Located within Tokyo’s Shibuya ward, the Ebisu neighbourhood is famed for its high density of cafes, restaurants, ramen eateries and old-fashioned tachinomi bars. It is also home to the Yebisu Garden Place, a large-scale shopping and cultural complex which has been dubbed a “city in a city”, which was developed on the neighbourhood’s former brewery grounds.
Yebisu Garden Place lies at the heart of the neighbourhood, and it is here that the Sapporo Breweries’ headquarters are located, together with the Museum of Yebisu Beer which offers an insight Japan’s brewing history. The complex’s sloping promenade, lined with cafes and a beer garden, leads to a large, glass-covered central plaza, while the Yebisu Garden Place Tower soars above and offers panoramic Tokyo views from its 38th and 39th-floor restaurants. There are plenty of shops to explore within its Glass Square and shopping arcades, as well as a large Mitsukoshi department store and a Westin hotel. The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography can be found here, offering an impressive collection of works by both local and international artists across its multiple floors. Yebisu Garden Place also features the Château Restaurant Joël Robuchon, a replica of a Louis XVI-era French château and home to three Michelin star restaurants. Select from L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, La Table de Joël Robuchon or Le Chateau de Joël Robuchon, or opt for one of the more casual eateries and traditional Japanese tachinomi “stand and drink” bars which can be found in the surrounding streets. Ebisu’s nightlife is known for being less raucous than nearby Shinjuku and Roppongi, attracting an older clientele and being popular with expatriate residents.
Ebisu is easily accessed along the Tokyo Metro’s Hibiya Line from Ebisu Station, as well as along the JR Yamanote railway line. The neighbourhood is relatively compact, and most sights can be explored on foot, or there is a convenient moving walkway which connects Ebisu Station’s east exit to Yebisu Garden Place.
Ebisu’s history is centred around beer, with the neighbourhood developed around the Japan Beer Brewery Company in 1928, now called Sapporo Breweries, and named for its Yebisu Beer. Following the brewery’s relocation to Chiba in 1988, Ebisu underwent a major urban redevelopment, with Yebisu Garden Place included in the design.