Review: Kirin Ichiban Beer Garden (Tokyo, Japan)

3-7 Udagawa-Cho
Shibuya-Ku, Shibuya
Tokyo
Japan
+81 3 5456 5011

I knew the Japanese love celebrating Halloween but I had no idea just how INSANE they go over it until I experienced a Tokyo Halloween. The days leading up to the actual day involved countless strangers (mostly Tinder guys) asking me what I was doing on Halloween and when I gave my “I dunno, probably nothing” responses, they reacted like I voted for the LNP in the recent Queensland state election.

I had been planning to spend the night in my very nice hotel room but somehow I got talked into braving the streets of Shibuya by a Tinder match who, funnily enough, happened to be staying in the very same hotel as me. And so after a drink at the New York Bar, we braved the massive flock of people commuting from Shinjuku to Shibuya. The train ride was uncomfortable as hell but we still made it to Shibuya in one piece – and on time too. Take that, delayed NYE trains, Melbourne!

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It was cute to see most people go all out with their costumes. And although I’m not usually one for dressing up, I kinda did wish I made more of an effort.

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Even this gaijin got into it.

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Yup, this was Shibuya at 10PM on Halloween! It was extremely hard to get around.

Eventually, my companion and I decided to take a breather at the Kirin Ichiban Beer Garden where a decent size crowd had gathered in the spacious outdoor drinking area. As soon as we entered the bar, we were ushered into a little room where we were made to sit and watch a five-minute documentary about Kirin beer – how beer is made and what makes Kirin so awesome. Because it was entirely in Japanese, I can’t tell you exactly what makes Kirin awesome and neither could the rest of the room – we were all just anxious to get the hell out of there and drink beer, dammit!

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Finally, we were able to slam down some beers. Or more specifically, beer slushies. My companion went for the original Kirin beer slushie while I decided to go for the banana-flavoured version (yes, how fitting). It was an interesting way to drink beer – I liked the texture but all that water did dilute the beer’s taste significantly (both mine and my companion’s). I also wasn’t sure if I liked banana beer; it wasn’t as diluted as the original Kirin slushie but it had that really strong artificial banana flavour taste which I’m not a fan of. It tasted like they had a vat of Kirin and someone poured a shitload of banana flavoured syrup in it.

Regardless, the Kirin Ichiban Beer Garden had a great laidback and vibrant atmosphere making it the perfect spot to people-watch on Halloween night.

I eat too much.

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