There is no shortage of incredible bars in Tokyo, whether you’re looking for a rowdy izakaya (a Japanese pub) or an upscale cocktail tasting.
But we always love a good hotel bar because they make for excellent people watching and, occasionally, some of the best city views. Tokyo has no shortage of great hotel bars, but these are four are our favorites. They’re all destinations in their own right, so be sure to put them at the top of your cocktailing list when visiting the city.
New York Bar at Park Hyatt Tokyo
If you’re looking for classic elegance and impeccable service, then a stay at Park Hyatt Tokyo is definitely in order. But even if you don’t get a chance to rest your head at this esteemed hotel, the New York Bar—which is perched high above the city on the 52nd floor of the property—is a legend in its own right. You may recognize the space from Sofia Coppola’s 2003 film Lost in Translation as the place where Bill Murray famously drank his Suntory during bouts of jetlag.
New York Bar is one of the best places in the city to listen to live jazz every night of the week, so be sure to make a reservation, as the bar gets quite busy. In addition to a huge wine and champagne list, the bar staff can make you just about any classic cocktail you desire, along with signature creations. We were big fans of the Eternal Flame, mixed with Nikka Yoichi Whisky, apple, apple vinegar syrup, and lemon juice. If you’re feeling peckish, order the pork ribs tortilla, which is one of our favorite dishes in the city.
TwentyEight at Conrad Tokyo
Modern luxury and friendly service is what you can expect from a stay at Conrad Tokyo, along with spacious rooms, the prettiest bathrooms in town (complete with a grand soaking tub), four delicious restaurants, and a well-equipped fitness center. Come cocktail hour, you can find us lounging at TwentyEight, Conrad Tokyo’s skyscraper lobby bar that offers sweeping views of the bay and live music almost nightly.
Along with a massive wine list, TwentyEight has a cocktail or spirit for every mood. Choose your favorite gins and garnishes for a custom Gin and Tonic, or treat yourself to a tiki libation like the Smoky Colada, made with Havana Club 7 Year Rum, Lagavulin 16 Year Scotch Whisky, pineapple juice, coconut, and milk. One of our favorite cocktails currently served at TwentyEight is the Yuzu An, a collaboration with Coca-Cola that’s mixed with Coca-Cola, Suze, yuzu juice, and champagne. If you want to check out the bar in daylight hours, settle in for afternoon tea and indulge in bubbly, scones, sandwiches, and sweets.
Mandarin Bar at Mandarin Oriental
Just like its properties the world over, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo delivers five-star luxury at every turn. Though each nook and cranny of this property is gorgeous, our favorite by far is the Mandarin Bar, a square bar in the center of the room opens to a lounge full of plush seating and the best table in the city: a cozy area for four completely surrounded by water. But the Mandarin Bar isn’t just about its luxe decor, as the cocktails here live up to its sterling reputation.
The talented bar team is always creating a menu with locality in mind, so you’re sure to get a sip of the city when you order off Mandarin’s signature menu. The Sakura Martini (Tori Kai Rice Shochu, sakura liqueur, lemon and grapefruit juices, and simple syrup) toasts to Japan’s famous cherry blossoms, while the Tokyo G&T (Botanist Gin, yuzu, sweet sake, yuzu liqueur, and Fever-Tree Indian Tonic) puts a unique twist on the classic Highball. If you’re watching your alcohol intake, the solid list of mocktails is worth a try.
The Oak Door Bar at Grand Hyatt Tokyo
If you want to stay in the center of the action, check out Grand Hyatt Tokyo, which is located in the city’s international nightlife district, Roppongi. The hotel’s layout is one of the prettiest we’ve seen, as courtyards and open-air restaurants wind through the property. The Oak Door Bar is just as lively as the surrounding neighborhood. The rectangular bar is outfitted with dark leather stools, and wine and spirits cases line the walls, displaying the bounty at hand.
Lively conversation from both hotel guests and locals fills the room as one of the skilled bartenders prepares you a frosty beverage. The Martinis here are absolutely killer, and a menu of classics will quench your thirst no matter what you’re craving. We also love the signature Jameson Cocktail, which is mixed with the Irish whiskey, Cherry Heering, and Benedictine D.O.M. If you’re feeling hungry, grab a table at The Oak Door for steaks and its perfectly grilled burger, topped with barbecue aioli, bacon, cheddar, and crispy onions.