Office workers and tourists alike, flock to Tokyo’s many rooftops and outdoor restaurants to enjoy summer nights in the fresh air. The season generally runs from Mid-May through the end of September.
Department store rooftops are usually quiet spaces with kids’ play areas, but on summer nights they come alive with fairy lights and lanterns, the scent of BBQ and carousing office workers. Each has a different atmosphere, from the raucous but fun atmosphere of Ikebukuro’s Tobu Department store to the Hawaiian stylings of Parco Ikebukuro, to sophisticated and healthy offerings aimed at women, at Matsuya Ginza. Tokyo’s trendy young locals head to Lumine Est in Shinjuku, which turns its rooftop into a beach resort, complete with glamping options.
There’s a lot of green in this modern city, so make the most of the natural surrounds on a summer afternoon. Hibiya Park has its “Hibeer Garden,” with craft beers and live music, along with various food stalls. Head to Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi to relax in the spacious park, surrounded by world-class art museums, and enjoy a cocktail or two, with gourmet food.
There are outdoor drinking options from cheap and rowdy, through to truly elegant. For a stylish take on the traditional beer garden, head to Meiji Kinenkan, a beautiful restaurant within Meiji Jingu Shrine. The Beer Terrace Sekirei opens on the grand lawns during summer, offering a mix of Japanese and western dishes. Many hotels offer their own take on the concept, such as Andaz Tokyo Rooftop Bar, which offers sweeping views of the city and free-flowing Champagne.