As beautiful as the weather can be all year long, Tokyo is woefully short of elegant bars with the option of dining and drinking outdoors. But when you do find yourself craving a cocktail on a particularly sun-drenched day, there are places you can go. In fact, we know of four alfresco city-center spots to indulge in a top-notch tipple with a side of spectacular views.
Two Rooms Grill and Bar
This chic restaurant has one of Tokyo’s most-sought-after terraces, boasting a vista of Aoyama and Shinjuku’s veritable fairyland of glittering lights by night and crisp skyline by day. Walk across the bridge to the open-air bar and dining area, which is large for the Japanese capital and pleasantly calming — perhaps it’s the infinity-edge water pool or maybe just the friendly staff.
The venue’s wine list is known for being extensive and varied, though the fresh-fruit cocktails have also put this eatery on the map — the passion fruit mojito is a particular favorite.
If the weather doesn’t cooperate, don’t worry — Two Rooms’ buzzy interior is every bit as lovely as the terrace. With sleek hardwood floors, modern art and floor-to-ceiling windows, the dining room’s elegant ambiance provides a pleasant evening respite.
The Café By Aman
In the quest to bring the rural and natural feel of Aman resorts to the city, a tiny little Japanese forest (known as the Otemachi Forest) was planted in the midst of the downtown business district.
Tucked away in this miniature wilderness, which sits outside Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Aman Tokyo’s main tower, is this gorgeous French café serving fresh crepes, salads and pâté along with classic desserts and chocolates made on the premises.
It’s quite an experience to sip on a glass of chilled champagne on a hot summer day in the shade of Central Tokyo trees.
If that’s not quite your idea of after-hours fun, indulge in uniquely Japanese flavor with the high-end hotel’s own house sake.
Heaters and knee rugs are available for cooler evenings, or you can simply head inside to the gazebo-like interior should the weather take a turn for the worse.
Take in a bird’s-eye view of the capital from this 52nd-floor perch crowning Four-Star Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills. Featuring a roof-protected terrace, this alfresco spot is an ideal watering hole for any type of outdoor condition.
A seasonally influenced drink menu offers such refreshing concoctions as the Ao Yuzu Smash, made with gin, rosehip syrup, lemon juice and yuzu. The bar also serves a variety of tea-infused tipples, like the Kyohime Amazake, a fragrant blend of vodka, matcha and amazake (sweet Japanese rice liquor).
The Rooftop Bar experience comes with a view of Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow Bridge – just as stunning by day as it is at night.
The embodiment of a pop-up food court — and an Instagrammer’s dream come true — the Commune is a series of food trucks, beer shacks and kiosks laid out across 4,300 selfie-ready square feet, providing a communal epicurean experience like no other in the city.
Delicious and affordable favorites fill the space, including falafel, tapas, Indian cuisine, German sausages and Japanese noodles. Wash down those flavorful bites with your choice of organic wine and craft beer. For the latter, Beer Brain is a popular option, serving Japanese and international brews on tap from a wood-paneled trailer.
A night out for two people can be had here for as little $50, an absolute steal in Tokyo.
This temporary set-up is only expected to stay through 2018, so be sure to get your fill while you can.