10 Hidden Gems: Discovering The Best Bars In Kyoto For A Unique Night Out

Gin Seah is the voice of AAB Kyoto. His journey in Japan began at age 11 in Miyazaki and led him through many cities including Tokyo, Osaka, and Sapporo. It was in Kyoto, rich with history and culture, that he found his second home.
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Featured Image - Best Bars In Kyoto

From hidden gems to lively hubs, Kyoto boasts an array of bars offering unique experiences. Whether you seek a cozy spot for intimate conversations or a vibrant setting to mingle with locals and travelers, this list has got you covered. Get ready to explore the top spots that promise delightful drinks, captivating atmospheres, and unforgettable memories.

Discover where to sip on expertly crafted cocktails, unwind with traditional sake selections, or dance the night away in Kyoto’s dynamic nightlife scene. Each bar brings its own charm and character to the table, ensuring there’s something for every taste and preference. Scroll down for reviews of our top picks!

Key Takeaways

  • Visit bars like L’EscaMoteur for unique experiences like magic-themed cocktails.
  • Immerse yourself in the cozy jazz atmosphere of Bar K6 for a relaxing evening.
  • Uncover hidden speakeasies like Weekenders Coffee Tominokoji for a dual cafe and bar experience.
  • Indulge in seasonal drinks at Yamazaki Riverbank Bar while enjoying the riverside ambiance.
  • Embark on a nautical mixology journey at The Sailing Bar for a one-of-a-kind experience.
  • Delight in a curated selection of whiskeys at AO Bar, catering to whiskey enthusiasts.

10 Best Bars In Kyoto

a magical atmosphere of L’EscaMoteur Bar, focusing on the elegance and mystique of the setting with expertly crafted cocktails

1. L’EscaMoteur Bar – A Magic-Themed Cocktail Experience

Immerse yourself in a magical atmosphere at L’EscaMoteur Bar with their expertly crafted cocktails. Each sip is accompanied by mesmerizing magic tricks, adding an extra touch of enchantment to your evening. The unique ambiance of this hidden gem bar ensures an unforgettable experience. The bar’s interior is often compared to the fantasy world of Harry Potter, with its cramped, dimly lit interiors and a mashup of odds and ends, including books, hats, bike parts, and vintage decanters.

Whether you are into bar-hopping experiences or seeking hidden bars off the beaten path, L’EscaMoteur offers a one-of-a-kind setting for your night out in Kyoto. The combination of exceptional drinks and captivating entertainment creates a truly immersive experience that sets this bar apart from the rest. Drinks follow the theme, all centered around mystery and magic, and are presented by flamboyant bar staff. There are plenty of local ingredients making an appearance, like yuzu, matcha, and regional spirits, along with the usual flavors.

Guided by expert mixologists, you can enjoy not only the taste but also the stories behind each cocktail concoction. This enriching opportunity allows you to delve deeper into the world of mixology while being surrounded by cedar wood interiors that add to the mystical charm of the place. The bar is located at 138-9 Saitocho, Shimogyo, Kyoto, 600-8012.

2. Bar K6 – Kyoto’s Cozy Jazz Hideaway

Experience the perfect fusion of smooth jazz melodies and expertly crafted cocktails at Bar K6 in Kyoto. The ambiance offers a unique blend of relaxation and sophistication, making it an ideal spot for unwinding after a day of exploring the city.

Enjoy an intimate setting where live jazz performances elevate your evening to a whole new level. Immerse yourself in the music as you sip on meticulously prepared drinks, creating memorable moments that linger long after you leave.

Discover this hidden gem tucked away in Kyoto, where music and mixology intertwine seamlessly to provide guests with an unforgettable experience. Let yourself be transported into a world where every note played and every drink poured adds to the magic of the night.

Indulge in this cozy hideaway that captures the essence of Kyoto’s charm while offering a refreshing twist with its jazz-infused atmosphere. Whether you are a jazz enthusiast or simply appreciate good music paired with excellent drinks, Bar K6 promises an evening like no other.

3. Weekenders Coffee Tominokoji – A Cafe by Day, Speakeasy by Night

Start your day with a specialty coffee at Weekenders Coffee Tominokoji and then transition seamlessly into the night as you uncover the hidden entrance to a speakeasy concealed behind the facade of a cozy coffee shop. The transformation from a laid-back cafe atmosphere to an exclusive speakeasy experience is sure to captivate visitors seeking something unique.

