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Japan (with kids) - Where to go ?

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mr_wibble

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Hi-yas,

We're going to Japan in June, and I'm making a shortlist of things to see.

I've already noted "Beer Belly" and "Doll Dress" in Osaka, and nixed the Yebisu Musem of beer in Tokyo (not interesting to anyone except me).
I'm probably dreaming of getting to *two* after-hours places without the kids; but a man can dream.

Actually I was thinking of walking their legs off that day, then convincing them to stay in the ryokan after dinner so me & Mrs Wibble can go out. I feel it's justified after days of Pokemon Centre Mega Tokyo, otaku shopping, Kidzania, et. al. Eldest kid is 16, so staying in a bedroom shouldn't be a problem ;)

Anyway, any reccomendations of brewpubs, small towns (on the rail line) or other places to see much appreciated.
Anyone know of a traditional sake brewery worth visiting ?

thanks,
-kt
 

BrewedCrudeandBitter

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Hey, I was in Japan just before Christmas. We'll have an article up about it in the next week or so but until then.

The absolute must visit in Tokyo is Popeye's which is a short walk from the Ryogoku train station. There's about 50 taps and the majority of them are domestic. It was the only place I found the Minoh Stout which was awarded world's best stout 2014 at the World Beer Awards. They'll also have some impressive American beers on tap too. They do a tasting paddle of 10 beers at around 140ml of each for like $30. It's expensive by Japanese standards but you won't find these beers anywhere else with any ease.

There's also the Baird Taproom in Harajuku who put out a good array of solid beers.

If you got into any Family Mart, Lawson, 7 Eleven etc, they usually have a decent selection of beer. It'll mostly be the lagers and lager variants of the big 3 but there will sometimes be the Coedo range and one or two other of the bigger Japanese Craft range (Hitachino's Nest in particular)
 

Jez

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Another vote for Popeyes, it's an absolute must.
 

Jez

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Another vote for Popeyes, it's an absolute must visit
It's so good it deserves a double post :)
 

Dave70

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Be watching this keenly. Our kids a a bit young yet but we cant wait to get to Japan. I figure a must do is one of those hot spring fed bath houses that open up onto the snow lined rock pools whilst kicking back with a bottle of chilled sake.
Treat yourself to some otoro sushi prepared by a master.
 

Goldenchild

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Hey kingsly I would like to tell you about all the beer bars i visited in shinjuku and the likes but unfortunately they where that good . I do have a japanese craft beer magazine though (in english) from my visit last year.
The mag has all the best of the year awards (pub,beer,brewery) plus a bunch of other interesting articles which i wish i had seen before i went.
The mag is with me in Sydney but am happy to take it with me to my parents in Toukley or try get it to Duanes at some point for you to borrow.
cheers Marc
 

Goldenchild

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Hey kingsly I would like to tell you about all the beer bars i visited in shinjuku and the likes but unfortunately they where that good . I do have a japanese craft beer magazine though (in english) from my visit last year.
The mag has all the best of the year awards (pub,beer,brewery) plus a bunch of other interesting articles which i wish i had seen before i went.
The mag is with me in Sydney but am happy to take it with me to my parents in Toukley or try get it to Duanes at some point for you to borrow.
cheers Marc
 

hathro

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1. Popeye's - 70 beers on tap and hop pizza!
2. Brewdog in Roppongi Hills - great food and beer
3. Eat ramen at Mutekiya in Ikebukuro (Brest in Japan) then head to Beersaurus round the corner. Good view and tons of quality bottled beers.
 

kalbarluke

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Not so much beer related, but my favourite place in Japan was Miyajima Island, a short ferry ride from Hiroshima, also a really nice city. I visited Japan in 2010 with two young children. I also visited a town in the mountains called Takayama. It had many sake breweries but I didn't get a chance to visit any.
A word of advice - avoid Tokyo rush hour on the subways if you have little kids.
 

Maheel

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Timely thread i am going in April for Easter and cherry blossom season
with small kids.....

DU99 said:
anyone been to Disney Jap and LA (Anaheim)

how does the Japan one stack up against LA ?
i've done LA not sure if i want to the the Japanese version ?
 

Bribie G

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Take them to a theme park then go and have a feed while they explore

:ph34r: :ph34r:

spirited away.jpg
 

Mr. No-Tip

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From a kid friendly perspective:

  • A visit to Harajuku on Sunday will be fun for all - you'll see lots of dressups going on. We saw a 50s grease style gang doing pretty amazing dances in the park.
  • Find one of those restaurants where you order through a weird cigarette machine like interface. It's weird and enjoyable.
  • Freshness burger is delicious and a little out there.
  • The cup noodle factory in Osaka is a bundle of fun. You get to design your own cup noodle and fill them with your perfect salty flavours.
  • Nara. Best. Deer everywhere. Buy a bag of food and watch them softly attack you. Plus there will be Sentokun everywhere. Plus it's the sister city of our nation's capital.
  • I reckon your kids will actually like Yebisu. The beer god out the front is mascot like and fun to clumb/hug.
The most magic thing I did in Japan overall was the Saihoji temple: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saih%C5%8D-ji_%28Kyoto%29 It's an amazing garden with a bazillion varieties of moss. You have to write to them ahead of time and ask to be invited. You get this amazing postcard back telling you when you can come. You 'have' to sit through a buddhist ceremony and then get to explore the grounds. All the temples are amazing, but this was next level. It's close the the snow monkeys too.

I loved the shit out of Japan. You'll have a blast.
 

mr_wibble

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kalbarluke said:
Not so much beer related, but my favourite place in Japan was Miyajima Island, a short ferry ride from Hiroshima, also a really nice city. I visited Japan in 2010 with two young children. I also visited a town in the mountains called Takayama. It had many sake breweries but I didn't get a chance to visit any.
A word of advice - avoid Tokyo rush hour on the subways if you have little kids.
Takayama is our next planned stop after Tokyo, except none of the ryokans I've contacted have emailed me back.
(Maybe it's my bad english)

I want to goto the open air museum there too.
 

bowie in space

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I found a great hand pumped ale at an Irish pub called "man in the moon" in Kyoto. The beer was called Yona Yona. Really tasty stuff.

Your kids would love the Aquarium at Osaka, deer feeding in Nara, Geisha, temples and castles in Kyoto and the sheer vibrancy and colour of Tokyo should wow your kids. Akihabara is a spin out as well as Harajuku.

Good luck, you'll find beer anywhere and everywhere ;)
 

BobtheBrewer

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Maheel said:
Timely thread i am going in April for Easter and cherry blossom season
with small kids.....
Wife and I are also going in April but after Easter. Still in time for the cherry blossoms though.
 

koots

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This joint was epic, only a few hundred metre walk from the Yamanote line station too. There was a Japanese punk dude called Kaz when I was working there, epic host, full of froth. It also had the Minoh stout mentioned above and it was real good for the record.
http://www.bento.com/rev/1412.html
 

djgilmore

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I lived in japan for 2 years and there is a pretty good craft beer scene there. The ones listed above are all good and foreign friendly. Also any of the big brewery's do tours. The tours are free and at the end they usually give you 3 pots for free for completing the tour. They are usually child friendly and actually have events for children in the school holidays. Asahi in nagoya did an English tour. Kirin there was only Japanese. I think there is a Kirin in Yokohama (near Tokyo) that does English tours. Craft beer in Nagoya there is y-market brewing which is walking distance from nagoya station and had the best (hoppy) beers in japan (at least i thought so. If you get to nagoya let me know and I can let you know a few more.
 
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