes time to make, so slowly sip your mineral water chaser. Some things are worth waiting for.
3 Movie-themed cocktails - Whales Of August ("Hachigatsu no Kujira" - Shibuya)

One for the cinema lovers here. This unassuming basement bar is cash only, and has the novelty of having all their drinks named after films. Obviously, the 007 Vesper Martini is made to a T, but I would love to know what the "Forrest Gump Highball" contains.

Can be busy at weekends, with the odd tourist group making a load of noise about cover charges, credit cards and all the things other gaikokujin hate about tourists, but weeknights are generally pleasant and jovial and usually even better with a film aficionado, so you can both argue about what consititutes a "Showgirls Mojito."
4 Scandinavian chic - UA Bar (Harajuku)

Drink snobs get really uppity about bars in high brand fashion stores (but will happily pay a million billion yen for a drink in a hotel). Well, all the better for me, because the UA Bar is an absolute joy to be in and an even bigger joy to drink in.

The drink selection is as extensive as the bartenders are knowledgeable. The atmosphere is distinctly Scandinavian in its furnishing style, and this is sometimes emphasised by random European radio stations being piped through the PA, which can lead to some confusion as to where you are after your fifth Hendricks martini.
5 Old-Tokyo charm - Quien (Hiroo)

Finally, no bar list should ever be completed without Quien Que Sera Sera. The buildings that the brand select are all distinctly Edo period and very otherworldly, but the interiors and the bartenders are distinctly internationally suited. The kissaten of cocktail bars, if you like.

My advice: don't be a dick and tell them how to make their drinks when you order, unless they ask if you have a preference. These guys know their stuff and never disappoint.

This newer building recently relocated from a couple of doors from my house. It was sad to see them go, but also a reason to do some exercise and have a ten-minute walk to their new location, albeit with a sometimes thirty-minute walk to return home.
Curated by
Ryo Seven. Ryo Seven is a nom de plume of someone you've probably met before.
Curated by
Ryo Seven. Ryo Seven is a nom de plume of someone you've probably met before.
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