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Don't worry be happy!

Nothing lightens the wallet faster than a couple of cheeky ales after work. It's enough to make you cry. Which is where the happy hour comes - after a couple of hours of cut price pints you won't care how much the beers cost till it's far too late to worry! As part of TC's commitment to public service journalism, and after much grueling research, Sam Johnson and Gertrude Perkins present the definitive guide to Tokyo's drinking deals.

Roppongi Map

ROPPONGI

Hate it or hate it some more, Roppongi's without a doubt the happiest place in town. The concentration of eateries and drinkeries in this confluence of East meets West at its sleaziest means there are probably more happy hours in this square kilometer than there are in all the other areas of Tokyo put together. And if that doesn't put a smile on your face nothing will.

Suggested Happy Hour Crawl: The following bars are numbered in suggested crawling order. No matter how many you choose to go to, if you follow this route (and the five target times) you shouldn't miss any unnecessarily. It involves two loops of Roppongi in the five and a half hours between your first Fuzzy Navel and your last Long Island Iced Tea. The first half hour belongs to the Hard Rock Cafe, and the last hour to Hideout and Wall Street Lounge, the only places sensible enough to keep it cheap till 10pm!

1. Hard Rock Cafe (4:30pm)
What is there to say? It's the earliest happy hour in town. Rock on.
Happy Hour: 4:30-6pm Mon-Fri, all drinks two-for-one.
Address: 5-4-20 Roppongi.
Tel: 03-3408-7018.

2. The Celt (5pm)
Though this sister bar of Paddy Foley's is just about the same in every respect, somehow we still like it better. A little tinier and cozier, perhaps?
Happy Hour: Half price Bud and cocktails every day, 5-7pm.
Ladies Night: Thu all night, half price everything.
Address: 5-5-1 Roppongi, ROI Bldg B1.
Tel: 03-3423-2250.

3. Paddy Foley's
Along with The Celt, Roppongi's Irish destinations of choice. Guinness, Kilkenny and all the trimmings.
Happy Hour: Half price Bud and cocktails, 5-7pm daily.
Ladies Night: Thu all night, half price everything.
Address: 5-5-1 Roppongi, ROI Bldg B1.
Tel: 03-3423-2250.

4. La Fiesta
The happy hour is criminally short but the food is awesome-the best Mexican fare in town. A little on the pricey side, the servings are moderate, and no freebies-you even pay for chips and salsa. We still don't care. It's that good.
Happy Hour: 5-6:30pm daily, drinks are "cheaper" (their words, not ours).
Address: 3-15-23 Roppongi, Roppongi Hanatsubaki Bldg 2F.
Tel: 03-3475-4412.

5. Hub
Ubiquitous chain pub with great drink deals that change daily.
Happy hour: 5-7pm daily. Cocktails JY180-480, Asahi JY250, Bass JY300, wine JY300. Chips and beer set JY500, chicken and beer set JY500, Fish, chips and beer set JY600.
Address: 4-9-2 Roppongi, Haiyuza Bldg.
Tel: 03-3478-0393.

6. Tokyo Sports Cafe (6pm)
One-stop shopping-widescreen TVs, electronic darts, pool, board games, food and drink. Live and recorded sports.
Happy Hour: 6-9pm daily. All drinks JY500.
Ladies Night: Every Tue; all drinks JY500 all night.
Address: 7-15-31 Roppongi, TSK CCC 1F.
Tel: 03-3404-3675.

7. Bamboo Cafe
Not being in Roppongi makes this the perfect Roppongi place, with good Indian food, incomparably corny Indian music videos and killer cocktails (try the Goa Trance to really get your evening going). A sobering walk (or short cab ride) west of Roppongi Crossing.
Happy Hour: Nama beer JY350 from 6-8pm Mon-Thu.
Address: 1-8-4 Nishi Azabu, Iida Bldg 1F.
Tel: 03-3404-9988.

8. Quest
Top darts spot with a comfortably long happy hour and a big screen for sports events, Quest should be well up there on the list, making up for in atmosphere what it lacks in decor.
Happy Hour: Mon-Sat 6-9pm, Sun 7-9pm. All drinks JY500.
Address: Nakano Bldg 2F, 5-8-3, Roppongi.
Tel: 03-3408-6077.

9. Pint's Sports Cafe
A more orderly, tidy kind of sports bar, Pint's nevertheless has all the requisite accessories - pool, darts and foosball to make up for its slightly poor happy hour selection.
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 6-8pm, Sat 6-9pm. Pitcher of beer JY2000, cocktails and shooters JY500 (not including "top shelf" drinks).
Address: 5-31-1 Roppongi, No. 2 Bldg 3F.
Tel: 03-3408-1134.

