Service: very lively and friendly.
Facilities: great cleanliness overall.
Prices: reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Beer from all over the world. Outside terrace. Local microbrewery beer available in some quantities.
Grow Stck is the second establishement of the company running Mando tapas Bar and Cherry Beans diner in Shizuoka City.
It was open in March 2009 and has since become one of the most popular bars ofits kind in town
Although the place can be really crowded at times, it is not that easy to find if it is your first visit in town. Located on the 5th floor of Koyama Naka Building in Koyamachi, one of the drinking areas in Shizuoka City, it is worth exploring the vicinity as they have the advantage of offering a real otdoors terrace:
I took the pic in day time and it does really does it justice. It is a great site to lounge around in the summer (not on rainy or cold days, mind you as it is not covered!) in happy company!
Check the board at the entrance for events and good deals.
Although it is written in Japanese, the Manager, Mr. Ryousuku Ono and his staff will be only too happy to oblige and answer your queries!
The clientele is a good mix of Japanese, young to old, local foreigners who know their beer and guests from both genders who want to enjoy themselves!
As its name clearly indicates, it is a place to savour beer.
And they have loads of it:
More than a 100 from all over the world in bottles.
7 draft beers.
Local microbrewery beers! Bryan Baird from Numazu City, and as guests (depends on your lucky day!) draft beer from Bayern Meister in Fujinomiya City, Hansharo Beer from Hirayama in Izu Peninsula and Kaze no Tani/Windy Valley by Oratche in Kannami (Misj\hima City)!
Baird Beer come in bottles!
But there is plenty of other drinks for everyone from Scotch/Bourbon, wine/Jizake (Kikuyoi from Fujieda City!) to cocktails and soft drinks!
Sit at the counter and try to recognize the beers!
That is unless you want to hang onto the draft beer handles!
Peruse through the beer book! They even have Pietra beer from French Corsica!
As for the food, no worries whatsoever!
You can either choose it a la carte such as the fish and chips above or as a course.
Apart of the fish and chips, they serve interesting Belgian mussles steamed in Beer, Beef Carbonade, German Pork and Buffalo Chicken Wings.
Check the pasta, pizza and paella of the day.
Vegetarians can order vegetarian salads!
The place can also be parially or completely reserved for parties as it can provide for up to 100 guests! And TV screens will show big events if you are short of reasons to patronize the establishment!
420-0852 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koyamachi Naka Building, 5F
Opening hours: 17:00~25:00 (Mon.~Thurs.), 17:00~27:00 (Fri & Sat.), 17:00~24:00 (Sun.)
Parties welcome (reserve!)
Credit Cards OK
COCKTAIL BAR: BOTANICAL (Comfort Bar)
Service: very professional and friendly.
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall.
Prices: reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Fruit cocktails. Cozy and a comfortable, for ladies and gentlemen alike.
After having established a solid reputation as one of the best bartenders in Shizuoka City for quite a few years in a cocktail bar called Yasougin, Wataru Matsumoto decided it was about time to open his own in July 20009 to the pleasure of his customers who just “moved” to his new place called BOTANICAL (Comfort Bar) without batting an eyelid (or eyelash for some).
Contrary to many similar bars, you do not need a guide to take you up dark stairs and through involuted passageways to find it. It stands right along the street behind Isatan Department Store next to a renown ladies fashion shop. One can see the inside through windows, very much in with the new concept to show as much interior as possible to passers-by and eventual customers. No wonder ladies feel comfortable sipping their favourite nectar in peace and quiet with similarly-minded guests.
Even so at night, it is all soft light and soothing background music.
Customers do enjoy casual conversations with unknown (until then) individuals or keep to themselves in a very laid back manner.
A good dozen guests can sit at the bar or sit at one of the small tables by the window.
Wataru Matsumoto caters for many tastes with his own very precise selection: 30 Scotch Whiskies, 10 Bourbons, 20 Liqueurs and even unknown shochu from Shizuoka Prefecture.
French Mumm Champagne is available by the glass.
