Summer 2009

At one point the city’s most celebrated entertainment district, Akasaka still draws Tokyoites looking to relax after a hard day’s work. Here, Korean barbeque joints rub shoulders with exclusive sake bars and high-class Japanese restaurants a stone’s throw from the Imperial Palace. Just down the road, Kasumigaseki is Japan’s Capitol Hill, with corridors of power that include the National Diet Building, various ministries and even the nearby palace of the Crown Prince and Princess. The area is also home to its share of flashy developments, iconic hotels, bold-name foreign businesses and embassies, including a very well-protected US presence.

Dining ¥(~¥3,000) ¥¥(¥3,000-¥6,000) ¥¥¥(¥6,000-¥10,000) ¥¥¥¥(¥10,000~)


Yasaiya Teppanyaki Akasaka

This teppanyaki restaurant in the old nightlife quarter of Akasaka serves healthy and organic food from all over Japan, including quality fish and steak and plenty of Japanese beer and sake. The wraparound counter has a full view of the chef’s grill. Reservations strongly recommended. 104 Akasaka Belgo, 3-11-14 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3560-3131. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-3am, closed Sun & hols. Nearest stn: Akasaka or Akasaka-Mitsuke. ¥¥

This restaurant at the ANA Hotel specializes in food from Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, including jingisukan (or Genghis Khan, barbecued lamb) and seafood. 2F, 1-12-33 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3505-1111. 24 hrs. Nearest stn: Tameike-Sanno. ¥¥

This Akasaka eatery is an amazing mix of architecture and ambience. A replica Edo-period village with ninja waiters, magicians, Japanese cuisine and a maze of dark private rooms. 1F Akasaka Tokyu Plaza, 2-14-3 Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-5157-3936. Open Mon-Sat 5pm-2am, Sun & hols 5-11pm. Nearest stn: Akasaka-Mitsuke. ¥¥¥¥


Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Ruth’s Chris is the US’ premier fine dining steakhouse. From custom-aged premium American and Japanese beef broiled to perfection at 1,800°F to expertly executed seafood, New Orleans-inspired appetizers, unforgettable desserts and an award-winning wine list, Ruth’s Chris sets standards that other steakhouses aspire to. 1F Tokyo Club Bldg, 3-2-6 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-3501-0822. Open daily 11am-11pm (L.O. 10pm). Nearest stn: Kasumigaseki (exit A13), Toranomon (exit 5) or Tameike-Sanno (exit 8). ¥¥¥¥

West Park Café
WPC serves excellent salads, roasted chicken and brunch, as well as other classic American cuisine. 2F Akasaka Tokyu Plaza, 2-14-3 Nagata­cho, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-3580-9090. Open daily 11:30am-10pm (L.O.). Nearest stn: Akasaka-Mitsuke. ¥¥


Franziskaner Bar & Grill
This bistro specializing in German beer offers some of the finest, exclusively imported lagers in a traditional atmosphere. 5-11-12 Toranomon, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3436-6949. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-4am, Sat, Sun & hols 12-9pm. Nearest stn: Kamiyacho. ¥

Zum Eichen Platz
This country-style restaurant is like a traditional German home in the heart of the city. Zum Eichen Platz offers an excellent selection of German beers, from Spaten to Flensburger, as well as authentic food items, including schnitzel, sardine dishes and imported, additive-free sausages. Their seasonal course menu starts at a reasonable ¥3,200. 2F Akasaka Dori No. 50 Bldg, 5-5-11 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5545-6623. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-3pm, 5:30-11:30pm, closed Sun & hols. Nearest stn: Akasaka. ¥¥

Pizzeria 1830
A tribute to the first “true” pizzeria opened in Naples in 1830, the eatery uses only the freshest ingredients. 1F Albergo Nogizaka Bldg, 9-6-28 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3402-1830. Open daily 11:30am-3pm, 5:30-10:30pm. Nearest stn: Nogizaka. ¥¥

School Food
The first Japan branch of a Seoul chain serving everyday Korean home cooking. Watch the chefs prepare your meal in the open kitchen. 3-14-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5575-3646. Open Mon-Sat 11am-3am, Sun & hols 11am-11pm. Menu in Japanese only. No non-smoking seats. Nearest stn: Akasaka, exit 1. ¥

Jim Thompson’s Table Thailand

Very popular second branch of a Tokyo Thai food institution, located in the sparkling Akasaka Biz Tower complex. Course dinners are ¥3,500, ¥4,200 or ¥5,000. 1F Akasaka Biz Tower, 5-3-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5545-7760. Open daily 11am-11pm. Nearest stn: Akasaka, exit 1. Ginza branch: 10F Marronnier Gate, 2-2-14 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5524-1610. Open daily 11am-11pm. Nearest stn: Ginza, exit C8, or Yurakucho. ¥¥



The Dubliners’
One of eight in a chain of well-known Irish-style watering holes, this Akasaka pub has a friendly atmosphere. B1 Sanno Park Tower, 2-11-1 Nagata­cho, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-3539-3615. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm, 5-11:30pm. Nearest stn: Tameike-Sanno.

sports bar
BBC, or Billiard Bar Cosmo, offers drinks, darts and billiards in a lively downtown location, with an ever-changing bar-food menu and mix of Japanese and foreign customers. Heavy on American bourbons, BBC also features Guinness and other Western and Japanese beers. 2F Mayuzumi Bldg, 3-10-3 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3585-4838. Open Mon-Thu 5:30pm-3am, Fri 5.30pm-5am, Sat & hols 5:30-11:30pm, closed Sun. Nearest stn: Akasaka-Mitsuke.

Sam & Dave
Tokyo’s first branch of the Kansai nightlife staple, Sam & Dave offers swanky décor and your favorite drinks served by smiling, English-speaking staff. This is one bar in bustling Akasaka not to be missed. Note the weekday 6-8pm happy hour. B1, 4-3-6 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3585-0325. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-5am, closed Sun. Nearest stn: Akasaka or Akasaka-Mitsuke.


togu palace Inspired by Buckingham Palace and Versailles, the Crown Prince’s residence is closed to the public but still a sight to behold|national diet building See where the big decisions are made with a tour through the home of the House of Councillors and House of Representatives|sanno park tower This high-rise office tower is hard to miss and filled with famous Japanese and foreign firms|hie shrine Dating back to 1478, this hilltop shrine was reconstructed in 1967 and holds one of the city’s most celebrated festivals|hotel okura Home to Orchid Bar, this iconic hotel also has the best ’70s decor in the city|suntory museum of art Founded by the liquor company of the same name, this small museum houses a collection of Japanese paintings, lacquerware and more

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