Cheap Beer and Good Ole' Fashioned Xenophobia

[New Update: January 2013]

emergency notice
Cheap as Shit

All right Tokyo lushes. We're well into 2013 and with the new year comes new cheapo drinking holes. 

To keep this short and sweet and just to the damn point (getting drunk for cheap as hell), I'm going to drop some knowledge on your aching livers, so check this shit out.

Courtesy of the patron saint of alcoholics, we were able to dig out a pretty mean map of cheapo drinking joints. Some are already listed on this post, and some have popped up in the last few years without us knowing about it. A big shout out to 肉ブログ (Japanese for Meat Blog) on this one. If you can read Japanese, check Meat Blog's linked entry out and figure out where all the cheap izakaya are located. We got most of them covered, though.

Check this bigger map of the Chinese Cyberpunk Cheapo Zaibatsu in Japanese

This really only covers what I like to call the Chinese Cyberpunk Cheapo Zaibatsu chain of drinking establishments. With the cheapest joint -- that we know of -- currently selling their unique brand of swill for only 30 A POP. Yes, you read it right. 

Drunk Salaryman
Year of the Drunken Lunatic

According to their sign embedded at the top of this post, it'll be going on until the end of March, at which point they will raise the rate to 40 Yen for all of April, then 50 Yen for May, and so on. This Xanadu of liquid gold is called MEDAKA, and it's located smack in the middle of Kabukicho -- home of hosts and Yakuza.

Another great find we came across recently is a little nondescript joint called GUERRILLA TANTO in the quieter parts of Shibuya. They're slinging 50 beers until February 1st 5 am, then the price will be hiked up to 100¥ a beer. Not too shabby.

Well, that about covers it for now. I'll be sure to keep this updated when I stumble upon some great drinking deals. Until then!

[Updated: Early 2012]

There is yet another cheapo izakaya from the same chain now open in Shibuya, called SUMIRE. It's located more towards Shinsen on the KEIO Inokashira line. Currently, the beers are 80  until the end of May. 

I had the chance to check it out (twice in one week -- my liver is weeping...) and there are 3 floors, stacked with salariman with the odd gaijin sprinkled in to the mix. Same menu, same system, however they will flat out deny college-aged "circles" who are notoriously obnoxious with there drinking games and passing out and pissing all over the place (get of my lawn?).

[Updated: Sometime in 2011]
I went to this 180 ¥enner in Roppongi about 2 months ago, and even at that point it'd most likely been open for a few months. Nevertheless, we have another 180 Yen-a-beer joint! In Roppongi for that matter! REJOICE!

MATSU-CHAN (すし居酒屋松ちゃん), the new addition to the Chinese Gutter-Punk run chain of cheap brew izakayas, is inconspicuously tucked in a back alley close to 7th Heaven (yeah you know you've either been suckered into going in there or had to brush off the aggressive Nigerian touts at one point). En route to, one can glance upon crude, hand-written signs in broken Engrish advising you noisy gwailo to shut the fuck up at night.

New 180 Yenner under the guise of a "sushi izakaya", 

[Original Post: January 2010]

I'm on a roll today! So here's another post. This one actually stays within the range of my original theme for this damned thing. But I digress.

Many my friends are well-acquainted with, or at least heard of, the "racist bar", nestled in the seedy sector of Kabukicho. Formal title: ALPS.

The place is a shithole. The beer is swill, as they don't clean/change the tubes often enough. Also. foreigners are relegated to sit on the 4th floor. This is ポレシー (policy). Although I did get to sit on the 3rd floor, once, when I was accompanied by a friend and a couple of Japanese birds.

In the past 5 or so years many stores of the same keiretsu have been scattered about throughout Tokyo. As far as I know (and have been to), there are 6 total. But none of these would be possible without the advent of the first 50¥ → 100¥ → 180¥ → 290¥(?) beer joints run by a rag-tag team of lovable Chinese Gutter-Punks, YAMATO, located in Shinjuku West.

I have hazy memories of going there with fellow eikaiwa goons (yes, I did a year stint of that B.S.) and students. As well as entertaining friends who came to visit from the US (CBB loved this place's karaage, but he loves all karaage so no big deal).

As with ALPS, I experienced some racism at YAMATO once. I went there with some gaijin friends one night, and upon entering I was told that foreigners were no longer allowed. Their excuse being that some Brits had caused a ruckus the previous evening, or something to that accord. Bummer. However, I went there about a year later to test the waters and they seemed to have reneged on their no-foreigner policy. Problem solved, but not rectified. Conclusion: They're comfortable with racism. To that I shake my head in a slow disappointed manner...

Anyway, I need to wrap this post up.
The following are the other stores:

YUKARI - Harajuku
NAKANISHI - Omotesandō
MIKAMI - Asakusabashi
BOTAN - Gotanda (newer store)

So if you want to piss off some Chinese Hardcore-Punks by ordering too much cheap beer, not ordering enough food (warning! 1 person, 1 dish limit!) and by simply existing, check out one of these 6 locations. I believe BOTAN is still 50¥ a beer or maybe 100¥ by know. Fridays and days before national holiday are 150¥ there. Prices will change. I haven't been to the other ones in a while, but I'm confident none are over 290, although YAMATO may be 380 or something ridiculous by now.


  1. Just went with ピー君 to Alps the other day, and where located on the 3rd floor. Didn't see a 4th one, but was not looking for it either.

    Well I noticed that there were nearly only Koreans around, and us. Waiters looked Korean too.

    Which makes me think: is it not the contrary ? Upper floor being forbidden to the J-crowd, and reserved for foreigners ?

    BTW, beer was 150\, also it was a Friday. Good deal. Didn't look too much at the quality of it.

  2. "Upper floor being forbidden to the J-crowd"

    I like your perspective on this.