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Sports bars are a great place to start your journey in Tokyo.

sports bars in tokyo

Did you know there are several sports bars conveniently located in and around Tokyo? Here you can experience the energy and excitement along with locals and other visitors, who share your passion for sports.

In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), various facilities in and around Tokyo may change their operating days or hours. Please check facility websites for the latest information.

Shibuya

The Aldgate

The Aldgate photo1

Classic British Pub in the Heart of Tokyo

If you’re looking for an authentic British-themed pub where you can enjoy the UK’s classic rock, food and humor, The Aldgate is one place to go.

Opened in 1995, the Shibuya establishment started as a rock music bar. “We have 3,000 CDs and 3,000 records. But a rock music bar only has rock music fans. I like British rock, so we changed the theme of the bar—British atmosphere, food, beer and interiors. Our catchphrase is ‘It’s a small Britain!’” said owner Hiroyuki Hanaka.

The bar features Tudor-style interiors with old wood, dim lighting, candles and even a fake fireplace. The drinks list is extensive, with British, Irish and Japanese beers on offer, as well as wine and cocktails. “Drink sake for the sake of it!” is written across the chalkboard menu above the bar, with a list titled “Pub Manners” on the back wall. “Of course, we have IPAs from other countries, but we pride ourselves on our English ale and beer,” said Hanaka, after revealing that Old Speckled Hen is his personal favorite. “Our target customers are English-language speakers,” he said, pointing out that the menus are in English.

The bar also serves traditional English food. “English food has a bad image—a bad stereotype! But when customers come here and try our food, they say ‘oh it’s good!’” he said. The menu features classics such as pie and mash, fish and chips, cottage pie, and even Cornish pasties. The food is all homemade and the taste will transport you to a classic British countryside pub—without leaving central Tokyo.

The Aldgate photo2

Lots of Laughs

The Aldgate’s decorations are informed by classic British humor. The toilets are not separated by gender, but by how heavy you are. One toilet door has a Trainspotting movie poster, and the other an Oasis album cover—both of which were recreated by, and feature images of—the staff.

Jokes have also found their way into the menu. If you order a drink off the fortune cocktails list, you will be given a funny fortune written on a piece of paper. To be able to order a Baird Beard Beer IPA, you need to have facial hair—but for those who can’t grow a mustache, the bartender will supply you with a fake one!

The Aldgate photo3

Sports Showing

The Aldgate, like every traditional British pub, also shows sports. Rugby and football are shown on four screens—one projector and three TVs. Almost all the showings are live; however, sometimes due to the time difference they play repeats. “We play games from the Champions League, The Rugby Championship, and The Six Nations Championships,” said Hanaka.

When the Rugby World Cup 2019 was held in Japan, the pub was full of foreigners and Japanese locals who enjoyed the matches with a pint of British beer in their hands. However, while the sporting world is in its quieter phase, The Aldgate returns to its rock roots, keeping the tunes playing well into the night.

If you are intrigued by this bar—or indeed by the humor of the owner and his staff—follow their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thealdgate/

When it’s once again easy for overseas travel to resume, make sure to put The Aldgate on your Tokyo itinerary.

Name The Aldgate
Address Shin-Iwasaki Building 3F 30-4 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Location About 4-minute walk from Shibuya Station (JR and Keio Inokashira Lines)
Tel 03-3462-2983
URL More information

The FooTNik Ebisu

The FooTNik Ebisu photo1

The Footnik Ebisu: A Haven for International Sports Fans

The area around Ebisu is noted for its cosmopolitan flair, with residents and visitors from around the world dropping in at its shops and restaurants. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Footnik Ebisu is one of the locations of choice in the neighborhood.

The sports bar is the Footnik’s second branch—the first location was opened in Takadanobaba in 1996, and the Ebisu branch opened in 2001. The owner of the bar is a long-time fan of British culture, including soccer, so he decided to open the first bar just around the time of the Euro 96 football championship.

