Vowz Bar

Vowz Bar, Shinjuku: Hours, Address, Vowz Bar Reviews: 4/5

7:00 PM - 1:00 AM
7:00 PM - 1:00 AM
7:00 PM - 1:00 AM
7:00 PM - 1:00 AM
7:00 PM - 1:00 AM
7:00 PM - 1:00 AM

14 reviews
Very good

Nikolai V
London, UK49 contributions
Bottoms up!
Apr 2018 • Solo
A bar run by a group of Buddhist monks... their logic is, most Japanese people these days don't go to the temple, but they go to the tavern.
Written October 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Andreas G
Trondheim, Norway9 contributions
Not worth it
Mar 2018 • Friends
The bartenders were dressed in buddhist clothing i guess, but i didn’t really experience any buddhist culture beyond that. Some of the drinks tasted good, but not that fancy. The food was really subpar.
Written March 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sydney, Australia148 contributions
Great find
Dec 2017 • Friends
Loved this bar. It has a cosy atmosphere in the main bar to the left which holds about 20 people. If the main bar is full there is an overflow bar to the right which can hold another 10-15 people which is much quieter.
We enjoyed the sake on our visits which is served in the traditional Japanese boxes which cost around ¥800 plus ¥500 cover charge.
Great place to decompress after work or a day of walking in Tokyo. They seem very excited when foreigners visit and were curious as to how we found the bar.
The chants that come over the speakers at various times during the night are very calming and add to the friendly atmosphere.
Written December 1, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bangkok, Thailand198 contributions
Good to Visit - Another Perspective of Monk Activities
Oct 2017 • Couples
The bar is operated by group of Shinto Monks. Conceptually it is very good for going to the bar and discussing with monks in various topics. The monks might not be fluent in English but they can communicate.

The bar is on the second floor deep down into those walking alleys in Ginza. The bars around are very interesting too. I found one bar nearby. It was full of people gathering playing old Japanese String Lutes while mingle at the bar. Coming back to Vowz bar there are choices of vegetarian blown along with the drinks.

The drinks are more on whiskey and Japanese spirit ie Sake, Shoju etc. Reading the drinking menu is very enjoyable with the religious associated names. The place is quite small. It can host not more than 20 people but it must be very packed then. Decoration is full of Buddism relics.

Overall it is an interesting place to visit but do not expect the drinks.
Written November 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Miami Beach, FL5 contributions
Words cannot begin to describe the experience we had at this bar. I went with my husband and my best friend, the bar is on a second floor (as many of Japan's bars are), and tiny (also as many of Japan's bars are). The bartender is a monk and his assistant (cook) is a girl. The menu is hilarious, with drinks named "Never ending suffering in hell" 0r "Nirvana in the pure land", all delicious, and there are food items too! The monk was so happy we were there (and the bar was full, fits about 10 comfortably on tables and another 6 at the bar), he kept sending us food without us even ordering an a girl alone sitting on the next stool kept sharing her food with us yo show us how good it was, and it was! The mixed drinks were delicious! And at some point, the music is turned off, people stop eating and drinking because the monk assumes his position in front of a tiny shrine and begins to chant! I hope he was praying for us not to get a hangover, because I could have stayed there until we were kicks out. We finally had to go because unfortunately, a Japanese guest started smoking, as it happens when they start getting lit. We were lucky to get there early enough to enjoy this experience before the smoking began. DO NOT MISS THIS SPOT!
Written November 11, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vicky O
30 contributions
Surprising... but not in a good way...
Aug 2014 • Friends
Have you ever been gazed at like you were coming from Mars? This is how I perceived the look of customers as my husband and I stepped into Vowz bar. Following the last Trip Advisor review, we went there on a Saturday night for a first drink before Shinjuku main streets. Bad idea. We instantly realised this tiny bar was more a regulars' HQ than the tourist-friendly, buddhist-smiley place we had expected. We perceived though, first impressions are sometimes deceiving. We were right, it got worse.
Breaking the quiet atmosphere absent of music, came up a monk starting a sermon in Japonese, which held everyone's attention. A simple "hello" or "welcome" for us would have been appreciated but hospitality wasn't apparently the theme of the night. The man was drunk I shall say and the funny side to it got the half-an-hour speech bearable in some way.
After that we could not wait to go! With the bill came another surprise: we had gotten charged 500 yens per person extra entrance fee. I have to point out that this fare is written nowhere upon getting in!...
A Buddhist myself I was utterly disappointed at the way our experience turned out and would recommand this bar to no one, unless you are part of their community.
Written September 11, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Around the World
Berlin, Germany517 contributions
Perfect lovely place. A must if you're in Tokyo!!
Apr 2013
I checked out these small bar at Buddhas birthday. A really nice & peaceful place. When ever you'll stay in Tokyo you should try this monk bar. The staff are Buddhist monks and so peaceful and friendly. I'm really glad to visit them.

People would gather in a Buddhist temple and drink together, we've just updated the tradition to fit our times.
TOKYO: Japanese Buddhist monk Yoshinobu Fujioka enjoys bringing his congregation together, one cocktail at a time.
Fujioka owns the 23-seat “Vowz Bar” in central Tokyo, where Buddhist chants replace karaoke songs and the shaven-headed bartenders serve up sermons and homilies along with the drinks.
“People would gather in a Buddhist temple and drink together, we’ve just updated the tradition to fit our times”, said Fujioka, who also works at a temple just outside Tokyo.
“They become totally different believers here, the distance between them and myself diminishing. They are more connected with each other,” he added, dressed in traditional black robes.
Vowz Bar has been going strong for 13 years and the cocktail list includes the vodka and cognac-based “Perfect Bliss” as well as “Infinite Hell” – a vodka, raspberry liqueur and cranberry juice concoction with a splash of tonic water.
The special is called “Enslavery to Love and Lust” and costs around 800 yen ($8.51).
“Every day, my heart gets tainted by dirt in the secular world, so I come here to repurify it over some drinks and fun,” said regular patron Noriko Urai, a 42-year-old businesswoman.
“Vowz” is a play on the Japanese word for monk.
Written April 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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