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Top Rated Nightlife in Kyoto

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Whilst traveling, it isn’t unusual to have those moments where you really miss home. When in Kyoto after meals of Japanese flavors, many travelers crave a touch of home. Fishbowl is a respite as it serves international foods and cocktails. Close to the Sanjo station, the pub is located in the Empire Building at Kiyamachi Dori in Kyoto, and has a staff that is fluent in English. The bar menu has the best of international drinks.


This is a well-established "live-house" — or, in plain English, a music venue. Juttoku is located in an old warehouse (kura) not far from Nijo Castle in the west of the city. Expect to see anything if you decide to just drop in on spec - anything in terms of both quality and genre. Rock, blues, thrash, Japanese pop, Irish fiddle, electronica, you name it and it has probably been played at Juttoku. Usually pretty friendly, though a little out of the way.

Pig & Whistle

The Pig & Whistle is more of a Kyoto institution now than a faithful copy of a British pub in downtown, central Kyoto. It easily rates as the city's favorite expatriates' hangout, and it is a good place to come to start any evening or to find that elusive piece of Japan-related information. Apart from reasonable fish and chips, pizza and lasagna, there are domestic and imported beers and cocktails, as well as draught Guinness, Kilkenny and that bottle of Sam Smiths you were craving. There is a bulletin board, newspapers and even a fax machine available. Thursday is Ladies' night with drinks galore. Live entertainment twice a month. The place can really get heaving on weekends and on holidays.

Taku Taku

Over the years since 1974, Taku Taku has played host to quite a few international stars, including Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Los Lobos, Taj Mahal and Dr. John, but most of the groups are local, offering Japanese rock and pop. Westerners well aware of the concept of "warehouse parties" will feel right at home here. And this particular warehouse is made of wood, which gives the whole place an aged and historic, if somewhat shabby, feel. Taku Taku has been rated among the best live houses in the Kansai, and it is most certainly a good place to get an idea what the yoof of today is all about.


L'Escamoteur is a well known-bar in the city of Kyoto in Japan. It is a very chic and modern bar with a lively and friendly décor. It is especially popular with international travelers that are visiting Japan and are glad to exchange experiences with people that speak in the same language as them. Though the prices are slightly high, the quality of drinks is extremely worth it. L'Escamoteur can be found at Shimogyo-ku and is open from 7p to 1a through the week, except on Thursdays.

Arash's Kitchen

Arash’s Kitchen is one of the more famous Persian dining places in Kyoto. Most tourists when visiting Japan will overdose on meal after meal of sushi and ramen. Arash’s offers a nice change as it serves a variety of cuisines including Indian, Turkish and Persian. Some of the fast favorites include kebabs and lamb stew. But fear not, vegetarians, the menu also has several options for you. The restaurant offers an extensive drinks menu to go with the often spicy dishes.

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