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Nagoya’s Beer Gardens

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3915828522_0e1c948be6_oIt could be argued that one of the greatest things on Earth is sitting outside on a warm summer’s day with an ice cold beer. Being from the south west of England I am used to having a pub on every corner, and almost all of them will have a garden of some kind for whiling away the balmy summer evenings.

While Nagoya isn’t blessed with the same quantity of country pubs and expanse of green spaces it does make up for it by, every summer, opening up beer gardens atop of many of its buildings. Most of these, for a set time and cost, will offer an all-you-can drink ‘nomihoudai’ service along with food. Please keep in mind that the below list is for information purposes only and the establishments are not endorsed by Japan Info Swap.

Meitetsu Building Beer Garden

Perched on the 13th floor of the Meitetsu department store the Meitetsu Building Beer Garden is perhaps the ‘daddy’ of Nagoya’s beer gardens and has both sheltered and unsheltered seating. Its popularity is most likely down to the unlimited drinks available from opening to closing (no other time restrictions) . The food however, while is also unlimited and being mostly of the deep fried variety and thus appetizing after a few beers, isn’t exactly going to win many prizes.

Bali Beer Garden

Across the street from the Meitetsu building is Bali Beer Garden. Slightly more refined than its neighbour, the setting is lit with delicate lamps and decorated with draped ivy. The food is pretty good with a choice of yakiniku sets amongst others (though is not unlimited), and the drinks choices include sparkling wine cocktails and the premium Yebisu beer. One down side is that, if you are seated outside and it begins to rain they do not allow you to move in to join the indoor diners.

Beer Garden MaiAmi

There are three venues for this beer garden chain that is named, not after the Floridian city, but for the Japanese female names Mai and Ami. The most popular is perhaps the Sakae branch on top of the Mitsukoshi Department store. There is a huge drink selection including hot or cold sake, and you can even request wine cocktails. The food includes all you can eat BBQ and Teppanyaki.

Chunichi building rooftop Beer Garden

This is another popular chouice in the centre of Sakae on top of one of the area’s landmarks. Fortunately it seats upward of 750 people, and it offers great views of the city, including the TV Tower, as the sun sets . The menu is of a Japanese-Sino fusion style buffet and the drink menu includes Kirin Ichiban frozen cocktails, which are perfect on particularly warm nights. Sports fans can watch the Chunichi Dragons games live on TV.

Yanagibashi Beer Garden

As you would expect, being in the Yanagibashi Fishmarket district, Yanagibashi Beer Garden’s specialty dish is steak. No, not really, it’s seafood and sashimi of course. But not only is the food pretty good, but they also have special events such as sports nights, live concerts from local bands (albeit mostly J-Pop) and party nights. Check out the website to see what is going on tonight.

Mark Guthrie

Photo: flickr.com "Nagoya Beer Garden. Beautiful evening - complete with inlaw in drink." by Robert Sanzalone (CC BY-SA 2.0) -Modified

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