The terrace at Gonpachi

Tokyo’s famous Gonpachi offers up sushi x beer garden in time for summer

By Victoria Vlisides

Beer gardens are making an appearance once again as summer creeps into Tokyo. While they are in ample supply across the city, perhaps none are located in such a famous location as the “Kill Bill Restaurant.” From now until the end of August, head up to the third floor of the internationally known Gonpachi and dine on sushi along with refreshing Japanese beer on their rooftop Japanese-style garden terrace.

Gonpachi's rooftop Japanese-style garden terrace

Kim Kardashian, Sylvester Stallone and Ed Sheeran have all dined at this Nishiazabu location, not too far from the heart of Tokyo’s nightlife district in the Roppongi area.

The walls of the first two floors are doused in photos of celebrities who have visited after the location became instantly recognizable when it appeared in the 2003 Quentin Tarantino film, "Kill Bill."

Yet, the uppermost floor has a more low-key vibe. It sheds the gregariousness of the rustic wooden interior for a quieter, traditional Japanese setting, complete with open-air Japanese garden, sushi counter and even a private room with traditional tatami mat seating.

This summer, you can get your fill of Japanese refreshments with their beer garden including these four major players: Kirin Ichiban Shibori Premium, which has delicate hints of fruitiness, the always-reliable Heartland as well as Kirin Lager, and the beer of choice for Japanese salaryman, Asahi Super Dry “The Cool”. Plus, an assortment of cocktails are also on offer.

The appetizer course

Out on the terrace (or inside looking out if you want air conditioning), you can go for the appetizer course that includes 2 hours all-you-can-drink and a light meal of edamame, seasonal veggie chips and juicy karaage (Japanese fried chicken) for ¥4,500.

If you’re in the mood for more, try the Sushi x Beer Garden course that includes all the food above, the 2 hours all-you-can-drink, plus an assortment of sushi (rolls, sashimi and nigirzushi), miso soup and dessert for ¥7,000.

The sushi, which is sourced from the Toyosu Fish Market, is prepared by a second-generation sushi chef, Sushi-Gonpachi Food Director Yuki Haga, who hails from Saitama Prefecture.

Where: Sushi Gonpachi Nishi-Azabu (Gonpachi Nishi-Azabu 3F Garden Terrace) 3F 1-13-11 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo

When: Beer garden from now until the end of August

Reservations: Available from parties of two, up until the day before.

Getting there: 10 minutes from Tokyo Metro Roppongi, Nogizaka, Hiroo, and Omotesando stations

Hours: Open daily from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. (Last order is 1 a.m.)

Tel: 03-5771-0180 (English OK.)

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