Haikara-Tei is another Shinjuku jazz bar that somehow never popped up on my jazz radar after all these years in the neighborhood. A basement bar with a real American feel to it (is it the red brick or the Miller beer sign? not sure…), it’s a great place for some quiet drinking and record listening. The picture above pretty much says it all as you can see the bottles on offer, and the two huge hanging speakers (which were playing some crisp Art Pepper records when I dropped in one night).
“Haikara-Tei” in Japanese is a pun, the phonetic pronunciation of “High Collar” (think “white collar”) and “Tei” being a “place to stop by”. Thankfully there’s nothing pretentious or off-putting about this bar, and the record collection on the left as you walk in immediately told me that the owners were serious about the music. It’s more spacious than the average bar so it’s a good joint to head to if you want some personal space or got a group of rowdy jazz fans out for the night. The address is Shibuya-Ku but Shinjuku Station or JR Yoyogi are the closest stations.
Station: Shinjuku Station or JR Yoyogi
Exit: Shinjuku Exit 8 (off the “We Road” underground passage)
Distance from station: 4 minutes
Really easy to find: on Koshu-Kaido south side of Shinjuku Station, walk west towards the Park Hyatt. On the south side of the street, turn left at the “Net Cafe” (past Frigo the Belgian Bar). Walk 20 seconds, you`ll see the “Jazz Bar”