8 Best Bars in The Kansai Region, Japan

Bar K

With subdued, dark wood interiors and relaxed ambience, Bar K is the best place in Osaka to sample a range of Japanese whiskeys. The knowledgeable bartenders also mix excellent cocktails.
1--3--3 Sonesaki-shinichi, Osaka, 530–0002, Japan
Nightlife Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.

Booze Up Bar


This place feels like you've stepped into a Quentin Tarantino movie. Even the sound track is right: soul and funk LPs are artfully blended one to the other on dual turntables. Tasty pizzas and pastas are served up alongside good cocktails. It's northwest of Tokyu Hands department store.

2-15-3 Shimoyamate-dori, Kobe, 650-0011, Japan

Café Absinthe


After browsing the fashions in Minami's boutiques, pop into Café Absinthe in neighboring Kita-horie for Mediterranean food and good music. Live performances usually start at around 9. The music and the crowd are very international and very laid-back.

1--2--27 Kita-horie, Osaka, 550-0014, Japan
Nightlife Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues.

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Club Quattro


Up-and-coming Japanese rock bands and popular Western bands play at this popular venue. The sound system is excellent.

Mr. Kelly's


This club on the ground floor of the Hotel Vista Prima Donna regularly features a jazz trio and a vocalist. Well-known acts also stop by for performances. The cover charge starts at ¥3,500.



The city's most famous jazz club has been run by the Sone family since 1961. There are three sets of live music every night, starting at 6:30, and the action often centers on a jazz trio with a guest vocalist. Spacious and relaxed, the place serves pizza, pasta, and salads. There's a cover charge of ¥1,320 (occasionally a bit more depending on the band).



Although the craft-brewing craze may have run its course in the States, it is still going full steam ahead in Japan. Starboard's relaxed pub atmosphere is a great place to try some of Kobe's local beers. There is also an all-you-can-drink course for ¥2,500.

2--7--12 Kitanagasa-dori, Kobe, 650–0012, Japan

The Cave Kobe

Located in a basement below the streets of downtown Kobe, this friendly bar is a shrine to all things associated with the Beatles. The owner is a massive fan, and the bar is a recreation of the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool, where the "Fab Four" first made their name. There are regular performances by Beatles tribute acts, making it is a great place to listen to some live music and discover more about Japan's ongoing obsession with this band.