Savor the artistry of handcrafted cocktails in this clandestine setting, where each drink is expertly prepared to elevate your evening. The fusion of daytime relaxation and nighttime allure creates an unforgettable ambiance that appeals to both locals and tourists alike.

This dual-concept establishment offers an intriguing twist on traditional nightlife experiences, making it a must-visit for those looking for something beyond the ordinary in Kyoto’s vibrant scene. Whether you’re meeting fellow travelers or enjoying some time alone, this hidden gem provides the perfect blend of sophistication and mystery.

Weekenders Coffee Tominokoji stands out as more than just a place for beverages; it’s an immersive journey through contrasting atmospheres that cater to diverse preferences within one captivating location.

4. Yamazaki Riverbank Bar – Seasonal Open-Air Riverside Drinking

Experience the charm of outdoor drinking at the Yamazaki Riverbank Bar while taking in the breathtaking views of the river. This unique concept allows you to savor your drinks amidst nature’s beauty, creating a tranquil and enjoyable atmosphere.

  • Immerse yourself in open-air drinking that changes its essence with each passing season.
  • Enjoy a relaxing time in a picturesque setting enhanced by the soothing sounds of flowing water and fresh air.
  • Indulge in your favorite beverages surrounded by cedar leaves, adding a touch of natural fragrance to your drinking experience.

The Yamazaki Riverbank Bar offers more than just drinks; it provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life into a serene riverside oasis. Whether you are looking for a peaceful evening or seeking inspiration from nature, this bar caters to all preferences, making it a must-visit spot for those exploring Kyoto’s vibrant drinking culture.

a voyage of flavors at The Sailing Bar, inspired by the sea and sailing culture

5. The Sailing Bar – A Nautical Adventure in Mixology

Embark on a voyage of flavors inspired by the sea and sailing culture at The Sailing Bar. This unique establishment offers an immersive experience where every sip takes you on a journey across the ocean.

  • Enjoy creatively crafted cocktails that not only tantalize your taste buds but also transport you to the deck of a ship with their maritime-themed glassware.
  • Indulge in delicious drinks that are expertly mixed to capture the essence of seafaring adventures, making each visit a memorable escapade into the world of mixology.

Set sail on a memorable drinking experience at this nautical-themed bar, where every detail is meticulously designed to evoke images of waves crashing against the hull and salty breezes filling your senses.

6. AO Bar – An Artisanal Oasis for Whiskey Lovers

Dive into a world of artisanal whiskeys sourced globally, offering a diverse selection that caters to whiskey enthusiasts seeking unique flavors and profiles. The bar prides itself on curating an array of whiskeys, ensuring there is something for every palate.

Immerse yourself in the sophisticated ambiance carefully crafted to elevate your whiskey-drinking experience. From dim lighting to plush seating arrangements, every detail at AO Bar contributes to creating a cozy and upscale atmosphere perfect for savoring fine spirits.

Indulge in expertly curated whiskey tastings led by knowledgeable staff who are passionate about sharing their expertise with patrons. Whether you’re new to the world of whiskey or a seasoned connoisseur, expect personalized recommendations tailored to your preferences and tastes.

With its dedication to providing exceptional service and an unparalleled selection of premium whiskeys, AO Bar stands out as a must-visit destination for those looking to enjoy a refined drinking experience in Kyoto’s vibrant nightlife scene.

7. Bar Rocking Chair – A World-Class Whiskey and Cocktail Haven

Discover an impressive collection of rare and premium whiskeys from Japan and beyond at Bar Rocking Chair. The bar prides itself on offering a diverse selection that caters to whiskey connoisseurs looking for unique finds.

Experience the art of mixology firsthand with expert bartenders who skillfully craft exquisite cocktails tailored to your preferences. Whether you enjoy classic concoctions or innovative blends, this lounge has something for every palate.

Relax in the cozy atmosphere of Bar Rocking Chair as you savor top-notch whiskey and cocktails amidst a welcoming ambiance. This spot is not just a place to grab a drink; it’s an experience where each sip tells a story of craftsmanship and dedication to the art of cocktail making.

Immerse yourself in an evening filled with exceptional drinks, warm hospitality, and perhaps even make new friends while enjoying the finest beverages Kyoto has to offer at Bar Rocking Chair.