But his forte is definitely seasonal fruit cocktails. Just ask what fruit is available and how sour, sweet, flat or petillant you like it and expect a marvel to stand in front of you after a great demonttrations of his art!
I actually plan to run a special series on Mr. Matsumoto fruit cocktail creations as he is more than happy to share his recipes!
Incidentally prices are very reasonable for this type of establishment in Japan. Count 1,800 yen for the first cocktail (with obligatory snack) and 800 yen from the second one. Light food is also available as well as soft drinks, beer and coffee.
A superb place to visit on your own, with a grteat friend or your special guest”
BOTANICAL (Comfort Bar)
420-0082 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho, 1-6-13, Shade Bldg, 1F
Opening hours: 17:00~01:00
Closed on Mondays.
Credit Cards OK
New Pub in Shizuoka! Beer No Yokota serving Baird Beer!
-Service: very friendly
-Facilities: very clean
-Strong points: The beer!
I finally managed to find the time to visit Beer No Yokota Pub twice since its opening last Sunday!
It was not easy to do a proper interview as the place gets crowded very quickly as the word has spread in town like a bush fire!
As I said before, it is located in Gofuku-cho behind the City Hall, only 10 minutes walk away from Shizuoka JR Station, making it a very practical place to meet and enjoy true beer!
True beer, you said?
Yep, true beer as the owner, a very easy-going gentleman, Mr. Fumitake Yokota worked for Bryan Baird at the Numazu Fishmarket Taproom for 4 years before looking after the Nakameguro Taproom in Tokyo, is serving no less than 7 beers concocted by Bryan Baird on the tap and 5 more from other breweries. more are bound to come soon as there 15 taps!
Alright you want to know about the beer menu already in place?
Here you are:
-PROMPTON ALE: Y700 (473ml), Y500 (300ml)/original!
-BAIRD BEER: Y800 (473ml), Y550 (300ml)
RISING SUN PALE ALE
RED ROSE AMBER ALE
ANGRY BOY BROWN ALE
MIDNIGHT OIL EXPORT STOUT (+Y50)
SURUGA BAY IMPERIAL STOUT (+Y50)
-YOKOHAMA BEER PILSNER: Y800 (420ml)
-ATSUGI HONEY ALE: Y900 (420ml)
-HATSUISHIKAN BEER WINTER SMOKE: Y900 (420ml)
-EDELWEISS (AUSTRIA): Y900 (420ml)
-WESTON CIDER: Y600 (300ml)
The pub can seat around 40 guests at tables, a counter along the kitchen or counters running along the wall and window.
My favourite spot is definitely at the counter at the window!
Don’t worry, there is still more space for standing guests who pefer wandering between tables and customers!
Don’t steal these!
Note that Yokota san is using a very clever on the tap draught system taking only minimum space thanks to Japanese technology!
Sports buffs will be glad to discover a screen with Sky TV Sports!
Toilets are are both for ladies (seat) and gentlemen (standing). Very clean for such an establishment! Always good to know!
Apart of the beer, cocktails and whisky are available.
As for food, expect pub grub! Spicy fried potatoes, snacks, simple pasta…
Alright, here is the present food menu (bound to change!):
JAPANESE PICKLES: Y 400
COLESLAW: Y 500
STEAMED CHICKEN & VEGETABLES SALAD: Y 500
ROASTED MUSHROOMS: Y 500
SQUID FRITTERS: Y 600
SPICY FRIED CHICKEN WINGS: Y 600 (3 pieces)
JAPANESE-STYLE FRIED CHICKEN LEG MEAT: Y 850
STEWED MINCED CHICKEN & LIVER SAUCE PASTA: Y 900
ROSEMARY POTATOES: Y 500
SIMMERED JAPANESE SMELT/WAKASAGI: Y500
MIXED NUTS: Y 300
MATSUURA SWEET POTATO CHIPS: Y 300
CREAM CHEESE & HONEY DESSERT: Y 600
SALAMI: Y 600
Drinks may be paid COD (cash on delivery) at the counter.
