Minton House

IMG_0934.JPG
Yokohama-shi, Naka-ku, Yamashita-cho 276, Hamada-Bldg 1F
Naka-ku Yamashitachō 137 Yokohama-shi Kanagawa-ken 231-0023 JP

JULY 2022: Minton House has been under threat of closure the last two years, and the owner is still in negotiations with the new land owners about how long he can stay in the building. This is a complex situation with a lot of Japanese real estate ‘grey zone’ rules, so it’s unlcear how long the shop will actually stay open. Get there while you can!

Minton House celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015 and shows no sign of closing any time soon. It’s located just a few minutes walk from JR Ishikawacho Station in Yokohama right on the edge of Chinatown, and is a well known watering hole for both musicians and fans.

It is a long, narrow space with walls covered in old photos, paintings and flyers. Master Kawakami-san is a genial and mellow host who keeps the music flowing from his large collection of vinyl behind the bar on the left as you walk in. You’re likely to hear almost anything as last time I was in he played in order Grant Green, Jack DeJohnette, Pat Metheny, some female vocalist whose name I didn’t get, Eric Dolphy and then some big-band swing.

Everything sounded great on the huge speakers at the back of the room, but if you’re sitting towards the back then be prepared for the volume; those seats aren’t for conversing in. One way I always judge jazz joints is how easy it is to ‘lose time’ while sitting in there; many times at Minton House I’ve planned to pop in for a drink or two and ended up leaving four hours later as it has just the right combination of music, ambience, menu (Guinness AND Orion beer, lots of whiskeys) to keep you trapped.

Minton House opens at 5pm most days so is perfect for either an early drink or a post-Chinatown meal nightcap. It’s likely the best jazz bar in Yokohama, let’s hope it sticks around another 40 years.  See pictures of Minton House over at Tokyo Jazz Joints.

