Updated: December 13, 2018
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5 Of The Best Bars In Ueno: From Traditional To Very Whacky!

Looking for cool bars in Ueno? This list is for you. It has a little bit of everything from the very traditional to the very whacky!

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This is the coolest refuge in Ueno! It's a small place that has been around since 1973, and the bar master and owner Watanabe san who is now over 80 years of age, knows how to make some awesome cocktails. His selection of Japanese sake is also said to be excellent. This place is highly praised by locals for its quality of service and its relaxing, quaint atmosphere. There is a table for 4 at the bar and the rest are counter seats. It's possible to make a reservation.


This is another establishment of long standing (operating since 1925). Shinsuke is the place to go if you want to enjoy the atmosphere of a traditional Japanese Izakaya. They specialize in Japanese sake, which you can pair with all kinds of Japanese homemade appetizers. Above all, you should try their sashimi dishes. They are praised for their freshness and nothing goes better with sake than good-quality sashimi. Shinsuke is quite big (has a seating capacity of 65) so you can go in relatively large groups. It's a non-smoking establishment.

Shitamachi Bar Nagaokaya

Nagaokaya is a Spanish-style dining bar where you can have really excellent food and free-flowing wine! For just ¥980, you can have the all-you-can-drink wine option which has a time limit of two hours. And you don't even have to have a course meal to have it! It would be a good idea to have food though because their succulent lamb chops are just ¥390 a piece. Their other food specialty is the paella. Getting a large one (about ¥3,000) and sharing with friends while enjoying some wine is a good way to have fun at this place. For the free-flowing wine, you simply serve yourself from a wine barrel. Many other drinks can be ordered a la carte.

Kinojiya (喜乃字屋)

How about a buckwheat soba bar? This is the concept of the Kinojiya dining bar where you can have traditional soba (100% buckwheat) meals with hon wasabi (true wasabi). This place is particular about the dishes it uses to present the food. You'll get to enjoy your food and drinks in Japan-made traditional tableware. As for the drinks, soba goes well with sake, so that would be a good choice. They have a selection of about 10 wines (¥390 a glass). This resto-bar is very close to the Ueno Station.

"Mr. Kanso"

Since starting in 2002 Mr Kanso has become somewhat of a household name when it comes to quirky bars in Japan. Eating canned food is probably not the first choice when it comes to eating and drinking on a trip here, however, there is that uniqueness about it that brings a lot of Japanese charm to the experience. Mr Kanso also does can food and alcohol pairing, matching different canned food with certain whiskeys and other spirits.

Restaurants Mentioned in this Article

    Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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