10. Trading Places (7pm)
Mostly a suit-and-tie crowd, watching sports and puffing on the occasional cigar. Friendly bartenders make this an easy place to lose your work worries, if you ignore the ticking clocks on the wall: New York, London and Tokyo. Tick tick.
Happy Hour: 6-8pm Mon-Fri.
Ladies Night: Thu, all drinks half price.
Address: 5-16-52 Roppongi, Imperial Roppongi Forum Bldg B1.
Tel: 03-3589-2442.

11. Propaganda
Destination of choice for the male suit crowd.
Happy Hour: 6-9pm daily, all drinks half price.
Ladies Night: Wed, all drinks half price.
Address: Yua Roppongi Bldg 2F, 3-14-9 Roppongi.
Tel: 03-3423-0988.

12. Dusk Till Dawn
A refreshing kind of place with a terrace and balcony spitting distance (don't you dare) from the throngs on the main street below, and fine happy hour prices.
Happy hour: Mon-Sat, 6-9pm. Bottled beers, Kilkenny and Guinness JY600. Sapporo and others JY400.
Ladies night: Every Wed.
Address: 3-13-8 Roppongi, Zonan Bldg 2F.
Tel: 03-5771-2258.

13. Rock Bar Sister (8pm)
Bring some ear plugs (or your own tunes, they'll play them for you), 'cos if you don't mind the noise, those prices are mighty fine.
Happy Hour: 7-9pm, all drinks JY300.
Address: Tamagiku Bldg, 4-8-9 Roppongi.
Tel: 03-5474-5605.

14. Geronimo
This stalwart shot bar on Roppongi Crossing is an old fave, and as such has plenty of regulars. If you go wearing a suit, keep an eye on your tie if you don't want it to become part of the wallpaper.
Happy Hour: 7pm-9pm daily. Beers JY400. Shots, spirits and cocktails JY500.
Address: 7-14-10 Roppongi, Yamamuro Bldg 2F.
Tel: 03-3478-7449.

15. Mogambo
This jungley (decor not music) pub is Geronimo's sister bar and follows the same happy hour pattern. A groovy little place, but somehow lacking the je ne sais quoi of its elder sibling.
Happy Hour: Beers JY400, shots, spirits and cocktails JY500, 7-9pm daily.
Address: 6-1-7 Roppongi, Osawa Bldg.
Tel: 03-3403-4833.

16. Hideout (9pm)
If you go before things start hopping, this is a really quiet, comfortable basement, er, hideout. Movies on the widescreen, electronic darts and a sign announcing "No tap water." Whether this means they stick to the mineral variety or you shouldn't ask for water, we're not entirely sure. The "Cuban cigars available" sign is much more straightforward.
Happy Hour: 6-10pm daily, all drinks JY500.
Ladies Night: Thu, two-for-one drinks all night long.
Address: 3-14-9 Roppongi, Yua Roppongi Bldg B1.
Tel: 03-3497-5219.

17. Wall Street Lounge
Here's a concept we can live with: every night during happy hour play Toss the Boss-flip for your drink; if you win, drink for free, if you lose, pay regular price.
Happy Hour: 6-10pm daily, all drinks JY500.
Pappadum Frenzy: Thu 7:30-11pm, JY2500 all-you-can-eat Indian food (including real Basmati rice) prepared by a chef from Delhi.
Ladies Night: Fri, Latin house night, drinks JY500 all night.
Address: 3-15-24 Roppongi, #2 Togensha Bldg 2F.
Tel: 03-3478-7659.


BEST OF THE REST


Outside Roppongi the happy hours are really too spread out to be crawlable, although a Happy Hour Bike Tour might be possible. (Just don't get too happy if you're cycling down Meiji Dori in rush hour, okay?) A better class of establishment can be found further west in Hiroo and Ebisu, and (just classier) in Shibuya. For one of the major entertainment districts, Shinjuku's range of happy hours is disappointing, to say the least. However, this is more than made up for by the phenomenal off-peak deals offered by the izakaya and karaoke halls of Kabukicho and 2-Chome for afternoon drinking. (Also possible around the Udagawa-cho area of Shibuya.) The best approach is to wander around collecting flyers or listening to the hawkers and then pick your spot!

Ebisu
Piga-Piga
Get out before the music starts if you want to avoid the JY1000 cover charge; stay if you want to dance to excellent live music. Interesting food menu includes crocodile. The leopard and zebra skin wall coverings are, mercifully, fake.
Happy Hour: 6-8:30pm, all drinks JY500.
Address: 1-8-1 Ebisu Minami, SMT Bldg B2, Shibuya-ku.
Tel: 03-3715-3431.

