Smaller in size than neighboring Osaka, Kobe is one of Japan’s most cosmopolitan cities, home to world-famous beef, some of the best dessert shops in the country, and a thriving jazz scene. It was one of the first ports in Japan to open to foreign trade, with international influences reflected in the city’s restaurant and bar scene. Cozy up and mingle with Kobe people at the one-armed mini-bars, known in Japanese as tachinomi, or try elaborate cocktails in the large-scale Kitano, an area swarming with villas. Western style used to belong to wealthy merchants. Here are the best bar in Kobe.
The Best Bars in Kobe
Sone is Kobe’s original jazz club, open since 1969 and still attracting discerning crowds looking for some top notch live music. Four live sets play every night, with a variety of jazz sounds – from traditional to Dixieland. You can choose to eat at Sone, with a wide range of Western dishes and some set menu meals also available. The club also hosts Sunday afternoon jazz sessions; Check its calendar for details.
Garage Paradise is a popular music bar that has 5 live shows every night and DJs playing a variety of genres from R&B and soul, to jazz, house and trance. The bar’s cozy basement space is made up of romantic fixtures and candlelit tables, and if you want to do more than drink, there’s a dance floor and pool table. There are over 100 drinks to choose from on the menu, and there’s also a wide selection of food, ranging from 800 to 1000 yen.
In Tha Door Brewing
Locally sourced ingredients are ordered of the day at In Tha Door Brewing, a local brewery for craft beer enthusiasts. Located in Kobe’s central Sannomiya district, In Tha Door has between 5 and 7 beers available. Its beers are produced using natural spring water drawn from the springs of nearby Mount Rokko, which contains many minerals that make up a beer with a unique taste. This bar also works with nearby farmers to create seasonally flavored beers using locally grown fruit. You can also try its bread beer, which uses leftover dry bread instead of malt, sourced from nearby bakeries that would otherwise have thrown it away.
Sweets Bar Ashioto
Tucked away on the third floor of a posh building in Kobe’s Chūō ward, Sweets Bar Ashioto exudes sophistication from the moment you step out of the elevator, where the staff is smartly dressed in black ties and notes. welcome pear. For the best views, sit at the 16-seat counter and watch the bartender prepare desserts, such as rich chocolate fudge, bitter matcha mousse or parfait served in champagne glasses. Each dessert has a suggested cocktail combination handpicked by the staff. One of the signature choices here is the crunchy suzette with vanilla ice cream, paired with a sappari (refreshing) cocktail with blood orange, lemon and grapefruit.
New Munchen Kobe Taishikan
New Munchen Kobe Taishikan is a German liquor store with lots of beer. A wide range of Sapporo beers as well as a full menu of over 150 dishes are offered. This sleek brewery produces 2 craft beers – a 100% malt beer called Kobetaishikan and a fruity one called Minato Kobe Weizen. The bar offers an ‘all you can drink’ menu and karaoke equipment, making New Munchen Kobe Taishikan a popular spot for groups to start their evening.
The Cave Kobe
In downtown Sannomiya you’ll find The Cave Kobe, a British-style basement bar. The friendly owner, Yocchin, is a huge fan of The Beatles and regularly travels to the UK to perform at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. At The Cave, he tried to recreate the original atmosphere of the Cavern Club for Japanese fans, decorating it with British antiques and memorabilia. Drop by on the weekends, where, for a small fee, you can listen to live music by some of Japan’s best Beatles cover bands. As for drinks, there is a wide range of whiskeys on offer; however, gin and tonic were the ones that resonated the most among the populace.
The Ember Room
Beer gardens are often associated with summer in Japan; However, as a year-round open-air bar, The Ember Room is a rarity in Kobe. This modern designed bar is a short walk from Motomachi Station. A popular rooftop party venue, this bar draws people in with its relaxed vibe and outdoor terrace sofa seating. Expect a mix of fruity cocktails, wines and bottled beers along with regular events, such as barbecues and Sunday lunches.