Tokyo’s Kagurazaka For Red Lights & Dim Ambiance

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speakeasy

Above is ambient lighting at a speakeasy in Kagurazaka. World-renowned for their classic and craft cocktail culture, there are many outstanding speakeasies and bars in Tokyo. In fact, bartenders from cosmopolitan cities like New York and Sydney often look to Tokyo for guidance in their libation creation. To truly experience the old time craft cocktail scene in the city you should head to Kagurazaka, where you’ll find a plethora of signless venues hidden down narrow alleyways.

Many of them look like nothing, so you’ll need to do a bit of searching – which only makes it that much more special when you do find a great spot. The major thing that sets Tokyo’s speakeasies and underground bars apart from the rest of the world’s is the locals who know about them are serious about keeping their identities secret.

In fact, Shinji, the Tokyo Fixer and my local guide, made me promise not to disclose the location of the above photographed underground bar, which I’ll just call “Bar C” to give you a hint. While I can tell you the snacks are dried figs and apricot, the cocktails I cannot as this is the type of place where you tell the bartender a bit about your tastes and he crafts a perfect libation for your personality. Keep in mind, Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so double check how much the drinks are before you order a second (I learned this the hard way when my small-but-delicious cocktail came to $25).

 

Jessica Festa
Jessica Festa is the editor of the travel sites Jessie on a Journey (http://jessieonajourney.com) and Epicure & Culture (http://epicureandculture.com). Along with blogging at We Blog The World, her byline has appeared in publications like Huffington Post, Gadling, Fodor's, Travel + Escape, Matador, Viator, The Culture-Ist and many others. After getting her BA/MA in Communication from the State University of New York at Albany, she realized she wasn't really to stop backpacking and made travel her full time job. Some of her most memorable experiences include studying abroad in Sydney, teaching English in Thailand, doing orphanage work in Ghana, hiking her way through South America and traveling solo through Europe. She has a passion for backpacking, adventure, hiking, wine and getting off the beaten path.
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