Whisky Magazine Issue 95
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We discover some new places to drink in this fashionable area of Tokyo
?n the past, the name of this Tokyo district would either make Western businessmen smile in a wistful manner or cough in an embarassed fashion if their wives (or company accountants) were within earshot. The ‘entertainment' element still exists, but in the past few years the area has had a makeover with the building of Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown, two massive and very chi-chi retail and hotel destinations. Around them has sprouted some of the city's greatest bars: Cask with its 2,500 old whiskies, top cocktail destination Vodka Tonic and the glorious Gothic gloom of Ne Plus Ultra. For this drinker's guide, Whisky Mag Japan's team went to seek out some of the newer destination bars. Enjoy. Ritz-Carlton, Midtown If you have a bar on the 45th floor of Tokyo's tallest hotel you might be tempted to call it The Sky Lounge or some such, but that isn't the Ritz-Carlton style. To them, this space at the apex of the 280m Midtown building is simply ‘The Bar', an open space dotted with tables and cabinets arranged around two water features, each the size of many of the city's watering holes. Hotel bars can be anonymous spaces. Used by residents as a meeting point before they head out to dinner, a place for business meetings, or refuges for lonely jetlagged travellers, they can lack a sense of identity. Here, however, that model has been broken “We are becoming a destination,” says bar supervisor Izumi-san. “The view is the initial attraction, but then people discover w...