Alps is known for one thing: it’s CHEAP! It came to the attention of my friend Yoshi when he saw an ad for 150 yen beers — this price is unheard of.
Located in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district, Alps could stand to be in a better neighborhood. The surrounding area is dotted with love hotels and pachinko parlors, probably outnumbering the arcades and grocery stores. Thankfully, it isn’t in the really seedy part of town, and so getting there isn’t scary at all. Just nod away the people offering deals on karaoke and you’ll be there in no time!
Aside from being cheap, Alps is a no-frills, laid-back type of place that distinguishes itself from other izakaya. As one reviewer put it, “it’s good to know a place where you can just show up with a group of twenty people and no reservation.” That’s exactly how I feel about it. The three stories of tables are never quite empty, but never quite full, either. I have yet to take advantage of their hours, but they open at 5pm and don’t close until 9am the next morning!
The real draw to Alps is the cheap beer and izakaya food. Mugs of Sapporo are now 150 yen, as are several other drinks. Food can be had cheap as well, with an order of takoyaki [fried balls of octopus] at 290 yen and 10 gyoza for the same. Though the specialty of the house is horumonyaki [literally beef and pork offal meat], I stay pretty standard with the pork kimchi or some yakisoba.
This isn’t the place to take a girl on a first [or even tenth] date, but at the same time, it isn’t shady. This is a place to kick back and enjoy some time with friends without having to worry about your wallet. And that, in my opinion, makes it a gem among izakaya.
Access: 10 min. walk from Shinjuku Sta. [Too many lines to list] through Kabukicho
Address: 2-35-2 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Hours: Daily, 5pm – 9am
Website: Ain’t got one