If you take food as well, you will be asked to paid a bill instead of COD.
Beer No Yokota
Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Gofuku-Cho, 2-5-22, Social Kadode bldg 2F (behind the City Hall)
Opening hours: 17:00~24:00 (15:00~24:00 on Saturdays)
Closed on Thursdays
By John Gooden
Speak EZ Bar was established in 2000 by a young Canadian man named Brent. It is located in the centre of Numazu city. The bar is at the heart of the gaijin community in the city. It’s a popular watering hole where people come to enjoy draught kirin, imported bottled beers or cocktails. There’s also a food menu offering a range of delicious ‘pub grub’, such as pizza, hamburger, Mexican wraps, homemade chilli con carne and Aussie meat pies.
Brent along with his dedictated and friendly staff are bi-lingual and always take the time to get to know the customers. During the week the bar has a laid back mellow feeling with a few regulars dropping in for a chat, a bite to eat and a drink. There’s a darts board and free internet for those looking for activities. There’s also a free library filled with interesting books for those who are in need of English reading matter. At the weekends the bar transforms into a lively venue for various events including live music, salsa nights, and DJ nights. On ocassion sports fans gather to watch soccer and American football on the big widescreen TV at the bar.
The clientele is a refreshing mix of foreigners and local Japanese. The bar is not only popular with American, Canadian, Australian and British teachers but also attracts many South American and Middle Eastern patrons.
Speak EZ Bar is open from 6pm to late from Tuesday to Saturday. The website is updated every month and links sent to valued customers to keep everyone informed of upcoming events.
The Speak EZ address is:
410-0801 Shizuoka Prefecture, Numazu City, Nichome, 3-2, Yamaguchi Building, 2F
Telephone number: 055 964 5131
After a grand dinner at Aquavite, the best Italian restaurant in Shizuoka City, I just could not resist my good friend, Mr. Naohiro Momose’s invitation to his favourite Cocktail Bar, NO’AGE.
As the name indicates, all customers of all ages are welcome. I’m sure that a certain Roaf in Yokohama would make it his personal lair as it is not only a great place with grand drinks, but is also very reasonable!
For our first round Naohiro opted for Fennel Gin Fizz, our friend Mika chose a more feminine drink, Karien (Greek for chestnut Liqueur) including plenty of cream, while I went for a NO’AGE creation called Kinkan (small ornages) Vodka Gimlet.
To tell you the truth, these went down a bit too quickly!
While we nibbled on a welcome snack, we engaged into a serious conversation with Mr. and Mrs. Itani, the young owners who opened this cozy bar on the 21st of June 2007. Being a Monday, I noticed taht the place was quite busy for the beginning of the week, a sure sign of its popularity. Ladies and gents were equally represented, while I was the only old geezer on hand.
Poor little Mika was still struggling finishing her own glass while the “men” were asking the one for the road:
Naohiro obtained “up to date”, a Bourbon based concoction while I asked something based on Mirabelle. I was served a succulent “Allegro” containing Mirabelle, Apricot and lemon juice (shaken).
It was about time to leave then as work was in wait for all of us the next morning.
But the place was undoubtedly too welcoming and knowledgeable to forget easily!
Especially when you consider we hadn’t been able to even scratch the menu, which by the way includes plenty for teetals!
Problem is that I will have to wait at least a week before my next visit as I promised my (???) half I would cook all week!
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Shichiken-cho, 3-6, ACT-7, 2F
Tel. & Fax: 054-2536615
Business Hours: 18:00~02.00
On November 27th, 2007, Fugetsuro Hotel revamped their first floor completely to replace the simple cake-shop/cafe they previously had with a very much larger cafe bar in Koya Machi across Shizuoka JR Station.
As far as the cafe itself, it is very probably the only decent Hotel Cafe Bar in town.
It is large, but not overwhelming, seating about 80 people. One can either choose a seat at the counter, inside the room or in one of the street-facing lodges. Excellent background jazz music and friendly staff.
