While riding the subway or walking around town, you may stumble upon advertising for one of the many Japanese beer gardens. These beer gardens are typically found on rooftops of buildings and offer a buffet of food and drinks to customers. Most beer gardens are all you can eat and drink for a set price. Some only allow you to stay for a specific period of time (two hours is the standard). Not all beer gardens offer the same pricing, experience, or variety of consumable items. There are a few things to know before visiting a beer garden.
Operating Hours and Dates
Using Takashimaya Beer Garden Kiravia as an example, beer gardens are open seasonally throughout the year. Kiravia in Osaka's Namba district is open May 1st, 2017 through September 18th, 2017. Many beer gardens will have similar date ranges. They are generally open every evening for dinner. Kiravia's hours are 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily with the exception of opening at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
The price for beer gardens vary depending on which one you visit. Most are all you can eat and drink for around ¥3,500 to ¥4,000 ($32.00 - $37.00). Children are typically less expensive and some beer gardens offer various discounts. Kiravia charges ¥3,800 for adults, ¥1,900 for children, and ¥600 for very young children age three to six. They offer discounts on a few nights as well. Kiravia's time limit is two hours for consuming food and beverages.
Food and Beverage Options
Most beer gardens offer a buffet full of food options. They typically offer various Japanese dishes and other Asian cuisine. Some beer gardens offer a themed buffet that changes periodically. For drink options, most offer a specific company's draft beer along with wine, liquor, sake, and non-alcoholic beverages. All of the drinks are included with the price of admission unless stated otherwise.
Location and Atmosphere
Many beer gardens in cities such as Osaka and Kyoto are accessible by public transportation. They are generally located in urban settings on building rooftops. Some of the beer gardens are themed with interesting decor, lighting, and music. A quick search online will provide information and reviews for beer gardens across Japan. You can find a good review of Kiravia by clicking here.
Takashimaya Beer Garden Kiravia in Osaka, Japan