Best (Hidden) Bars in Japan

Japan is full of secrets and hidden gems. No one wants to spill the beans on their favorite local bars and cafes, and for good reason! Often they only seat 3-7 people. There's charm in the fact that these bars are a bit private, subtle, and hard to find because when you find a spot you love you won't be disappointed. Hint: don't stick to the ground floor.

A few of the best:

Kyoto

  • A cocktail bar lit by only candlelight playing quiet house music. (We were sworn to secrecy!)
  • Yuki's will make sure your experience at The Bar Straight is both friendly and impeccable. Head up the elevator and down a hallway in Kyoto's Gion neighborhood.

Tokyo

  • Bar Huddle, a friendly tiny bar in Setagaya.
  • Abe will make you feel at home in his Golden Gai 8 seater, Bar Asyl. He's written descriptions of each whiskey bottle and happy to explain his preferences.
  • Little Soul Cafe: A record-spinning Shimo-Kitazawa hangout.

Osaka

  • Bar Azzurri: a 4th floor cocktail lounge open 24 hours a day showing any soccer match you want to see.

  • Love Jazz and Vinyl? bird/56 should be your go to. 


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