Do not be too harsh on the English written on the menu. The place does serve quite a few dishes apart of their cakes made on site that you can either savour inside or take home.
As for drinks, every taste is covered as they include very good coffees and a surprisingly long array of teas served in beautifull china.
For the late drinkers (and their companions), malt whiskies, beer, wine, sake and even a kome/rice shochu by Sugii Brewery in Fujieda City called Saisuke!
Now the big plus is the regular Jazz Concert Programme every Thursday, but forthat you had better consult their homepage! (the list id simply too longand impressive for this posting!)
Shizuoka City, Aoi-Ku, Koya machi, 11-1
Business Hours: Tuesdays: 13:00~25:00
Sundays & National Holidays: 11:00~19:00
Mondays: Off (except on National Holidays)
“No Name Standing Bar”
For all the aping of Tokyo trends, real standing bars are a scarcity in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Although the concept should fit within the heavy-drinking environment prevalent in our region, especially Shizuoka City, it does not seem to appeal.
True to say, people here are not in a hurry and prefer to stay long in their favourite dens instead of the frantic bar hopping in vogue in larger metropolises.
Now, would you believe that the only standing bar worthy of attention in Shizuoka City does not have a name or phone number despite the fact it has been in existence for more than four years?
It is located along the subterranean thoroughfare grandly called “Golden Chikakai” linking Gofukucho Street to the JR Station. Enter it near Parco Department Store and walk along the left-hand side passageway. You can’t miss as long as you keep your eyes open and take your time.
Now, if you are somewhat of a voyeur or exhibitionist, this might be the place to patronize at all hours of long evenings, as all kinds of passers-by hurry past it with long side glances at the denizens ogling at them behind the illusory safety of large glass window/doors.
Interestingly enough, gents and ladies of all ages both patronize this waterhole. You might therefore discover another personal reason for stopping by as it is comfortably air-conditioned for all seasons.
The Manager of the place, Mr. Sumiteru Yamato is always ready to serve you with a smile and a chat. All drinks are standard 500 yen (900 yen for full pints of draught beer). Snacks are available (200 to 500 yen). All COD. No cover charge. No surprise.
But plenty of scotch (including single malts), bourbon, cocktails, liqueurs, bottled and draft beer. Enough for the true fans.
Business hours: 17:00~24:00
White Ize Cafe/Bar
Many of my friends, expats and Japanese alike had been telling me about this new sports bar opened in July 2006, so it was about time I visited it!
Interestingly enough, although Shizuoka City are blessed with a plethora of good Izakaya, simple, unpretentious and well-stocked bars are almost a rarity.
The least I could say is that they are extremely well-stocked as far as bottled beers are concerned: no less than 96 brands and still looking for more!
I even had the occasion to taste a beer from the French Island Corsica called Pietra I had never heard of! (A fine beer, by the way!). There are varieties for everyone, including a whopping 14 degrees ale from Austria!
White Ize has 3 screens for customers to watch all current sports. The coming Rugby World Cup will be shown live from France from September 9th. Ozzies and Kiwis had better reseve their seats!
Apart of beers, cocktails and other drinks are available. Food is Tex-Mex and reasonably priced.
The owner, Mr. Kazuyoshi Harazaki is an old hand at both fishing, boating and boozing and always keen to share a chat. He is known to go on boating excursions with his customers, so better keep your ears open!
420-0857 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki-cho, 7-2, Amano Bldg. 2F (near Den Den Building, a few minutes walk from Shizuoka JR Station)
Business Hours: 17:00~02:00
Closed on Mondays
The Ale House in Fujieda City
There are very few pubs, I mean real pubs, British or Irish, worth noticing in our Prefecture.
But I surely don’t mind traveling all the way from Shizuoka City to Fujieda City and come back with the last train back home under the questioning looks from commuters going back to their sleeping town! Fortunately The Ale House is only less than 10 minutes away from the south exit of the JR Station!
