If you’ve spent any time in Tokyo looking for a reliable watering hole (that doesn’t put a major dent in your wallet with outrageous drinks prices, entrance fees and table charges), then you’ve probably stumbled across (or out of) the original 300 Bar in Ginza — or one of its two sister venues nearby.
As it states quite clearly in its name, the venue is located in Ginza, renowned as as being the poshest area in Tokyo. If you aren’t super familiar with the area, live elsewhere in the Kanto region (or Japan) or are just passing through — it can be a tricky location to find a comfortable (and not too expensive) space to enjoy a cocktail, have some nibbles and relax by shaking off the workday with other friendly people of like mind. For over 25 years, 300 Bar has been the place in the area to do this and (also true to its name) — everything on the menu is only ¥300. After work or shopping, before dinner or heading out to a club or as a destination in its own right, you can stop by these tachinomi (standing bars) and enjoy a quality tipple for the cost of just three ¥100 coins. Even better, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. the happy hour at 300 Bar puts even its top shelf premium spirits on sale for ¥300. Did we mention that all this happens in the middle of ultra glitzy Ginza and within an easy walk of Ginza, Shimbashi or Yurakucho stations?
300 Bar 5-Chome
The original 300 Bar 5-Chome opened in 1992 just across from what is now the luxury Ginza Six shopping complex. One of the first true “standing bars” in the city (before the popularity of such places spawned a host of imitators), 300 Bar 5-Chome has an intimate atmosphere that allows bartenders to interact closely with the patrons. A perfect spot to take a break from the plastic hassle of shopping in central Ginza, this is the location that started the trend. Relax, unwind and enjoy a smaller spot that offers a little more intimacy to sample from the vast menu of cocktails and drinks available for just ¥300 or to ask the friendly bartenders for recommendations or inspiration.
300 Bar 8-Chome
Located on the Ginza Corridor, a street containing a string of restaurants and bars between JR Yurakucho and Shimbashi stations, this location — while featuring the same prices and menu — is known more for its nightlife rather than as a break from shopping. Head out a little later in the evening to 300 Bar 8-Chome and you will be able to not only eat and drink for just ¥300, but also enjoy music events almost every night, with sets by regularly performing DJs and artists! It’s also a little closer to the area’s night clubs. Meet your friends and enjoy a premium cocktail or two together before heading out to dance the night away.
300 Bar Next
The newest location, 300 Bar Next, is situated across the street from the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, one of the oldest and most famous Western hotels in the city. Here, the focus is on space with a modern, SoHo-style concrete-and-glass structure with a large bar and plenty of counter space for groups of old friends — or new ones! With enough capacity to comfortably hold over 100 people, large events and private parties, customers can still take advantage of the same affordable menu and prices — with no cover charge.
Grow your own
Right now, 300 Bar is promoting its acclaimed (and still affordable) mojito — awarded “Japan’s Best Mojito” by the Cuban Embassy in Japan. The signature ingredient that landed the plaudits and helps keep cost down? The fresh, organic mint delivered straight from the company’s own organic farm in Aomori Prefecture, planted and harvested by staff bartenders. And its not just the mint — the farm also supplies fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme and sage, as well as the crisp, unprocessed vegetables used in its original salads and other dishes.
Tokyo’s official OG mojito (and other trivia)
The 300 Bar uses over three kilograms of mint per week — just for mojitos!
Other facts you probably don’t know (but we’ll mention anyway):
- 300 Bar uses a lot less sugar in its mojitos to focus on the taste of quality rum and mint — though they can serve you up any variety you’d like.
- The mojito at 300 Bar is always just ¥300. Compare that to other nearby lounges, bars and hotels where the price is often upwards of ¥1,800!
- 300 Bar is a top seller of Havana Club rum in Tokyo, and the group’s bartenders have all spent time in Cuba learning the trade secrets of creating this signature Cuban cocktail.
- Fun fact: 300 Bar was invited by Heineken to Amsterdam as the top seller of Heineken beer in Japan — to perfect the art of the pour, of course.
- There are over 100 different cocktails available on the 300 Bar menu — all for just ¥300.
- All locations are open until 4 a.m. and close to Tsukiji Market (which makes any of them a good spot to while away the wee hours until that tuna auction starts… ).
- Like all good watering holes, the 300 Bar has a happy hour! The only difference? The regular menu items stay the same low price, but from 5 to 7 p.m. all top shelf, premium spirits (like single malt whisky, small batch tequila and hard-to-find rum) are also reduced to ¥300.
- The 300 Bar uses a simple ticket system for patrons: ¥1,000 gets you three vouchers (¥300 each plus tax) — if you don’t use them all up in one night, just bring them back on your next visit.
- No cash? Running a credit card tab is OK.
Open: Mon-Thu & Sun, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; Fri, Sat & Night before holiday, 5 p.m.-4 a.m.