In case you missed it, Japan is a drinking culture. I’ve met a nice assortment of high-functioning alcoholics that don’t, well, consider themselves alcoholics. With a night out drinking with coworkers averaging around 3,000 – 5,000 yen, it’s pretty easy to go broke trying to keep up with your friends. For heavy drinkers there is Nomihodai (all you can drink for a specific fee, usually 1,500yen – 3,000yen).
For everyone else, there is HUB.
Taken from the English words “Public House” (don’t ask how), HUB is a famous British-themed pub chains. With locations in Ebisu, Shibuya, Harajuku, Shinjuku, and basically everywhere else, HUB is the go-to place for most foreigners.
At HUB the drinks are cheap, the drinks are plentiful, the atmosphere is relaxing, and the food isn’t half-bad. I love their beef jerky (a rare find in Japan, even if it is extremely over-priced), their fried spaghetti sticks, their fish and chips, and their roast beef.
For all intents and purposes, HUB is a British Pub. Food is served on fake British newspaper (sadly the same issue, printed multiple times). Aside from the occasional oddities, such as the fact when you order food, they bring chopsticks wrapped in fake British newspaper, HUB does not feel like Japan.
I love HUB because I am cheap. HUB is cheap. HUB is especially cheap during happy hour (4:00pm – 6:00pm), where most of the already cheap drinks are further on discount. Rather than serving the Japanese favorites such as Umeshu (plum wine), sake (rice wine), and… um… Japanese beer (?), HUB serves some of the foreign favorites, such as Rum and Coke. Mojito, and foreign beers.
It is also self serve. The Japanese hospitality that restaurants in Japan are famous for is notably absent. I like being able to order whenever I want; it gives me a sense of control.
Plus, the whole place seems very efficient.
In any case, HUB is my go-to place for birthdays, meeting up with friends who are only in Tokyo for the night, or holidays. They have an English menu, English speaking staff, and celebrate “foreign” holidays, such as St. Patrick’s Day.
Yeah, their St. Patrick’s Day sales and promotions were pretty awesome. I was impressed by the spirit.
If you’re in Tokyo, should you go to HUB? Yes, and here is why:
1. Great (cheap) place to hang out with friends
2. Fun place to meet people
3. Fun place to meet foreigners (although, to be honest, there is always that “one” creepy foreign guy, sitting alone in HUB. Hands down, every time I go.)
4. Unique place to people-watch
5. They have close to 30 locations in Tokyo
6. Worldwide selection of Beer
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