When the sun sets on the city, these enclaves of excellence are shining stars that stand out even amid Tokyo's glittering nightlife.
A cozy hideaway with just 13 seats, Bar Trench originated as the spillover bar to already-legendary Bar Tram and has been tucked away in the backstreets of Ebisu since 2010. It hasn't escaped recognition though - chief mixologist Rogerio Igarashi Vaz has led Trench into the "Asia's 50 Best Bars" rankings for 7 years in a row.
The watchword at Trench is "timeless classic," and the bar is known for its array of unusual ingredients, herbal drinks, bitters, and an emphasis on absinthe that guarantees an intriguing and characteristic experience. Visitors can relax in a casually sophisticated atmosphere, sipping a "story-rich" cocktail as they lay low in the Trench, feeling hidden from the city.
A creation of international bartending superstar Shingo Gokan, The SG Club is an atmospheric enclave that has ranked 3rd in "Asia's 50 Best Bars," drawing inspiration from the 1860 samurai delegation to America during the first golden age of cocktail culture, to deliver an unforgettable atmosphere and a superlative drinking experience.
Each floor evokes a nostalgic ambiance, with a theme to satisfy your preferred drinking style (sip or guzzle, hence the "SG" in the name) and an elegant fusion of Japanese and American sensibilities and bartending styles. Basement bar "Sip" evokes an old New York gangster hangout - replete with a shoeshine - crossed with samurai vibes, while ground-floor bar "Guzzle" channels an approachable, vintage West Coast energy.
Gold Bar at EDITION opened in April 2022 - the signature cocktail bar of The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon - in a livery of black and gold that contrasts stately dignity with lavish flamboyance. Here, unique antiques and custom, gilded decor offset the dignified dark tones of the lacquered wood and marble fireplace; a theme inspired by the ancient Japanese tradition of yakisugi (charred cedar).
The effect is a high-ceilinged hideaway that feels both exclusive and intimate, open yet private, with comfortable dark sofas and atmospheric lighting creating a luxurious lounge environment. The charming ambiance is further enhanced by unexpected details to entice those with an eye for imagery, like the secret menu that can only be read under a special light.
Overseen by bar director Hideyuki Saito, the bartenders offer innovative drinks incorporating modern techniques with local Japanese flavors and fantastic concepts. Along with a wide range of whiskeys and local gin, expect classic cocktails inspired by pre-prohibition America, taken to new, contemporary levels of sophistication.