Tonight was the much-awaited announcement of the Asian version of The List. That’s to say, Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021. Japan has once again placed six bars.None of the bars are strangers to The List this year! But overall, bars in Japan have risen in the ranks despite a very tough year for the hospitality industry across the globe.
- Shingo Gokan’s The SG Club in Shibuya has risen to #3, up from #9 last year. It is again the official best bar in Japan. We last visited The SG Club for the SG Airways Cocktail Pairing Course. And unofficially, to enjoy their daytime(!) happy hour. Separate from The SG Club at #3, Shingo Gokan himself has also been awarded 2021’s Roku Industry Icon.
- Bar Benfiddich rises to #9, up from #15 last year. Kayama-san continues to deliver.
- Kyoto’s Bee’s Knees rises to #18, also up from last year’s #21. It’s also the only bar not in Tokyo on The List.
- Ueno-san. Bar High Five. #27. Need I say more?
- Bar Trench ranks in at #43, thanks to Rogerio-san and team.
- Star Bar at #50. I just finished watching season 2 of Unauthorized Living, so I feel like nothing happens in Ginza’s bar scene without Kishi-san’s permission.
Congratulations to the winners!
Of course, due to the COVID-19 situation in Japan, it’s best to check whether or not a given bar is actually open before heading out!
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