Footnik Ebisu manager Manop Khalifa explained, “The idea was to make a place where foreigners—who were not as plentiful in Tokyo then as they are now—and Japanese people could gather together, watch football, and create an exciting international atmosphere.” The bar is one of the oldest British pubs in Tokyo, and the oldest British sports pub in Japan.

The bar has an inviting interior, with hand-lettered wooden signs adorning the top of the bar and framed sports memorabilia hung on the walls. A colorfully decorated chalkboard at the bar lists the beers on tap.

The FooTNik Ebisu photo2

Catch the Matches

Given the bar’s name, you can expect that it shows plenty of football. The Footnik regularly features J.League games, the Asian Champions League, and all of the Japan national team matches. On the European side, they show the Premier League on the weekends and Champions League matches, often opening early to do so. For American football fans, there is the Super Bowl, and there’s also rugby, including the Six Nations Championship.

Footnik Ebisu is outfitted with three TVs, as well as a big screen and projector in the back of the bar that is used for live games.

The FooTNik Ebisu photo3

Great Tastes and Warm Welcome

The Footnik proudly boasts a wide range of British-themed dining options including bangers and mash, Scotch eggs and sausage rolls. The bar is an international member of the UK’s National Federation of Fish Friers, so the Footnik’s fish and chips come highly recommended. Featured on the menu is a lineup of four or five sausages made by a Tokyo-based, British-owned company and changed three or four times a year. The menu is rounded out with other favorites such as pizza and salads, and they’re preparing a wider set of choices for vegan and vegetarian customers.

On tap, you can find everything from Guinness and Hoegaarden to cider and local craft beer. Along with an ample offering of wines, customers can also order an array of cocktails.

Khalifa, who hails from France, explained that the mix of the Footnik’s clientele is about 30 percent foreign and 70 percent Japanese, and regular foreign customers hail from the UK, Ireland, Australia, the US, and many other countries. The bar is staffed by plenty of English speakers, and when it’s once again easy for people from around the world to visit Japan, they will be able to order at the Footnik with ease.

Spending even a short time at the bar lets you know that it has managed to stay true to the spirit with which the owner opened it more than 20 years ago. Khalifa—who mentioned that he is looking forward to seeing even more foreign guests once the pandemic is over—says that the easygoing vibe is all part of the plan: “People are here because they like the atmosphere. It’s easy to come in, even on your own; grab a beer, and you can sit anywhere. It’s very relaxed and chill.”

Name The FooTNik Ebisu
Address 1F, Asahi Bldg., 1-11-2 Ebisu, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo
Location About 1-minute walk from Ebisu station (JR Line), or about 2-minute walk from Ebisu station (Hibiya Line)
Tel 03-5795-0144
URL More information

Asakusa

The World End

The World End photo1

Irish Pub in Ueno Offers a Warm Welcome

The World End Irish Pub, which opened in 2012, is a charming little bar that’s conveniently located right in front of Ueno Station—it’s just one minute away. You are greeted with a warm ambience and walls covered in stickers and coasters from a global array of beer brands. Red leather bar stools are dotted around the room, and the bar is positioned toward the back. A Jameson Irish Whiskey flag adorns the ceiling. The bar was opened by Shinya Kawai and his boss, after they spent time working in the popular British pub chain, HUB.

Sitting with pride on the bar is a framed certificate saying: “This is to certify that The World End Irish Pub has crafted 563 Pints of GUINNESS from 2016/9/1 to 2016/9/7.” The highlights of the beer menu are Guinness, Hoegaarden, Heartland and Kilkenny. However, these aren’t the only tipples on offer—typical spirits, wines and cocktails are also available, as well as guest beer taps that are rotated every three days. Kawai explained that many guests enjoy drinking traditional Japanese beers—both famous brands and microbreweries—in the setting of a traditional Irish pub. Irish, Scottish and American whiskies also feature on the menu, and coins, signed banknotes and handwritten notes line the walls as reminders of the international guests who have been before. Once Covid-19 situation improves, Kawai encourages more overseas travelers to come to Japan—and drop in at The World End.

