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If you are ever at the Tokyo Zoo in Ueno and are looking for some respite from the heat and crowds, this cozy little spot is for you. Offering a peaceful haven away from the crowds and the animals, this little bar has cold beers for tired and thirsty souls. This is a place that you can keep coming back to, with regulars making up a large part of the clientele. There is live music nearly every night and happy hour daily between 5p and 7p. On Mondays and Sundays the nightclub opens at 5 p.m.
Livehouse Manhole as the name suggests is alive with music, dance and the works. Well-known for hosting live shows and concerts, artists of various genres like pop, rock and punk, promise an entertaining time. The glitz and glamor of the place is evident from the cheering crowds during a show and the electrifying ambiance that talented bands create with their music. Apart from adding to the city's nightlife, it makes a good venue to host private parties and events. It is also a rehearsal and recording studio that caters to talented musicians and artists. For information on the schedule of events check the website. Tickets can be booked online or via phone.
This restaurant is the place to come to if you are a connoisseur of good sake or if you are a beginner who would like to learn about this traditional drink. You will find all the famous brands from all over the country here and some outstanding brands that are known only to the chosen few. Novices need not worry—the staff members are more than happy to advise you on what to drink. There is also an eclectic menu featuring local as well as international dishes.
The Live Inn Rosa has some of the best bands playing their signature music all day long. The performances are live on their big center stage and you can be sure to catch some or the other bands churning out good music as you sip on to your drinks. The music played is mostly J-hop making it quite a contemporary nightclub. An evening at the Live Inn Rosa ensures you complete enjoyment and alleviates your worries making you feel refreshed.
You would most likely walk right by Sanpei Saketen, perhaps mistaking if for a tiny noodle shop or a smoking shack, but not a bar. But that's exactly what Sanpei Saketen is - a tiny, street-level standing bar that's two-thirds hidden behind the vending machines just outside. There are no seats, but there is a toilet, just in case. The floor is as dirty and cheap as the dirt cheap drinks, which start at JPY150. It's cool in winter and fills with second-hand smoke in the blink of an eye, but it's a great place to rub shoulders with locals. Sanpei Saketen is a tight, reasonably friendly, alcoholic pit stop where you can top up before you go on your way. -Stephen Lebovits
Just as the name suggests, Beer Saurus is the go to place in Ikebukuro if you want to try out different types of beer. With great happy hours during which time the beer prices are halved, you can try out a number of their varied selection of beer which includes international selections numbering up to 100. Zippy cocktails and champagne are also available to sip on. Along with drinks, the place also serves a number of delectable sharing plates of food. The cuisine is a clever mix of American and Japanese wherein American classics are taken and given a Japanese spin. Artfully scattered memorabilia and dim lighting gives the place a cozy vibe making it the perfect place to grab an after-work drink with friends or party late into the night.