When I sat at my desk in London, laptop brimming with possibilities, to edit the new Spring 2015 guides as they landed, this bar review jumped out at me for its brutal honesty and roller coaster appeal of being a slightly wild ride. Cue a long-distance salute to our resident Tokyo writer Nicholas Coldicott for not pulling any punches. Incidentally, the picture is from a photo library as they didn’t send us one so you can keep your dreams of cherry blossom and Zen-like calm for another day. Seasonal Cities – you can handle the truth.


It’s a contender for ugliest bar in Tokyo and if you want to sit down you pay extra. The service is non-existent — you pour your own drinks and you’ll be kicked out after two hours. But Sakekurabe has one of the capital’s best sake line-ups and you can drink as much as you like in your allotted time. Bring your own food.

Favourite drink: the selection changes all the time but if available be sure to finish up with one of the creamy white nigori (unfiltered) sakes.

+81 3 59905444


1-13-7 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku