Even though many of us might automatically think of sake as the drink of choice in Japan, beer is in fact the most popular. The Great Japan Beer Festival takes place in early June at the Ebisu Garden Hall in Tokyo. It’s one of the two biggest beer festivals in Japan and is wildly popular with beer aficionados (so consider buying your entrance ticket in advance – you’ll save time and money) who flock in their thousands.
You’ve probably heard of popular brews like Kirin and Asahi, but at the festival you’ll be able to sample from over a hundred different craft beers from boutique Japanese breweries.
Thirsty to learn more? Since you’re in Ebisu anyway, why not visit the nearby Beer Museum? Or check out the Asahi Breweries headquarters in Asakusa – the 22-storey building conjures up the impression of a foamy, tall glass of beer! Alternatively, if you’ve had your fill of the amber and want to try Japan’s other signature drink, why not take a tour of Tokyo’s sake breweries? There are several (some of which offer English language tours) surrounding Tokyo and reachable by train, but check their schedules as sake brewing has its own yearly timetable.