8. Nokishita711 – A Gin Lover’s Paradise with a Botanical Twist

Delight in an extensive menu of gin-based cocktails infused with botanical flavors at Nokishita711. The bar offers a diverse range of unique gin brands, allowing visitors to explore and savor creative concoctions that tantalize the taste buds.

Experience the vibrant and lively ambiance of this trendy bar located in Gion, Kyoto. The atmosphere at Nokishita711 is perfect for those seeking a sophisticated yet relaxed setting to enjoy their drinks.

Discover how Nokishita711 stands out as a haven for gin enthusiasts, offering not only classic options but also innovative mixes that showcase the versatility of this beloved spirit. With a focus on quality ingredients and expert craftsmanship, each cocktail tells a story through its intricate blend of flavors.

Whether you are new to the world of gin or consider yourself a connoisseur, Nokishita711 caters to all preferences with its carefully curated selection and knowledgeable staff ready to guide you through your tasting journey.

Indulge in the artistry of mixology while immersing yourself in the charming surroundings of Kyoto’s bustling Gion district at Nokishita711 – where every sip is an adventure waiting to be savored.

9. Bar Bunkyu – A Time Capsule to Showa Era Nightlife

Step back in time at Bar Bunkyu and find yourself surrounded by the nostalgic atmosphere of the Showa era. The bar offers a unique experience where you can transport yourself to a different time, away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Indulge in classic cocktails that are not just drinks but also pieces of art served with a touch of vintage charm. Each sip tells a story, making your visit more than just an outing; it becomes an adventure through history.

Bar Bunkyu is more than just a place to have a drink; it’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the essence of old-school nightlife. From the decor to the music selection, every detail is carefully curated to evoke memories of a bygone era when nights were filled with sophistication and elegance.

If you’re looking for a break from the contemporary nightlife scene, Bar Bunkyu offers an authentic taste of tradition in Kyoto’s bustling bar scene. It’s like stepping into a time machine where you can appreciate how people once enjoyed their evenings out.

10. Lamp Bar – Award-Winning Cocktails in a Sleek, Modern Setting

Indulge in expertly crafted award-winning cocktails[1] at Lamp Bar by talented mixologists who take pride in their creations. The bar offers a vibrant nightlife experience where each drink is a masterpiece of flavors and presentation.

Immerse yourself in the contemporary and chic design of Lamp Bar, creating an ambiance that perfectly complements the artistry of the cocktails served. The sleek setting enhances your overall enjoyment and makes every visit a memorable one.

Enjoy not only exceptional drinks but also top-notch service at Lamp Bar. The staff’s attention to detail ensures that your experience is nothing short of extraordinary, adding to the allure of this renowned establishment.

one of the best bars in Kyoto, blending traditional Japanese aesthetics with modern design


You’ve just uncovered the hidden gems of Kyoto’s bar scene. From magical cocktails to cozy jazz vibes, this city has it all. Whether you’re a gin enthusiast or a whiskey connoisseur, there’s a spot waiting for you in Kyoto. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your friends, head to one of these unique bars, and immerse yourself in the eclectic mixology culture of Kyoto. Cheers to new adventures and unforgettable nights in this vibrant city!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the best bars in Kyoto?

If you’re looking for the best bars in Kyoto, check out L’EscaMoteur Bar for a magical cocktail experience, Bar K6 for cozy jazz vibes, or The Sailing Bar for a nautical adventure in mixology.

What type of ambiance does AO Bar offer whiskey lovers?

At AO Bar, immerse yourself in an artisanal oasis with a wide selection of whiskies. The ambiance is cozy and inviting, perfect for enjoying your favorite whiskey with like-minded enthusiasts.

Are there any unique features at Nokishita711 bar for gin lovers?

Nokishita711 offers gin lovers a paradise with botanical-infused twists. Enjoy their unique concoctions amidst a charming setting that elevates your gin-drinking experience to new heights.

Can visitors expect live entertainment at Lamp Bar while sipping on cocktails?

Absolutely! Lamp Bar not only serves award-winning cocktails but also provides live entertainment to enhance your overall experience. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you sip on delicious drinks.

How can one enjoy Yamazaki Riverbank Bar’s seasonal open-air drinking experience?

To savor Yamazaki Riverbank Bar’s seasonal open-air riverside drinking, visit during different seasons to appreciate nature’s beauty while indulging in refreshing beverages by the river.

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