Today, a neighbourhood bar not so far out of central Tokyo. The name of this place has always appealed to me, and I finally found myself in the area, so I thought it was time for a visit. Once again a local neighbourhood has its own beer bar. Still nothing in Yoyogi Uehara…
Lush Life is a short walk from Sakurashinmachi station on the Den En Toshi line, not too many stops out from Shibuya. When I visited they were celebrating their first birthday, so understandably, the place looks pretty modern. There is seating for around 10 at a fairly long counter and for 14 more at a mix of high and low tables. Even though my typically bad photo doesn’t show it, there is a large, bright sign in their window on the third floor, so it would be very difficult to miss the place if you were looking for it.
On to the beer. Lush Life has 12 taps which judging by the past tap lists on their Facebook page seem to be normally split about 50/50 between Japanese micros and imports. On the night I visited, there were only 4 Japanese taps on, but the import selection had some pretty interesting stuff. It was particularly nice to see Aventinus on tap, as the majority of draught imports around at the moment seem to be from the US. Beers come in two sizes, 250ml and 473ml. They are split into groups for pricing, unsurprisingly the imports coming in at the higher end. The prices varied from ¥550-¥700 for the smaller size and from ¥950-¥1200 for the large. Alongside the taps they also have a decent selection of bottles (round about 30 were listed on the menu). These were a mix of US, German, Belgian and a couple of Czech beers, and ranged from about ¥800-¥1200. They also had three beers from the Canadian brewery Phillips, which is something I haven’t seen around, so that was a nice surprise. One thing that I found slightly irritating was that the prices listed in the menu didn’t include sales tax. I know it’s only 5% extra, but it did feel a bit sneaky. And there is also a ¥300 cover charge. The snack I got for this was pretty nice, but it does make it less enticing to pop in for one or two.
So, a bit of a mixed report. The prices are about normal for Tokyo, but once you add on the cover charge and the tax it is moving towards the top end. The place is pretty nice and I had some good beers there. I would love to have an option like this near my house (maybe I mentioned that before). If you are in the area and want a good beer without going into central Tokyo, this is an excellent place to get it.
Japanese breweries on tap when I visited:
フジヤビル 3F, 1-11-4 桜新町, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
From Sakurashinmachi station, leave via the South Exit. Turn left at the top of the stairs and take the second left at the traffic lights. Cross two side streets and you will find the bar on the left hand side between the second and third streets.