Size
30
Food
Yes
Date published
UPDATED July 2022
IMG_5521.jpeg
Japan, 〒231-0023 Kanagawa-ken, Yokohama-shi, Naka-ku, Yamashitachō, 巴里堂ビル 0.25 km
Marshmallow is a lovely new(ish) cafe located right in the heart of Chinatown, in Yokohama. It wa...
little02.jpg
3-9 Yoshida-cho, Naka-Ku, Yokohama-Shi 0.76 km
Little John is a well known jazz bar/tiny club in the Yokohama scene, yet its erratic opening hou...
IMG_6082.JPG
5-60 Sumiyoshicho, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 231-0013 1.16 km
Located in the in historic Bashamichi area of downtown Yokohama, Airegin is one of the best live ...
Yoidore Hakushaku inside.jpg
Suehiro-Cho 2-5, Naka-Ku, Yokohama-Shi 1.22 km
Yoidore Hakushaku (よいどれ伯爵-the name translates as “The Drunken Earl or The Drunken C...
Kamome outside.jpg
Sumiyoshi-cho 6-7-6, Naka-Ku, Yokohama-Shi 1.25 km
Kamome means “seagull” in Japanese; it’s an apt name for a venue in the port ...
photo(15).JPG
3-11 Yoshidamachi, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken 231-0041, Japan 1.31 km
Ad-Lib is an old club in Yoshida-cho, a block of dingy streets between Kannai and Noge in Yokoham...
Jazz House Five Stars Records inside.jpg
Hanasaki-cho 1-16-1, Naka-ku, Yokohama-Shi 1.49 km
Jazz House Five Star Records is a unique little place in the Noge neighborhood, next to Sakurag...
IMG_3977.JPG
231-0033 横浜市中区長者町 9-140 1.62 km
First is an old-school Yokohama jazz bar with a vibe and sound all its own. It’s more spaci...
Downbeat outside.jpg
Miyamoto Bldg, 2F 1-43 Hanasakicho, Naka-Ku, Yokohama-Shi 1.65 km
Downbeat in Yokohama is one of the classic jazz spots in the entire Kanto (Tokyo Metropolitan) ...
Chigusa+2-5.jpg
2-94 Noge-cho Naka-ku, Yokohama,Kanagawa 231-0064 1.65 km
Chigusa is the the gold standard of jazz cafes in Japan. It was first opened in 1933 in the rough...
bitchesbrew-shop-logo.jpg
3-152-1 Nishi-Kanagawa, Kanagawa-Ku, Yokohama-Shi 5.31 km
Bitches Brew is yet another only-in-Japan kind of place. It’s a tiny sqaure room on the sec...
Hakuraku 10x10 inside.jpg
Hakuraku 100, Yokohama-shi 5.43 km
045-421-1550045-421-1550
Sadly, 10×10 closed in 2014. A neighboring cafe owner told me that Takeyama-san closed the...
IMG_1849.JPG
〒210 - 0006 川崎市川崎区砂子 2-11-21 深沢ビル3F 10.93 km
Sugar Shack Soul Brothers Bar in Kawasaki is the real deal, a place where soul music fans can sit...
Gi inside.JPG
Gi
416 Imai Minami-Cho, Nakahara-Ku, Kawasaki-Shi 11.1 km
Gi is a tiny dining bar located just about 10 minutes walk from Musashi Kosugi station in Kawasak...
Shin-Yuri Green Plaza B1, Hakusan 4-1-3 Aso-Ku, Kawasaki-Shi 11.1 km
Coming out the station go to Bus Stop #3, take the bus bound for Shin-Yuri Green Town. Get off at...
Pithecanthropus Erectus.JPG
3F, 7-61-8 Nishi-Kamata, Ota-Ku 14.86 km
This is as old school a jazz bar as you will find in the Tokyo metro area. 直立猿人 (Chokuritsu E...
SlowBoat2.jpg
1-chōme-3-16 Minamiyukigaya, Ota City, Tokyo 145-0066 17.19 km
Slow Boat is a beautiful neighborhood jazz cafe opened only in 2019, on the first floor of an oth...
Matsu1.jpg
1-11-17 Higashinakanobu, Shinagawa City, Tokyo, Japan 19.52 km
Jazz Snack まつ (Matsu) is a gem, a classic old spot that takes you back to the days when Japanes...
Maze Soul Extension outside.jpg
4-Chome 6-2 Koenji Minami 19.54 km
03-3312-768403-3312-7684
Maze is a very hip soul music bar located right in the middle of the Koenji Pal Arcade ‘s...
IMG_2402.JPG
Higashi-Ooimachi 5-6-10 1F. Shinagawa-Ku 20.04 km
Jazz Bar Impro is small, even by the incredibly small standards of most Japanese jazz joints. It&...
IMG_5744.JPG
1 Chome-6-21 Higashiikuta, Tama-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa-ken 214-0031, Japan 20.63 km
044-922-5298044-922-5298
What an unreal treat Garo was to visit. It was first opened in 1967 by the very welcoming Mr. and...
Noise.jpg
JORNA 4F, Hara Machida 6-6-14, Machida-Shi, Tokyo 21.17 km