Shanghai
Never having been to Shanghai we can't quite say what lends this place its moniker. It certainly isn't the food, which is the usual pasta/salad/sandwich lineup. Well, no matter. This restaurant/bar with high tables and chairs opening out onto the street is not a bad place to find yourself shanghaied on a mid-summer's eve.
Happy Hour: Tue 6-8pm all-you-can-drink beer, wine and whiskey JY900.
Address: 1-7-8 Ebisu Minami, Shibuya-ku.
Tel: 03-3715-2207.

Inishmore
A comfortable pub with great grub and super happy hour deals: you can't do much better than this. The chef is looking for a challenge (she was visibly crestfallen when we all ordered fish 'n chips) so let her experiment in the kitchen while you relax at the cozy, clean unfinished wood counters.
Happy hour: 5-7pm daily. Guinness, Kilkenny JY500 per pint, every Mon all cocktails JY500.
Address: 1-2-4 Ebisu Minami, Ebisu Palace, Shibuya-ku.
Tel: 03-5722-5481.

Lazy Cat
A lazier cat you will not find in all of Tokyo. They claim to be open every day but were inexplicably closed when we went by to "research" their happy hour. Makes Garfield look positively genki. Purportedly have a darts board.
Happy Hour: JY2000 all-you-can-drink from 5-8pm daily.
Address: 4-10-3 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku.
Tel: 03-3442-8679.

Shibuya
Rock City Noize
Rock music joint next to Tokyu Hands with a quality happy hour-if you can handle the noise!
Happy Hour: 6-8:30pm daily. Cocktails JY500, Guinness JY550.
Address: 2-9 Udagawa-cho, World Bldg B1, Shibuya-ku.
Tel: 03-3462-2983.

Smash Hits
Mega karaoke spot with no happy hour but half price entry for women on Wednesdays. 
Ladies Night: Every Wed women admitted for JY1500.
Address: 5-2-26, M2 Bldg B1, Hiroo, Shibuya-ku.
Tel: 03-3444-0432.

Sugar High
This swinging little DJ bar opens early to give you time for a few cheeky ones before the party seriously gets going later on.
Happy Hour: 7-9pm daily. All cocktails JY500.
Address: 2-16-3 Dogenzaka, Yubun Bldg 3F, Shibuya-ku.
Tel: 03-3780-3022.

Hub
This chain has two branches in Shibuya (the one near Parco Part 2 is bigger and busier, the one near HMV quieter and dingier) and a new one has opened in the Nishi-Shinjuku Opera City building. All share the same happy hour schedule.
Happy Hour: 5-7pm daily. Cocktails JY180-480, Asahi JY250, Bass JY300, wine JY300. Chips and beer set JY500, chicken and beer set JY500, Fish, chips and beer set JY600.
Address: Udagawa-cho 3-10, Toan Shibuya Bldg B1 and Udagawa-cho 25-9, Nobara Bldg B1, Shibuya-ku.
Tel: 03-3496-0765 and 03-3770-4524, respectively.

Shinjuku
The Shamrock
An odd horseshoe-shaped layout gives this basement pub lots of little nooks and crannies. Perfect for a late afternoon tryst, a little solitude, or (it's been known to happen) bursting into song-preferably in Gaelic.
Happy Hour: Cocktails JY400 from 5-7pm daily. Address: 1-13-3 Nishi-Shinjuku, Seishin Bldg B1, Shinjuku-ku.
Tel: 03-3348-4609.

Takadanobaba
Foot Nik
Lots of football on the widescreen, a real darts board and good, reasonably priced grub. Is there anything else in life that matters?
Happy Hour: 5-7pm daily.
Ladies Night: Every Tue.
Address: 3-12-8 Takadanobaba, Marugami Bldg B1, Shinjuku-ku.
Tel: 03-5330-5301.

Ikebukuro
Beat's Bar
Happy Hour: 6-8pm Tue-Thu, all drinks JY400; Thu-Sun, all drinks JY600.
Address: 1-1 Ikebukuro 4-chome, Aiwa Bldg B1F, Toshima-ku.
Tel: 03-5391-6292.

The Black Sheep
Happy Hour: 6-8pm daily.
Ladies Night: Every Tue.
Address: 1-7-12, B1, Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku.
Tel: 03-3987-2289.

Zion
Happy Hour: 6-9pm daily.
Address: 2-5-7 Ikebukuro, Fuji Bldg 3F, Toshima-ku.
Tel: 03-3971-5270.

Shinagawa
Harbor Deli
Happy hour: 4-7pm daily.
Address: 2-15-2 Konan, Intercity Bldg D-105, Minato-ku.
Tel: 03-3472-0585.

Yoyogi/Sendagaya
Jam
Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 5-7pm.
Address: 4-5-11 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku (nearest stn.: JR Yoyogi or Sendagaya).
Tel: 03-3479-6950.

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