2 Best Bars in Shikoku, Japan


In recent years Matsuyama has been promoting its haiku poetry heritage in conjunction with the city's nightlife; namely, promoting bars where you can go to drink and, if the urge takes you, write haiku poems. Located near the castle (on Sanban-cho street), Hoyaken is one of those bars, run by a husband and wife who are haiku and sake aficionados. Grab a counter seat, pick up a pencil and paper, and get creative with the minimum amount of words, all while sipping on some of the best regional sake Ehime Prefecture has to offer. You might even be given a haiku penname by the owners. If you aren't sure about how to write a haiku, there are explanations on hand in English, plus booklets full of seasonal words to inspire you. For a list of more haiku-slash-drinking venues, check out the Matsuyama Haiku Bar website.


This cozy piano bar near the Okaido shopping arcade has been hosting local and visiting jazz musicians since the 1980s. The music is as good as you'd encounter in any of Japan's major cities, and it's all the more delightful when paired with one of the bar's quirky cocktails.