10 Best Beer Breweries in Japan

craft beer comparison Food & Drinks

In Japan, there are a wide variety of alcoholic drinks that you can enjoy. What comes to mind first is probably nihonshu(well known as sake), which is often served at traditional Japanese restaurants or ryokan. On the other hand, many Japanese people enjoy beer on a daily basis which is relatively affordable and easy to get at any supermarket or convenience store. Japanese beer companies are also starting to become more and more popular internationally with their increasingly high-quality taste of beer. There are also quite a few local craft beer brands and places that have opened recently as well. So the question is, where should you visit to get the best beer in Japan? We’ve made it easy for you with this list of 10 of the best beer breweries in Japan that you should visit!       

1. Museum of Yebisu Beer (Tokyo)

Yebisu beer Palace

The Museum of Yebisu Beer is a popular tourist attraction conveniently located in Shibuya, Tokyo. This famous beer museum opened in 2010 to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the Yebisu Beer brand produced by the world renowned Japanese beer company known as Sapporo. Visiting the museum will allow you to understand the history of Yebisu Beer through a wide range of exhibitions. They also offer informative guided tours that are available in English and Korean. An English tour is held every Wednesday afternoon for ¥1,000 per person (12:40pm/3:40pm). On this tour you will receive a coin with which you can use to taste and compare the samples of popular Sapporo beers freshly made and served right at the factory!

Hours: 11am – 6pm (closed on Mondays)

Admission: Free (¥1,000 to join the guided tour in English/Korean)

2. Orion Happy Park (Okinawa)

orion beer
James Cridland, (CC BY 2.0), via flickr

Orion Happy Park is a popular tourist attraction run by Orion Beer, a Japanese brewery that started in Okinawa. You may have never heard of them as they are lesser-known compared to other Japanese beer brands. However, they have been loved by locals and have been the most popular beer brand in Okinawa for over 60 years since the company was established in 1957. On the tour, you can learn about and see first hand how their beer is produced. Their guided tour is approximately an hour long which includes a 20-minute tasting session where you can enjoy the freshly-made Orion beer!     

Hours: 9am – 5pm (Closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays)

Admission: Free 

3. Suntory Musashino Brewery (Tokyo)/Suntory Kyoto Brewery(Kyoto) *Both Temporarily Closed*

Fuchu, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (Musashino Brewery)

Suntory has served as one of Japan’s most famous beverage companies for over a century. They offer free guided tours at two locations, Suntory Musashino Brewery in Tokyo as well as at their other location called Suntory Kyoto Brewery in Kyoto. From JR Shinjuku station, take the limited express on the Keio Line to Bubai-gawara station. From there, a free shuttle bus is available all the way to their Musashino Brewery (Take their free shuttle bus from JR Nagaoka-kyo station to get to the Kyoto Brewery). Although their tours are conducted only in Japanese, they offer English audio guides if that is something you might be interested in. We highly recommend you make a reservation on their website beforehand as the tours are pretty popular. At the end of the tour, you will be served three different types of tasty beer for free! They also have a small gift shop where you can find memorable and delicious gifts to take home with you.   

Hours: 9:30am – 5pm (Temporarily Closed)

Admission: Free 

4. Asahi Breweries (multiple locations)

ZCU, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons (Ibaraki Brewery)

Asahi Breweries has multiple locations where you can learn about the history of the company and how their tasty beer is produced. If you live in or around the Tokyo area, head to their Ibaraki brewery which gives free guided tours! They have a convenient audio translator which will help you understand their informative exhibitions about the beer production process in depth. They also have various displays of the raw ingredients they use to produce beer such as barley and hops that you can smell and touch. At the end of the tour, a fun tasting experience awaits where you can try a large selection of beers as well as soft drinks for children.  

*Important Notice*
Reservation on their website is currently not available due to COVID-19. All visitors are required to make a reservation by phone in advance. Note that their Hokkaido and Fukuoka breweries are temporarily closed. (Click here for more details)  

Hours: 10am – 3pm(Ibaraki location)

Admission: Free 

5. Kirin Brewery Yokohama (Kanagawa)

ykanazawa1999, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), via flickr

Kirin Brewery Yokahama in Kanagawa prefecture is definitely a must-visit if you are a fan of Kirin beer! Their free tours take you inside the factory where you will be able to learn about their manufacturing process in depth. Their tour will show you everything from raw materials all the way to the packaging process which displays the bottling and canning of beer. Beer tasting is available for free after the tour as well. There are also restaurants in the brewery where you can enjoy a range of food options that go great with their refreshing beer!      

Hours: 10am – 4pm

Admission: Free 

6. Kiuchi Brewery (Ibaraki)

Christian Kadluba, (CC BY-SA 2.0), via flickr

If you are a fan of smaller local breweries, you don’t want to miss Kiuchi brewery in Ibaraki prefecture! This local brewery is conveniently located about a 5-minute walk from Hitachi-konosu station in Naka city. They opened up about 190 years ago, and have served a wide variety of alcoholic beverages to their passionate consumers throughout Japan. Their products include traditional nihonshu, wine, Shochu, Umeshu (plum wine) as well as craft beer that is known by people all over the world. “Hitachino Nest Beer” is probably their most famous product and has earned awards and gained popularity overseas. At their bar counter you can try their various different products and compare the distinct taste of each one!       

