If you like to be delighted by classy, well-made drinks or tickled by fruity, creative drinks, Japan is the place for you! Never before have I drank so much coffee, but it’s necessary for the 20k steps you’re going to walk everyday. By then, you’ve definitely earned those dinner beers. Here are 11 fun things you can drink in Japan.
1. Coffee at Arabica (above)
Please make sure you get to Arashiyama near Kyoto, the coolest spot with both a bamboo forest and a monkey park. There, you can get prized Arabica coffee and drink it on the river. So good.
2. A Bloody Mary at Tsutaya Books in Daikanyama
This bookstore café is basically the future of Barnes & Noble (if Barnes and Noble survived by becoming a super hip bar). The bloody mary is fresh and delicious, perfect for sipping with archives of every magazine ever, which they have upstairs.
3. This Honey and Lemon Squash Beer (?) Drink
Not sure what exactly it is, but it is so good. Tastes like tea. Warms your belly like booze.
4.Kaze no Tani Beer at the Ghibli Museum
If you get lucky enough to go to the Ghibli museum and feast your eyes on a real live cat bus, cool down from the excitement with the Ghibli museum’s own beer.
5. Green Tea Latte at the Base of the Fushimi Inari Fox Shine in Kyoto
You can and should get green tea lattes everywhere in Japan, but don’t miss the chance to sip one outside of a tranquil pond at the base of this amazing shrine.
6. Matcha Liqueur
I couldn’t resist grabbing a bottle of this boozy matcha liqueur and it wasn’t bad. Spike your green tea latte if you’re brave!
7. Cafe con Panna at Coffeehouse Nishiya in Shibuya
Get a full-on European breakfast at Coffeehouse Nishiya in Shibuya. The croque madame, monsieur breakfasts are cheesy, fatty goodness itself.
8. A Coffee Tonic at Switch Coffee in Nakameguro
Grab one of these badboys and walk along the river from Meguro to Nakameguro.
9. King Matcha in Arashiyama
This matcha concoction has everything. Tea. Milk. Jelly bubbles. Ice cream. No wonder it’s the king.
10. Pour-Over Coffee at Café de L’Ambre in Ginza
This is the coolest coffee shop ever. Old, smoky, slow, dark and full of eccentric coffee drinks. Sit there for 45 minutes, get a little secondhand smoke and see what a “hip” cafe without $9 alkaline water looks like. Hemingway would approve.
11. Tasting Menu at Hitachino Brewing Lab in Akihabara
This little brewery is right on the river. Grab some beers and snacks out of little jars (may I recommend the cheese?) and pre-game for some arcade games.
You don’t have to go far to drink well in Japan. You may even find giant beers right in your hotel’s vending machines (we did). But hopefully this gives you some ideas of where to start. Kampai!