The World End photo2

The Spirit of Craic

The bar is meant to share the spirit of craic—the Irish term for liveliness and good fun, and Kawai has made sure that the interior, atmosphere and staff all contribute to this feeling. As he explained, “I visited an actual Irish pub and used it as a reference for the interior design, and non-Japanese customers often say that it feels like a real Irish pub. Our staff are very friendly and help contribute to the craic atmosphere.”

The food menu features many different British pub dishes such as fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and Guinness stew—Kawai’s favorite.

The World End photo3

Sporting Excitement

The World End is small, meaning guests spend a lot of their evenings rubbing elbows with fellow customers. This gives all a chance to mix and converse, especially when sports are being streamed. The pub has a screen that streams live matches and repeats of sporting events across the globe. The 2019 Rugby World Cup was a prime example, and Kawai said that both foreign and Japanese punters gathered in excitement to enjoy the matches.

He added that many of the bar’s customers are from places such as Ireland, England, Australia, America and Norway, just to name a few. This is exactly in keeping with Kawai’s aim with The World End: “I want to make this bar a place where both locals and people visiting from overseas can easily stop by,” Kawai said. “I’m looking forward to welcoming even more foreign customers once the pandemic is over.”

For those looking for more information about The World End Irish Pub, and its extensive drink selection, visit their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theworldend_irishpub/

Name The World End
Address 2F, TSU Building, 6-14-7 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Location About 1-minute walk from Ueno Station (JR, Ginza and Hibiya Lines)
Tel 03-3837-8870
URL More information

Shinjuku

No Side Club

No Side Club photo1

No Side Club Welcomes All to the World of Rugby

When Rugby World Cup 2019 came to Japan, it transformed the country into a place full of enthusiastic new fans, inspired by the Brave Blossoms’ excellent showing at the tournament. But where is the best place in Tokyo for these newly minted rugby enthusiasts to stay up to speed and deepen their knowledge of the game?

Look no further than Rugby Dinner No Side Club, in Takadanobaba area. The bar is about a five-minute walk from Takadanobaba Station, and has been a veritable mecca for fans of the sport since it opened in 2011.

As the bar’s owner and founder, Masa Takeuchi, explained, the idea behind No Side Club all began with a dream. “For a long time, I had wanted to open a bar where people could enjoy drinks and watch rugby. There really wasn’t a place like this anywhere else in Japan. So opening No Side Club was like a dream come true—one that I’d had for 10 years before making it a reality.”

Takeuchi played rugby himself when he was in high school and university, and is a longtime fan of the English national rugby team. In keeping with his love of things from the UK, No Side Club is designed like a British pub, with plenty of dark wood furnishing. Lining the walls you can find a wide range of rugby memorabilia brought in by longtime customers as well as signed jerseys. At the front of the bar, you can find a lineup of figurines of famous rugby players.

No Side Club photo2

A Center for the Sport

As Takeuchi explained, the vast majority of his customers are rugby fans. But interestingly enough, about 60 percent are female. He added that, after Rugby World Cup 2019, younger people started to become more frequent at the bar, along with foreigners, who made up the majority of the customers during the international tournament.

He fondly recalls one moment that demonstrates the spirit that the No Side Club is known for:“One time, during the Rugby World Cup, the beer tap broke, and a fellow from Wales went to buy cases of beer, which he brought back for us to sell during the match!”

Another draw at the No Side Club is the fact that, before the pandemic, Japanese national team players could often be found at the bar, enjoying lively conversation with customers. Takeuchi is looking forward to welcoming them back, along with even more visitors from overseas, once the Covid-19 situation improves.

One of the things they’ll also look forward to are their monthly talk shows, which feature rugby players who discuss the ins and outs of the game. They also hold regular events for new fans, at which a rugby journalist explains the rules of the game.

Throughout the year, they show all of the major rugby tournaments, as well as live matches. And for diehard fans who have been following the game for years, they have an extensive library of classic matches that can be queued up and played on the TVs.

No Side Club photo3

Friendly Atmosphere

No Side Club serves Suntory on tap, as well as a range of bottled beers from around the world. The bar also has an impressive wine list, featuring vintages from Australia, South Africa, and other countries. Meanwhile, the food menu features a variety of sports bar favorites, from fried chicken and French fries to salads and pizza.

