Have a pint (or two) while exploring the history of an iconic Tokyo brand at the Museum of Yebisu Beer
Tokyo is home to several world-class museums, displaying everything from Japanese artifacts to contemporary anime-inspired art pieces. One unique museum in the sprawling metropolis pays homage not to an artist or ancient civilization, but to a beloved companion to Japan’s rich culinary history: Beer.
Located in the Yebisu Garden Place complex — home to a wide variety of upscale shops and restaurants — the Museum of Yebisu Beer opened in 2010 to coincide with the brand’s 120th anniversary. Marketed as the premium offering of Sapporo Breweries Ltd.’s beer lineup, Yebisu is best known for its iconic gold can featuring an image of Ebisu — the smiling, jovial god of Japanese fishermen and good fortune.
The Museum of Yebisu Beer is best accessed via Ebisu Station in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward. As its name implies, Ebisu Station was named in honor of the Yebisu Beer brewery, which was located in the area until 1982.
Upon arriving at Ebisu Station, visitors are immediately immersed in the history of the location by the sounds of a jingle featured in commercials for the Yebisu brand. (The tune itself is the theme song from “The Third Man,” a 1949 British film noir starring Orson Welles.) Ebisu’s aesthetic homages to Yebisu Beer don’t just stop at the station, as the streetlights on major thoroughfares throughout the neighborhood are made to resemble tiny pints of draft beer.
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