Pres Jazz Bar is located up near the end of “Center Gai” street in Shibuya, not the most likely spot for a jazz bar. Named after the great sax -man Lester Young, owner Iwasaki-san opened the place about twenty years ago when there were still some jazz cafes and bars next door (unfortunately all gone now).
The counter in Pres a U-shaped, with the seats a bit close together but still comfortable. The atmosphere is dark and serious, with the music at just the right volume. By far the most memorable thing about Pres are the murals painted on each side wall, large and very lifelike portraits of jazz greats, of course including ‘Pres’ Lester Young. They watch down over you while you drink and listen, like gods quietly observing their worshipers. It’s a unique feeling for sure. See more pictures of Pres over at Tokyo Jazz Joints.
For a bar right in the middle of screaming teenage Tokyo, Pres is a wonderful oasis of good music and sophistication. Perfect spot for post dinner drinks.
Station: Shibuya-JR, Hanzomon/Ginza/Fukutoshi Subway Lines
Exit: Hachiko Exit
Distance from station: 6-9
The easiest way to get to Pres is to walk up Bunkamura-dori from Shibuya Station, and turn right on the street right before Book 1st. Walk up one street to Center-Gai and look on the right, you`ll see a grey-concrete like building to the left of a noodle restaurant. The Pres sign is lit up above.