Inside Whales of August (Photo: Jane Pipkin')
Inside Whales of August (Photo: Jane Pipkin')
- 3 min read

The Whales of August: Movie-Themed Cocktail Bar in Shibuya

Your movie dreams in a cocktail

Planning to enjoy the exciting nightlife of Japan? Stuck on somewhere to go? Whales of August just may be the place you are looking for.

This quaint and hidden bar in the backstreets of Shibuya is the perfect place if you are looking for somewhere which will provide you with an unique and fun drinking experience. You feel as though you have left the streets of Shibuya and entered the world of the movies, walking down the steps towards the bar. Although, the bar itself is quite small, this only helps to create the intimate and lively atmosphere.

Whales of August is unique in the fact that it offers an array of movie-inspired cocktails. There is a whole list ranging from Saving Private Ryan, The Phantom of the Opera to Breakfast at Tiffany's. This isn't even the best part. You can even put in a request for the bartenders to make a cocktail of your favourite film. My friend asked for the Cinderella and a sweet cocktail was created.

'Wha' is also interesting in the fact the more action-packed a film is, the more alcohol the cocktail contains. The Saving Private Ryan is one of the strongest cocktails you can get. However, it is important to note that some of the cocktails are so intricate, the bartenders are only able to make one. This is the case with the 'Totoro', however if you are able to get one to share between your friends, I would highly recommend it. A delicious chocolate liquor based cocktail in the shape of one of Japan's most beloved characters, what more could you ask for!

In terms of price, the cocktails vary in price, starting from around ¥1000. The prices are listed on the menu. However, you will not be given a price on the cocktails you request. You will not be able to see how much these have cost until you are given the bill, so this is something to be aware of. There is also a ¥500 cover charge for the cocktail bar itself. The staff speak some English, however if there is a certain film you want as a cocktail, I would recommend finding the Japanese name for it in advance so there is no confusion.

This shabby cocktail bar is perfect for anyone who enjoys somewhere quirky and unique. It offers a range of cocktails and food so it is perfect for all types of drinkers. If you ever want to escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo and feel like you are in the movies, step into Whales of August.

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Patrick Forrest a year ago
I went to The Whales of August tonight.

Even though I spoke Japanese to the waiter, they got my order wrong. I was also yelled out, in very rude language, by the owner for drinking from my own bottle (I was thirsty and thought it was nicer than bothering the staff to ask for water). We were also very rudely encouraged to leave after finishing our drinks (keep in mind we ordered about two drinks each, and were just waiting on one person to finish when they came up to us and asked us to pay the bill). I have a feeling the owner has a bad taste for foreigners.

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