Hours: 10am – 6pm

Admission: Free 

7. Minoh Brewery (Osaka)

While there are a great number of famous breweries in and around Tokyo, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to travel to Tokyo to taste high-quality craft beers. If you live in the Kansai region, visit Minoh Beer in Osaka which has served award-winning craft beer since its establishment in 1997. They particularly aim to produce a “daily craft beer” that can be enjoyed on a daily basis. From Makiochi station, it is about a 12-minute walk to Minoh Beer Warehouse where you can enjoy their flavorful craft beers freshly brewed at their nearby factory. They generally offer about 10 different types of beer that include seasonal specials that are made with locally grown fruit such as peaches in the summer and yuzu in the winter.                      

Hours: 11am – 9pm

Admission: Free 

8. Baird Brewing Company (Shizuoka)

Baird Brewing Company is a family-owned brewing company established in 2000 by Brian Baird and his Japanese wife. Their passion toward craft beer dates back to 1997 when they both quit their jobs in Tokyo and made the trip over to the U.S. to learn about brewing beer. They established their first location in 2000 and have been expanding their business along with an increasing number of fans around the world. Brewery Gradens Shuzenji is one of their main taprooms which welcomes visitors with a large selection of tasty craft beer as well as a beautiful view. On the weekends they offer a guided tour of the first and second floor of the building where they make their beer. 

Brewery Gardens Shuzenji Hours: 12pm – 7pm (Mon – Thu), 12pm – 9pm (Fri), 11am – 9pm (Sat), 11am – 7pm (Sun)

Admission: Free 

9. Miyashita Sake Brewery (Okayama)

With over a 100 year history, Miyashita Sake Brewery in Okayama prefecture has shared their passion for alcoholic beverages with fans not only in Japan but all around the globe. They produce a variety of alcoholic beverages ranging from traditional Japanese Sake to Shochu to whiskey. Among their large selection of products, Doppo is probably the most popular. Doppo is a local craft beer brand that is made with clean mineral water from Okayama and carefully selected ingredients imported from Germany. You need a reservation to join their brewery tour at Doppo-kan where you will have the chance to taste and buy a variety of their products!        

Doppo-Kan Hours: 10am – 7pm

Admission: Free 

10. Yo-Ho Brewing (Nagano)

ekkun, (CC BY-NC 2.0), via flickr

Yo-Ho Brewing is a local brewery located in Nagano prefecture. Since their establishment in 1996, they have produced a variety of innovative craft beers loved by people all over. While the majority of beers produced and consumed in Japan are lagers, they are committed to produce ales which have a fruity, flavorful taste similar to wine. “YONA ALE” is an American Pale Ale which has earned great reputations as well as international awards in recent years. The perfect balance of bitter and sweet with a refreshing citrus flavor is easy to drink even if you’re not a big fan of beer! There are several locations where you can enjoy their craft beer in Tokyo!        

Hours: Vary depending on location

Best Craft Beer Festivals in Japan

Great Japan Beer Festival

The Great Japan Beer Festival has served as one of Japan’s most popular beer festivals since it first started in 1998. This festival is held annually at multiple locations across Japan, including Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka. 

Keyaki Beer Festival 

The Keyaki Beer Festival is one of the largest craft beer festivals in Japan and is held twice a year at Saitama Super Arena.

Craft Beer Live

Enjoy over 220 different delicious craft beers made by 50 local breweries in the Kansai region at Craft Beer Live in Osaka.

Don’t forget to check out our tours!

If you need some help organizing your trip to Japan, it might be a great idea to check out our private tours with one of our fun and knowledgeable English guides. We would be happy to help make your trip to Japan a safe, comfortable, and unforgettable one! 

Shinjuku Biggest Drinking Town Izakaya Hopping Tour [Evening Tour]

Shinjuku is one of the biggest and best places to enjoy drinking(of course there is beer too) in all of Japan. Explore the different parts of Shinjuku while trying various different food and drink!

Tokyo Fish Market Tour @Tsukiji – Enjoy Local Food and Drink

Explore the world-famous fish market in Tsukiji with us while enjoying a wide variety of delicious local foods and drinks!

Beer has been around in Japan for quite some time now, yet it is still changing year by year. Not only are the big companies like Asahi and Kirin popular, but craft beer has started to become bigger and bigger nationwide as well. Joining a guided tour at a beer brewery will give you the chance to deepen your understanding about the history of beer and taste all the delicious beer that Japan has to offer! We hope you found a beer brewery that you want to check out here in Japan!  

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Happy traveling!

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Miho Shimizu is a Japanese freelance writer settled in Shizuoka with her husband and two rabbits. Fascinated with travelling at the age of 18, she has spent most of her long holidays exploring incredible spots around Japan. Also love to listen to music, draw, and read novels over a cup of green tea.

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