It has become one of those “kakureya” (“hidden spots”) that a lot of residents expats talk about, and deservedly so.
But I let my English friend Patrick of Think Twiceguide me along and introduce me to the matser of the Place, Mr. Masayuki Saitou
Mr. Saitou explained us he opened his Pub in 1995 out a search for a new challenge away from the dreary life of a typical Japanese “salaryman”, and indulge in his hobby, namely whisky.
Talking of whisky, he does have an impression collection, but you will have to ask him to show it as it is protected from the spotlights inside wooden cabinets!
Now, if you are a beer lover, he has an extra treat for you, a proof of his dedication:
He has the full range of the beers produced by Bryan Baird at the Taproom in Numazu City! For us ale and port lovers in Shizuoka City, it is a great boon as Bryan’s beer is the one to taste!
Interestingly enough, people here do not know we do have quite a few notable “jibiru”, microbreweries, in Shizuoka Prefecture!
Now if you are into cocktails, no worries, the Ale House has more than you can drink.
And if you hungry, the fare is definitely above average!
Now, when will I be able to go back there? Soon, you can garantee!
The Ale House
426-0061 Fujieda City, Tanuma, 1-4-12 (JR Station South Exit)
Te. & Fax: 054-6362889
Opening hours: 18:30~25:00
Closed on Mondays (Tuesdays are open, even in the case of a National Holiday)
Hamamatsu Izakaya/ Shochu Bar: Nikomanma
Last Friday (April 13th!), my good friend Bernard Heberle, the patissier at Abondance in Hamamatsu City, took me to one of his favourite “izakaya” called “Nikomanma” or “にこまん馬” in Japanese.
Mr. Michiaki Genma opened his very traditional looking resraurant near Wachiyama Park. The interior is the logical succession to the exterior in design with antiques eveywhere, wooden partitions you can open or close at will, parquet sitting room, dinin room and counter.
Nikomanma specializes in shochu and has “Doman” kome (rice) shochu, a favourite of mine brewed by Tenjigura Brewery/Distillery in Hamamatsu City.
But it also serves a very fine Junmai sake, “Shusseijyo”, from the same brewery.
It is a very popular place and you definitely have to reserve on Fridays and Saturdays. Luckily we came very early, otherwise even Bernard’s persuasion would have been in vain.
The menu is of the better kind with some real finds such as the squid and its ink as tempura!
Try the Japanese omelette and deep-fried chicken, but start your meal with a sashimi assortment of the day!
The place definitely warrants a few more visits as I could not possibly exhaust the menu, even in the company of my bulky friend!
432-8003 Hamamatsu City, Wachiyama, 3-4-3
Tel. & Fax: 053-4725558
Working hours: 18:00~24:00
Closed on Sundays
Credit cards OK
Shochu Bar: Yumeshin
Yumeshin opened in early 2006 and I had always meant to “have a look at it”.
The almost simple outside actually hides quite an interesting place: Absolutely Japanese with a “kotatsu seki” (Seats on the floor with a deep space for the legs) all along a good size counter.
Botlles of shochu absolutely everywhere! I even recognized “Mitake” from Yakushima!
Interestingly enough, Mr. Yamaoka serves only one shochu from Shizuoka Ken:
Saisuke by Sugii Brewery/Distillery in Fujieda City.
Mr. Yamaoka actually participates to its creation every year at Sugii Brewery/Distillery!
The Master of the place is a quiet person at first contact, but will warm up quickly to the conversation. He has acquired quite a clientele in this very short span of time who come not only to taste the interminable list of shochu, but also taste the very Japanese izakaya-style food:
Ankimo (Frogfish liver) & Tempura (succulent!)
As this was my first visit, I will have to write a few more postings: there are a lot of morsels to explore with the drinks!
Shizuoka Shi Aoi Ku, Chiyoda, 1-2-1 (along the Kitakaido. A few minutes from Shizuoka Center by car, 5 minutes by bicyle, 20 minutes on foot. Bus stop nearby)
Open every day from 16:00 till very late at night (morning!)