Noise is one of the more unique jazz cafes still around. It opened in 1980 as the sister shop to ...
Herbie-6.jpg
B1F Fuji Bldg B1, Hara-Machida 6-17-1, Machida-Shi 21.33 km
Herbie is the kind of jazz bar you stumble upon randomly on the way home some night and end up st...
IMG_0020.JPG
Tokyo-to, Meguro-Ku, Yutenji 1-22-6 22.17 km
Ohio is great, an intimate, friendly bar with a huge collection of soul music. Owner Kin-chan has...
Hotel Wing International Meguro B1, 1-3-14, Meguro 22.62 km
Blues Alley Japan. is a sophisticated club with great food and an eclectic live schedule. It...
Fat Mama.jpg
5-16-17, Meguro Honcho, Meguro-Ku 22.62 km
Fat Mama is named after the great Herbie Hancock track from his album “Fat Albert Rotunda&#...
Casa Rosa 2F Seijo 6-16-5, Setagaya-ku 22.71 km
I’ve known Yoshioka-san, owner and sole staff at Cafe Beulmans for several years now, since...
IMG_2694.JPG
Minami Karasuyama 5-17-13 3F, Setagaya-Ku 22.71 km
Ragtime is the ideal jazz cafe in many ways. It’s a small place up on the 3rd floor of a ru...
IMG_2704.JPG
5-6-14 Daizawa, Setagaya-Ku 23.81 km
Jazz Haus Posy was opened in 1973 by jazz fanatic Misa. She’s a serious enough fan to hav...
IMG_1046.JPG
155-0032 東京都世田谷区代沢5-31-14 24.1 km
Lady Jane has a very cinematic feel to it, the kind of joint that a lot of people outside Japan w...
wahwah.jpg
Daihachi-Toto Bld. B1 15-19 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuyaku Tokyo, Japan 150-0031 24.22 km
The Room is one of Tokyo’s best clubs, if not THE best for fans of funky/groovy music. It&#...
IMG_5335.jpeg
東京都渋谷区桜丘町 17-10 24.29 km
Music Bar 45 is a small 2nd floor joint located just a few minutes walk from the south exit of Sh...
JBS (Jazz,Blues,Soul).jpg
1-17-10 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-Ku 24.3 km
There’s a beautiful simplicity about JBS (Jazz,Blues,Soul). Owner Kobayashi-san has more th...
Masako inside.jpg
2-20-2 Kitazawa, Setagaya-Ku 24.38 km
NOTE: Masako closed in FEB 2010…I’m leaving it here anyways, so people will remember....
B1 26-6, Utagawa-cho, Shibuya-Ku 24.72 km
Modern jazz specialty shop, more than 8000 records on sale from the 50s & 60s. Been open sinc...
Pres Jazz Bar.jpg
Utagawacho 30-4, Shibuya-Ku 24.72 km
03-3463-284803-3463-2848
Pres Jazz Bar is located up near the end of “Center Gai” street in Shibuya, not the...
Seabird inside.JPG
〒150-0002 東京都渋谷区渋谷2丁目3−4 24.8 km
03-3499-189003-3499-1890
Seabird is a lovely old cafe next to Aoyama Gakuin University, between Shibuya and Omotesando sta...
koendori.png
Shibuya-ku, Udagawacho 19-5 24.85 km
Koen-Dori Classics is a small performance space located underneath a church in the heart of Shibu...
bar bossa.jpg
41-23 Udagawa-Cho, Shibuya-Ku 150-0044 24.87 km
Bar Bossa in Shibuya is a quiet gem of a place, perfect for bossa nova fans and/or couples lookin...
IMG_0139.jpg
Shibuya Parco B1, Udagawa-Cho 15-1 24.88 km
The central streets of Shibuya often conceal some cool little music spots amidst the brand stores...
Screen Shot 2019-12-16 at 9.35.19.png
〒150-0002 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Shibuya, 1 Chome−5−6 B1F 24.9 km
INC Cocktails opened in late 2018 just a short walk from Shibuya Station. It’s a very large...
Swing-6.jpg
16-4 Kamiyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 24.93 km
Despite its old-world cafe atmosphere, Swing only opened in 2014 and is one of the newer jazz spo...
Mary Jane outside.jpg
Fuji Shoji Bldg. 2F, Sakuragaoka 2-3, Shibuya-Ku 25.09 km
Many years back I found  Mary Jane by accident, as I had been  looking for the wonderfully named ...
Himawari Bldg. 2F, Dogenzaka 2-26-5, Shibuya-Ku 25.09 km
Very small place that is really just a bar with live music every night of the week. I’ve go...
IMG_1033.JPG
Matsubara 1-37-14, Setagaya-Ku 25.28 km
03-3321-943103-3321-9431
Miles is a treasure. It opened in 1960 and is one of the few remaining neighborhood jazz bars fro...