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Kyoto's Shijo/Kiyamachi/Sanjo area bars

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  • Kyoto's Shijo/Kiyamachi/Sanjo area bars

    Can anyone recommend an interesting place to drink in Kyoto's Shijo/Kiyamachi/Sanjo area?

    I like ING because the master is cool and it has cheap beer and great cheese fries. The HUB is good for people watching and has fast service. The Pig & Whistle has a great happy hour (600 yen pints). I don't like the crowd at the former Tagd's (now called The GAEL; too small and often full of foreign "poets/artists/Japan specialists"), The Hill of Tara (expensive and has uncomfortable seats), McLoughlins (nice view, but awful ex-hostess club layout).

    I know about A-Bar, which is OK, but it is more of an izakaya than a bar. Chikyuya, behind Daimaru, is the same. Rub-A-Dub is too loud, and Picca, the place above it where you throw your peanut shells on the floor, is boring. The new Sam & Dave's isn't really my thing. Pub Africa probably has the cheapest beer in Kyoto during happy hour (200 yen, I think), but the tropical theme is just to fake.

    Does anyone know of any hole-in-the-wall boozing joints in the area? Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I found alot of interesting bars by getting drunk and walking into random places along Kiyamachi. I'm quite big, so I rarely get thrown out....

    Trouble is, I can never remember where I went when I wake up the next day....

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    • #3
      Hey

      I know it sounds ridiculously snobby, but any places other than the ones you already mentioned will require a personality check first. Too many of the unknown or smaller places places I go to have had too many problems with idiots on the loose, regardless of their nationality.

      And as Schizm mentioned, I would never be able to give directions in a medium like this anyways.

      We'll have a Kyoto Chapter do in the summer, and go from there.

      For my reference, how's your Jpn, and how old are you? Are you looking for drinking holes, or dance/club type scenes.

      I might be able to remember a few Safe Houses if I try.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the replies. My drinking buddies and I also walk into new places once in a while. The "No Charge, All Drinks 500 Yen" signs on the side streets work. But they tend to close down within a year or so. I agree-- it is hard to find them again.

        To answer Kurogane's questions: I can speak Japanese, and am in my mid-30s. I am only looking for drinking holes, not dance/club type places.

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        • #5
          In Shijo Omiya there is a bar that charges 10,000yen for a months of all you can drink.

          I couldn't work out how such a bar could stay in business......Until I found out it's a Yakuza front. They use the bar for meetings.

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          • #6
            Is Backgammon still around?

            Once upon a time it was a pretty cool little hole in the wall, not sure if it is still open. Anybody been there recently?

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            • #7
              Backgammon was still open last year. That place stays open until 7 or 8am if you're so inclined. Just head up the street from ING, cross Sanjyo and start looking down the side strets on your left. I think the owner's name is Takushi but eveyone called him Taxi.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mukou-jin
                Backgammon was still open last year. That place stays open until 7 or 8am if you're so inclined. Just head up the street from ING, cross Sanjyo and start looking down the side strets on your left. I think the owner's name is Takushi but eveyone called him Taxi.

                2F Aoi Biru Hitosujime nishi-iru Kiyamachi-Sanjo agaru

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                • #9
                  Backgammon

                  Yes, Backgammon is still there. But it has changed a lot. While it still has the same layout (with that loft where drinks are delivered with a small elevator), the new owner really cleaned it up and installed electronic dart boards and a slot machine. It's no longer the dump I used to love.

                  A lot of places have been doing this kind of thing recently. Another bar on Kiyamachi, just south of Shijo (can't remember the name, but it's in a basement and has a big red neon arrow pointing down at it), also went upmarket. It's now a lot more expensive, has weak mixed drinks, and has lost all of its charm.

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                  • #10
                    Salt in the wound!

                    Originally posted by Huckleberry Finn
                    Yes, Backgammon is still there. But it has changed a lot. While it still has the same layout (with that loft where drinks are delivered with a small elevator), the new owner really cleaned it up and installed electronic dart boards and a slot machine. It's no longer the dump I used to love.
                    .
                    And he even had the temerity to ask us to stop "what we were doing" up in the loft.

                    That man is no traditionalist!

                    Nice guy, though.

                    Hey, HF,

                    Do you know Jam Rock House?

                    South of Shijo, east side of Kiyamachi?

                    Great music, great owner (his name escapes me). He is quite a famous rocker in the local scene.

                    He looks like a girl.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kurogane

                      Do you know Jam Rock House?

                      South of Shijo, east side of Kiyamachi?

                      Great music, great owner (his name escapes me). He is quite a famous rocker in the local scene.

                      No, I don't. But will definitely check it out! Thanks for the tip.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kurogane
                        Well, get in training, and we'll go Exploring when I get there this summer.

                        Wouldn't it be funny if we knew each other already, and sad if we only know the same bars?

                        ANyhoo
                        Sounds like a plan! If you've spent some time at ING's, then we at least know each other by sight.

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                        • #13
                          I just came home from ING. I never knew you got a free tequila on your birthday until last night....

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by schizm
                            I just came home from ING. I never knew you got a free tequila on your birthday until last night....

                            Happy B-day.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by schizm
                              I just came home from ING. I never knew you got a free tequila on your birthday until last night....
                              Hapy Birthday, Schkizm.

                              Comment

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