Back again to Koenji, and this time to Bankan, a small bar on the other side of the train tracks to Bakushu Kobo. Bankan is a nice little bar/restaurant with seating for around 20, a few more seats at the bar and a few seats outside, which unsurprisingly were not that popular in February given the temperature. Would definitely like to sit outside when it warms up a bit though.
Bankan has 14 taps, 13 of which are rotating Ji-Biru and one is Edel Pils. Beers are served in Bankan’s own branded glassware which is pretty nice. There were definitely some interesting selections on here. On my first visit they had Chateau Kamiya beers, which I haven’t yet come across much outside of the brewery, so there is likely to be something of interest. Beers generally come in servings of 270ml and 450ml. Prices range from ¥630-¥800 for the smaller size and ¥930-¥1200 for the larger one, putting their prices about normal for Tokyo. If you want to find out what they have on tap you can check on their facebook which seems to be updated pretty regularly.
One big drawback for me is the fact that Bankan is a smoking bar. Given the relatively small size of the place, you only need a couple of smokers in before it gets pretty stinky. Maybe I am a bit more picky about this than others, but it does seem that most of the good beer places in Tokyo have a no smoking policy, which makes sense when you are selling good beer that you want people to taste. Saying this, I do want to come back again. I just hope that I can sit outside next time. So, Bankan is a decent place to have a beer or two, and given its proximity to Bakushu Kobo, this really makes Koenji a good beer destination.
Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
Oh La Ho
(New hours from September 2014)
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, 15:00-01:00
Saturday & Sunday, 11:45-01:00
高円寺南 3-47-8 Suginami, Tokyo, 166-0003
From Koenji station, take the South exit and turn right. You will see a covered shopping arcade on your left hand side leading away from the train tracks after about 20m. Go down here and carry on until you see the first side street on the right hand side. Take this and then the first left. Bankan is on the right hand side shortly after you cross the first side street.