What kind of Koenji bars do you want to check out? If you’re looking for an underground bar or a friendly place to go drinking, then take a jaunt through Koenji’s narrow alleyways. They’re packed with tiny pubs and bars owned by quirky locals. Enjoy drinking at affordable prices and dive into the different music and art subcultures that each bar represents.

In Koenji, it’s a great idea to check out every little nook and cranny—you never know what cool stuff you might find! If you’re here in the daytime, be sure to check out all the secondhand shops in the shōtengai (shopping areas), where you can find unique, vintage clothes, furniture, art, and other goods. Day or night, Koenji is a great neighborhood full of personality!

Find out more about different Japanese drinks, Japanese beers, the special strong zero you can get in Japan, and how to prepare for a night out in Tokyo. You can also check out more of our bar recommendations in Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi, Akihabara, Asakusa, Nakano, Shimokitazawa, and Koenji.

One of the best ways to explore Tokyo is to visit the local areas and immerse yourself in the local culture. If you want to explore local areas, we have created scavenger hunt adventures personalised to your interests, filled with fun facts, clues and puzzles. If you’re curious, you can check out the games here!

Check out the Flip Japan Games here!

Koenji Bars We Absolutely Love



No dogs here I’m afraid, but there’s still lots of fun to be had! There’s plenty to do at Dogberry while you’re waiting for your (very reasonably-priced) food and drinks.

Once you’re seated, one of the first things you’ll notice is a little tin on your table. You’ll find two small notebooks and some coloring pencils in it. Feel free to doodle or write in the notebooks, or flip through them and take a gander at what other people who’ve previously sat in your seat have drawn or written. No Van Gogh? Grab a deck of cards from the bar and play a round or two.

Bar Phular


Treat yourself to a taste of the finer things in life at Bar Phular. As well as a great selection of drinks, you can fill up on delicate little snacks: chocolates, chips, peanuts, and more.

You can even take advantage of Japan’s lax smoking laws with Bar Phular’s selection of cigars. They’re kept in a fancy temperature-controlled box to ensure quality. Not a smoker? No problem. At the bar, there’s plenty to pique your interest, from large jars filled with unique root-infused alcohol to little trinkets for sale and tiny puzzles to solve. Try out the snake cube puzzle or the fun (and tricky!) 3D jigsaw.

Kitchen Bar Noraya

Top 5 unique & underground bars to drink in Koenji Kitchen Bar Noraya
Credit: Photo by KitchenBar-ノラや-高円寺 from twitter

Kitchen Bar Noraya might be small, but they certainly make up for their size with a great selection of delicious food and drinks. If you’re on the hunt for an intimate space to share an evening with friends, or you’re a real foodie, we can’t recommend this cozy little bar enough!

Amusement Bar A-Side

Top 5 unique & underground bars to drink in Koenji A-Side Amusement Bar
Credit: Rubese

Amusement Bar A-Side has hosted international foosball tournaments, so it’s no surprise that it’s a haven for people who love to get competitive while they’re drinking! Challenge a friend to a game, knowing that professionals have used the exact same table as you.

More of a sports pub than a straight-laced bar, this is exactly the kind of fun place you’d take your mates to go drinking in Koenji! Don’t miss your chance to visit this place if you love casual vibes.

Bar Impronta

Top 5 unique & underground bars to drink in Koenji Bar Impronta
Credit: Nakadori

Feeling romantic? Right by the entrance of Bar Impronta, you’re greeted by a steep spiral staircase that leads up to a second floor in this divine hipster bar. With tables that seat a max of four people on the second floor and just a small counter that seats two on the first, it’s certainly one of the smallest joints on our list, but makes up for it with its charming interior and great selection of wine.

Along the staircase, you can admire the owner’s unique taste, with chic decor that incorporates books, glasses, jars, flowers, and more. It’s a very chic place and, though it’s a little cramped around the bar, if you’re lucky you could have the whole place to yourself!

Exploring the Unique Vibes of Koenji Bars

Embrace the spirit of Koenji as you navigate its narrow alleyways, discovering a plethora of unique pubs and bars owned by quirky locals. From the cozy ambiance of Dogberry to the refined offerings of Bar Phular, each establishment offers its own charm and character.

Whether you’re drawn to the competitive atmosphere of A-Side Amusement Bar or the intimate setting of Bar Impronta, Koenji’s bar scene has something for everyone. Soak in the vibrant energy of this neighbourhood, where every nook and cranny holds the promise of new experiences and hidden treasures. Cheers to unforgettable nights and the vibrant spirit of Koenji’s bar culture!

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