Enjoy an adult drink bar on the cheap, where you pour the drinks how and when you want them. 

The word “drink bar” is one that conjures up excitement for a lot of people in Japan, who know it to mean unlimited refills of an assortment of beverages, usually at a manga cafe or family restaurant. Nowadays, though, the rise of the “adult drink bar” is becoming popular at izakaya taverns, and as the name suggests, the unlimited refills are of the alcoholic variety.

The main difference between a “drink bar” and a regular “all-you-can -drink” service is that you pour the refills yourself rather than have staff bring drinks to you, and it actually appeals to a lot of customers who prefer to have more control of how much they drink and when. If an adult drink bar sounds like something that’s right up your alley, then you’ll be pleased to know we’ve found an amazing deal for you right in the heart of Tokyo, at Yakitori Marukin in Shinjuku.

▼ Yakitori Marukin is written out as “やきとり 〇金” (“maru” means “round” or “circle“).

Marukin’s Adult Drink Bar is actually priced at 329 yen (US$2.12) for every 30 minutes, but every customer needs to start with a one-hour session, which means you pay 658 yen at first, and then you can either leave or keep the party going in 30-minute increments.

Considering draft beer will usually set you back around 500 yen per glass in Tokyo, this adult drink bar is an absolute bargain, and when we visited on a Saturday evening, most of the seats were full of patrons making good use of the offer.

What makes this deal particularly good is the number of different drinks available, with over 70 types of alcoholic beverages to choose from, covering things like draft beer, highballs, sake, plum wine and shochu.

The amount of drinks on offer is enough to make you feel as giddy as a kid at a family restaurant drink bar, and anyone who’s enjoyed that experience will know one of the most exciting aspects is using the machines to pour your own drinks.

▼ Here, though, the drinks are alcoholic, and you’re the bartender pulling beers.

No expertise is required — all you have to do is set the mug on the stand, press the switch, and the machine does the rest of the work for you, serving up a tasty draft beer with a good head on it. In addition to Asahi Super Dry, dark beer is available, which gives you a couple of options to enjoy.

After finishing our first round of beers, we headed over to the soda and highball taps, where we were able to adjust the strength and dilution to our personal preference.

The self-service drink bar was a lot of fun to use and made us feel more at home than usual, especially after we’d had a few. As for dishes, they’re mostly designed to pair well with alcohol, and the recommended Miyazaki Yakitori was particularly delicious and not as fatty as other ones we’ve tried in the past.

Not only was this a cheap night out, it was a great night out, so if you’re looking for a budget-priced all-you-can-drink spot in Tokyo, why not try an adult drink bar? They’re a lot of fun, particularly with friends, and the only thing you really have to worry about here is drinking too much, so be sure to drink in moderation!

Restaurant information
Yakitori 〇Kin Shinjuku main store / やきとり 〇金 新宿本店
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-34-16, Ikeda Plaza Building 4F
東京都新宿区新宿3-34-16 池田プラザビル4F
Hours: 4:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. (irregular holidays)

Photos © SoraNews24
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