Drinks ¥450-550, Food ¥350-490 (per dish)
- 3 Chome-37-6 Asagaya-minami, Suginami, Tokyo
- Distance from Station:
- 2 minutes on foot from JR Asagaya Station, South Exit
- 03-6338-1965 (Japanese only)
- 5:00pm - 9:00pm (during pandemic), Closed Mondays and the 3rd Tuesday of every month
- https://www.facebook.com/AsagayaInfo/ (external link)
- Staff speak Japanese and some speak basic English
The Gateway to the Asagaya Neighborhood
[published January 2022]
Sometimes it’s intimidating to enter some of the smaller establishments in Japan because of the language and cultural barrier. These places where the locals go are tiny, you can’t see the atmosphere inside and you wonder, “Am I welcome?” This is called “Hairi-nikui” in Japanese, or difficult to enter. Asagaya Annaijo is designed to address this issue in Asagaya. It’s the unofficial welcome center to Asagaya nightlife. The pub is located at the entrance to Ichou alley on the south side of Asagaya Station and opens directly onto Kawabata Dori Street for easy access, making it perhaps the easiest place to enter. The open kitchen is surrounded by counters on 3 sides and is a “tachinomiya”, or standing bar style, encouraging conversation between staff and others. There is a small loft if you would like to observe the scene from above. There is no public WiFi for a reason, so put away your phone and act friendly because it’s ‘’tsunagari-yasui”, easy to connect with the locals and other visitors here. There is even a stamp card campaign called Hito to Nomi (“drink with someone”), which encourages people who are drinking alone to come and meet others who are also alone. Once you receive your card you get a stamp for each drink you buy at other establishments in the area, then return for your free drink at Asagaya Annaijo! There is a stamp card for the store as well so come back often to earn free drinks.
The specialty at Asagaya Annaijo is their fresh lemon sours, Japanese shochu (distilled starch based liquor) mixed with soda water and lemon juice. They also serve whiskey highballs, beer, and soft drinks. The food menu is mostly small Japanese, Asian pub fare using some international ingredients. The aim is food that good for eating while drinking. Since this is an ideal first place to visit when coming to Asagaya, the menu is curated carefully, mostly of smaller appetizer sized dishes, so may be encouraged to go bar hopping and check out some other establishments nearby. Since the menu is Japanese only, we will review some choices below, so please check that out if you’re interested.
This could easily become your local pub. They have a huge map on the wall and a bulletin board outside with information about other local bars and events going on in the area, but your best source will be the staff and other friends you meet. Asagaya Annaijo is Asagaya’s gateway.
Some useful Japanese found on the menu here:
Sappari– lighter fare/ refreshing
Agemono– fried foods
Jikasei– home cooking
Gatsuri– more substantial/ filling dishes
Recommended dishes: 1 of 3 to start with
Spicy bamboo shoots
Miso dumplings- no need to add anything because they’re packed with flavor!
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