Definitely warrants a visit to the two pubs. A few beers I hadn’t seen elsewhere. Simple food on offer. Friendly bartenders. Small space in both bars but probably won’t be a problem. They’ve turned an empty key-keg into a fish bowl.
Definitely a must stop in Tokyo. Very good selection, with interesting imports and older beers. Guys seem to know their stuff and get in nice beers. Definitely expensive. Hand pump beers from Yo-Ho were cheap, though. The smaller #2 bar is standing only, but more hardcore geeks were in there. Interesting draught sake as well. Great.
As it was Dec.30th when I popped in they had 700 yen half pints and 1000 yen pints but they decided to cancel the 1100 yen tasting set even though it was on the menu. That being said, service was knowledgeable & friendly enough but for the event it was cash on delivery. The selection was good with a Masaji Beer I was trying to track down & some really nice ales on hand pumps-all beers I had were in great condition. The atmosphere was nice with the sitting bar being all dark woods & a bit classy whereas the standing bar was more of a rough hewn rowdy atmosphere. A really nice place but after hearing tons of effusive praise for it in Kansai I was expecting to get my socks knocked off.
At first I thought I walked into the wrong place. Itstruck me as a new age version of a traditional Japanese eatery. Thank goodness I eventually saw the array of taps behind the bar. The Master welcomed me warmly and gave me a menu of all the beers and food they have. I looked at it and tried to pretend I could read Japanese but before I could get a word out he laughed and asked me what type of beer I like (Meaning no English menu). From there things just kept getting better. The 20 taps and 3 hand pumps had beers you don’t normally see even at the better beer bars around Tokyo. Plenty of Ji-Beer and an assortment of international brews as well. Rouge was the American offering. I had a few of there offerings and all were at the proper temperatures and pulled with care. Prices weren’t bad- for Tokyo. I only had the cheese plate to eat but it was tasty and very well presented which went with the classy but not overbearing mood of the joint. Smoking is permitted. I’d say that Ushi-Tora and Popeyes are the main players in Tokyo but Ushi-Tora doesn’t get any where near the attention. I’ll definitely be back.
New rating for the new place. Staff experience was a lot better here than in the standing bar where I’ve had some dodgy experiences. Selection is heavy on their own beers which are priced around the 1000 yen mark. Japanese guests and imports are crazy expensive which they have to lose points for. Nice looking place and I know they have their fans, but the prices are a major turn off for me.
Collection of two bars a few minutes walk from Shimokitazawa Station. Entered the first bar at the top of the stairs which is Ushi-Tora II, standing room only and pretty tiny. Ushi-Tora I is on the same floor a few steps away with tables and bar seating.
Good selection of Japanese and imported beers at both bars. Different menu at both but you can order at one bar and take it to the other. Pretty expensive beers, maybe the most expensive I’ve seen in Japan.
Didn’t try the food but it looked good from what others were ordering. Food menu was only in Japanese, not sure if they had an English menu but I wasn’t hungry enough to ask.
Friendly service. Worth a stop, just be prepared to splurge a bit on the beer.
TimE (332) Tokyo, Japan | August 10, 2007| Updated August 19, 2009
About 23 taps (second most in Japan?) that rotate with a few selections you won’t see elsewhere in the city, including Fast Impact which Baird specially made for its 2nd anniversary, but has now become a regular. The difference between here and Popeye’s is the selection changes dramatically here. In one week almost all the taps could be differenent than the week before, which is great for us living in Japan. Prices are also about the highest in Tokyo. Owners are friendly. Pretty laid back place that is best not for large groups.
Last time I was here with MartinT, we ate some pickeled smoked vegetables that tasted like good smoked cheese. Very odd, but no one was complaining at all.
From Shimokitazawa take the south exit and immediately turn left and walk along the rail tracks until the crossing. Turn right (supermarket on left hand side). At the end of the supermarket turn left. It is on the second floor of the building 20 meters in front of you. Open late and not open for lunch.
Since they opened the second place (two doors down) they have about 35 taps, which are always rotating and very interesting. Rating reflects the new selection
Located in the hipster/musician area of Shimokitazawa in a tiny backstreet, quite old and traditional vibe. One of the pioneer bars and geek-favorite around Tokyo’s craft beer scene, so the tap selection is quite extensive both for japanese and foreign seasonals, but prices are pretty steep for the area. Food snacks are fine but fairly small portions for the price, there are lots of better budget food spots in the area. Still can be worth a visit to check their recently opened ushitora brewery creations.
It was very hard to find this place from Google. Fortunately one local guided us (even he didn’t know the place). Two small rooms: other one is like a tiny bar and other one tiny restaurant. Food is excellent and kitchen is just behind the bar. Good selection of Japanese microbrews so a place to visit in Tokyo if you visit this area.