For much of May, Tokyo has enjoyed blue skies, sunshine and summer-like temperatures. As the weather warms up, my mind increasingly turns from the sake and wine of winter to frothier forms of refreshment, and these days my interest lies squarely in Japanese craft beer.
Tokyo is awash with the stuff, and more and more venues are specializing in domestic brews. Several local producers, such as Ibaraki Prefecture's Kiuchi Brewery (makers of Hitachino Nest Beer) and Nagano Prefecture's Yo-Ho Brewing Company, which produces the brand Yona Yona, operate bars in the Japanese capital. Feeling thirsty last weekend, I popped into the latest addition to the Yona Yona Beer Works family, a surprisingly tourist-free haven in the chaotic Kabukicho area next to Seibu-Shinjuku Station.
The new location is smaller than its siblings but retains the same brushed-copper look — decorative kegs and amber-colored Edison bulbs dangle from the ceiling — and buzzy vibe. The menu is similarly consistent: 12 varieties on tap and a range of snacks, such as raclette and mozzarella sausages and French fries with dried seaweed.