Although rugby is known as a rough sport, its players are also renowned for their sportsmanship and good will off the pitch, and this is something that Takeuchi feels is represented at No Side Club:“During the whole time I’ve run the bar, there has never been any kind of argument between customers.”

Takeuchi is proud that his bar is known not only as a great place for seasoned fans, but for newcomers to the game who want to learn more about it. And he’s looking forward to the pandemic situation improving, so that the same international atmosphere that he experienced at the bar during Rugby World Cup 2019 is rekindled.

Name No Side Club
Address 2F, Castle Anzai Bldg., Takada 3-10-22, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Location About 5 minutes walk from Takadanobaba station (JR Line)
Tel 03-3209-0723
URL More information

Roppongi

Two Dogs Taproom

Two Dogs Taproom photo1

Two Dogs Taproom: Top-Quality Craft Beer and Pizza in the Heart of Roppongi

Pizza is almost ubiquitous in Tokyo, but finding a place in the city that specializes in California-style pizza is rare. Couple that with an ample range of craft beers, and you’ve got a winning combination. That’s exactly what Two Dogs Taproom in Roppongi has to offer.

As Kenjiro Miyazaki, Two Dogs Taproom’s manager explained, the bar was launched in 2013 by Mike Verweyst, a native of Seattle. His inspiration was to make a place where customers could enjoy craft beer and California-style pizza, along with an American-inspired atmosphere. “Mike saw how popular craft beer was in the US, and thought that opening a bar where people could enjoy it—along with California-style pizza—was a great idea.”

It’s an idea that has worked well, and the bar is doing brisk business. Miyazaki explained that foreigners who are working in Japan—particularly those from the US—make up the majority of the bar’s customers, and some of them have been coming since the start. But he added that the number of younger Japanese customers, who are becoming more interested in craft beer, is on the rise.

Two Dogs Taproom photo2

Fine Food and Drink

The hallmark of Two Dogs Taproom’s food menu is its California-style pizzas. They are very good-sized, and feature a wide range of toppings, from the time-honored pepperoni to more exotic offerings like anchovy, kalamata olives and garlic or mushrooms, pancetta, Béchamel, and truffle oil. Vegetarian and vegan customers can also order pizzas with customized toppings. The bar also serves up mains such as fish and chips and spareribs, and appetizers like quesadillas, chicken wings and macaroni and cheese.

True to its name, Two Dogs Taproom features an impressive array of craft beers—up to 25 different types from the US and Japan on tap, which are switched out on a regular rotation. It’s a great place to broaden your palate and explore the rich variety of beers on offer, from lagers to stouts.

Two Dogs Taproom photo3

Home Away from Home

The two floors of the bar have a spacious feel, with particularly high ceilings on the first floor. Two Dogs Taproom regularly shows sports events, including American football, boxing, and UFC fights on the 120-inch TV on the first floor of the bar and 100-inch projector screen on the second floor. Keeping close to Verweyst’s roots, the bar is known to show Seattle Seahawks and Mariners games. They also show football and rugby tournaments.

Throughout the year, there are special events, which particularly draw in American expats. There’s Thanksgiving dinner, which includes turkey and all of the fixings, as well as Super Bowl parties—which happen on Monday morning in Japan!

Once the pandemic improves, Miyazaki says that he is looking forward to inviting even more overseas guests to Two Dogs Taproom. And as the serving staff all speak English, it’s an easy place for people from around the world to visit and feel at home.

Miyazaki says that Two Dogs is perfect for people who are looking to mingle with other foreigners in an international environment, which will be even more dynamic in Japan once the Covid-19 situation improves. And he adds that the appeal of the bar is simple, when you get down to it:“We’re a place where people can laugh, drink, have fun, and enjoy themselves.”

Name Two Dogs Taproom
Address 2F Aries Bldg., Roppongi 3-15-24, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Location About 5-minutes walk from Roppongi station (Hibiya and Oedo Line)
Tel 03-5413-0333
URL More information

Marunouchi

Odaiba