It was a great night on Saturday when we went to see Dale Russ and Jay Gregg play at Irish Pub Gnome. We hadn’t been free to see them play the previous night at Tadg’s with Jay’s band Celtic Sounds, but it was nice to see the two of them play in this smaller, more intimate setting. I took the opportunity to video a few of the tunes, so here they are:
Here’s a little bit of limpid, lilting, Irish harp to cool you all down in this intense summer heat. Keisuke Teramoto performed solo at Irish pub Gnome on Wednesday night and my goodness but it was lovely! This tune is by the legendary 18th century Irish harper Carolan. Enjoy!
The soda bread and colcannon to which I am particularly partial.
I quite like Gnome; it’s small and cosy and Yuko is a great cook (I’m particularly partial to her colcannon and soda bread). And the sing-along events are great fun. Felicity and Tomoko Saito play a mix of British and Irish traditional tunes and sometimes even some Japanese too. Here’s their version of 知床旅情:
The sun was out and so were the crowds for Sunday’s Vegan Earth Day festival.
Amir from Falafel Garden - smiling the smile of good business.
Now obviously, the big thing at this kind of event is the food (apparently there’s no meat in it- but it still tastes ok!), but even if you aren’t hungry, just wandering around people-watching is pretty entertaining. I saw some familiar faces – like Falafel Garden‘s Amir for example. And then there were the unfamiliar faces of these handsome brutes – the men who sell Otokomae Tofu! Continue reading →
One Sunday, usually around the end of each of month, Felicity Greenland and Tomoko Saito lead a sing-along of Irish and British folk songs at Irish Pub Gnome. The next one is on December 20th so I asked Felicity the obvious question:
DK: Will you be singing Christmassy things? FG: Yes sir, we will DK: Marvellous! Any in particular? FG:12 days, Jingle bells, Ding dong merrily on high, Rudolph… In fact we will be doing lots. DK:The First Noel is one of my favorites…. FG: OK, we’ll do that then.
Do you see how obliging she is? So if you’re away from home this Christmas and feeling in need of some festive cheer, come along to Irish Pub Gnome and sing your lungs out. Heartily. As Felicity once put it:
…it’s a very special bonding thing to sing together – everyone has had hard times with themselves and each other, but when you sing together all that really does melt away…
Sing Around The Table at Irish Pub Gnome will be held on December 20th. Entry and songsheets are free. The singing starts at 7:30 pm and goes on till 10ish. If your voice needs some advance lubrication, Happy Hour is from 5:00 pm ~ 7:00 pm. Gnome is situated a short walk north of Oike on the west side of Kawaramachi in the basement of the SSS building. Look out for the yellow sign. Here is a handy map. TEL: 075-212-2101
I might also mention that an Irish band (well, they are all Japanese but they play Irish music) by the name of 白花 (Shirohana or White Flower) also featuring Tomoko Saito on the fiddle will be on at Gnome tonight.Entry is free but they’ll be passing round a hat.
Last weekend’s traditional music workshop at Gnome was a great success and so it looks like there will be many more in the future. Felicity Greenland writes:
Japanese and foreigners all singing together in a cool atmosphere… It’s hard to explain without sounding crass, but really, it’s a very special bonding thing to sing together – everyone has had hard times with themselves and each other, but when you sing together all that really does melt away. Plus, there were a few people who came who are really studying hard at English, or guitar, fiddle or bodhran playing, and want to have a chance to make their studies real. This kind of event really works for them – some of them might play with us in the future and so their efforts have now become very real for them. Let’s do more – please come and tell your mates about it even if you can’t come yourself. Kyoto is the origin and hub of Irish music in Japan – with your energetic contribution it could also become the origin and hub of the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh singalong too!LINK
I’m back online at home and so the comments are back on as well. I’ll be adding more locations soon but until then here’s a video of Donal Lunny and The Flying Dugong Band at TakuTaku last night. I filmed a few songs but I think this one is the nicest.
Thanks due to Mewby for pointing out the info about this show to me when we were in Field a couple of weeks back…
Update: There’s a nice review of the show by Ted Taylor on his blog here.
In December 2008 my friend David Ewen and I (that’s us on the left) decided to go on an Irish pub crawl and see exactly what each place had to offer in terms of food, drink, music and the elusive craic. What follows is a list of the five pubs we visited, a summary of what we found there and a map to each location. For a fuller article, more pictures and directions click on the name of each pub. However, before I continue, I must say if you are only in Kyoto for a short time you shouldn’t be wasting precious time in Irish pubs at all, so stop reading now and go somewhere Japanese instead. This article is for long term residents only!
Very popular with expats but has more character than your average chain pub. A good menu with plenty of vegetarian options. Irish music every week and jazz monthly. Six screens show major sporting events. The staff are very courteous and professional. Map.
A gastro-pub specialising in micro-brew beers, they even have a chocolate flavored beer! Stunning views over the river Kamo and the city. Very personable staff and a very likeable and chatty owner the house chef, Tadg. Map.
Not the cosiest pub (perhaps because of it’s long, narrow interior) but with friendly staff and a good mix of Japanese and foreign punters. Excellent local musicians play Irish music here Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Map at the bottom of this link.
The first Irish pub to open in Kyoto back in 2000, Field is all about the music. Irish music sessions are held twice a week and there is a recording and practice studio upstairs. Mostly Japanese punters here. It’s a nice place for a quiet pint. Map
My personal favorite. Wonderful Irish style home-cooked food with lots of organic veggies and vegetarian options. A cosy atmosphere and a very friendly owner. The live music schedule is interestingly eclectic. Map.
This is the fifth and final part of a series of posts on Kyoto’s Irish pubs. Earlier this month my friend David Ewen and I went on a pub crawl of five Irish pubs in Kyoto to see what they had to offer in terms of food, beer, music and the craic. Tonight’s post is on…
Gnome opened in October 2007, which makes it the newest Irish pub in town. It’s also my favorite. I like the cosy, home-like atmosphere and I might be just imagining things but I think the Guinness tastes best here too. Yuko, the owner is a friendly, chatty, charming lady of many talents; musical, culinary and professional. She already had her own business before opening Gnome, and in addition to managing an accessory and craft shop upstairs from the pub, she also does all the cooking downstairs as well! The menu is wonderful. I love the colcannon – a simple dish of cabbage, potatoes, butter and pepper. Yuko gets the balance just right and served up with the best soda bread I’ve tasted in Kyoto it’s just lovely. “How is it you make such great soda bread?” I asked her. Turns out she gets the oatmeal from Ireland. Yuko loves cooking and pays a lot of attention to her ingredients; the water is from Kyushu and packed with healthy minerals and the vegetables are organic. There are a lot of vegetarian options on the menu too. Yuko and her husband are both musicians and played together in a rock band in the past covering artists like The Band and Neil Young. However, on a visit to Ireland five or six years ago they fell in love with Irish music and also with the warm and friendly atmosphere of Irish pubs. Now Gnome’s interestingly eclectic live music schedule reflects their varied musical tastes. You can see a short video of a recent performance by the band Baobab here. Here are some pictures:
Quiet during the week, Gnome gets livelier at weekends – and during musical events, you can’t move! The clientele is varied too: families, musicians, salarymen and sometimes foreign chaps like me. Why the name? Well, Gnome is in the basement and gnomes as you know live underground. Gnome is situated a short walk north of Oike on the west side of Kawaramachi in the basement of the SSS building. Look out for the yellow sign. Here is a handy map.
Opens Weekdays 17:00〜25:00
Happy Hour: 17:00~20:00 (unless there are events)