Kamiya Bar: Denki Bran and new friends

Kamiya Bar: Denki Bran and new friends

Asakusa's historic neighborhood bar, featuring the unusual beverage "Denki Bran"
Address:
Asakusa 1-1-1, Taito-ku +81 (0) 3 3841 5400
Hours/Times:
11:30am-10pm
Price:
$
Payment Methods:
Cash
Kamiya Bar
An old-timer bartender at Kamiya Bar smiles while he pours out glass after glass of Denki Bran and draft Asahi. (Photo by Flickr user Another side of yukita)

Kamiya Bar is easily the most famous drinking spot in historic Asakusa, but this is no tourist trap. Originally founded in 1880, the bar is now a neighborhood institution, and more importantly, a rare place where Japan's early-modern culture lives on.

Draft beer from (the nearby) Asahi Breweries is available, but Kamiya's gift to the world is Denki Bran -- an original sweet brandy-like brown liquor priced at a mere ¥260 per glass. For those afraid to drink it straight, Denki Bran is also available in many sickly-sweet punch-like cocktails.

Unlike the standard Japanese izakaya, where customers sit in their own private rooms, Kamiya crams patrons into communal tables. This is not the best for dates and quiet outings, but the chummy pub atmosphere is a welcome change for a city that often breeds too much human isolation. Kamiya Bar is a great way to make some very 'colorful' friends in the Asakusa neighborhood.