Category Archives: Pubs

Hitachino Nest Beer Festival

A word from our sponsor!

These beers are on tap at Tadg’s Bar for the first time in Kyoto. Hitachino Nest Brewery has won numerous awards at Beer festivals around the world. This Sunday from 2:00 pm we offer you the unique experience of tasting all these extraordinary beers, only at Tadg’s Bar. Chill out with great Beer, great Food and live Music!

Also (!) coming soon to Tadg’s: Green Tea IPA – a wonderful collaboration between Baird Beer (Japan) Stone Brewery (US) and Ishii Beer (Guam). A limited edition of of one keg only – all profits will go towards Tohoku disaster relief via All Hands Volunteers. Details will follow later!

Thanks Tadg! To find Tadg’s walk straight up Kiyamachi from Sanjo, before you get to Oike you should see the Empire building on your right. Tadg’s is on the 8th floor. Here is a map.

Live Music Events @ Tadg’s

A word from our sponsor! Tadg says,

Friday next 1st July sees the return of ever popular Wild Cards, John Kuzel leader of this band of desperadoes and a man who has enjoyed the great benefits of the witness protection program, tells me they have a batch of new songs that they are really looking forward to playing.

The fabulous Wild Cards!

This Saturday night We have two of the most talented Irish musicians around Ken and Yuzuru, a real joy to listen to, from tradtional Irish to jazzy fusion. Gig starts 8pm, no cover.

On the Beer front,  we have a selection of amazing beers and our Happy Hour every day from 6~8pm has our award winning Beers from Baird and Rogue at an amazing ¥500 1/2 pint for these selected beers, some of these beers are selling for ¥ 850 for a half pint and ¥1,200 pint + seating charge here in Kyoto and we have a Happy Hour on Guinness and domestic Beers too.

Coupled with our great value beers I have developed a Special Food Menu to complement our great beers. Have a look. (LINK)

Thanks Tadg! To find Tadg’s walk straight up Kiyamachi from Sanjo, before you get to Oike you should see the Empire building on your right. Tadg’s is on the 8th floor. Here is a map.

Music @ Tadg’s this Weekend

Tadg says…

This weekend we have a musical extravaganza at Tadgs!

Tadg & Mika

Friday night ~ The Jazz Cats
Three of the coolest and sublime young jazz musicians play everything from Coltrane to Myles.

Saturday ~ Celtic sounds with one of Japans finest pipers Ken Matsuzaka and his unique take on Irish favorites. Ken will be accompanied by Mizaru-san on bazuki and guitar.

Sunday ~ The singer song writer and very handsome Kris Roach will entertain.
There is no cover charge for these gigs

All this in addition to new additions to the food menu, and a new shipment of seasonal beers coming Thursday: Southern Tier Harvest Ale 96% on Rate Beer, Daisen Gold Ale, Ise Kadoya Belgian style Ale, Hitachi no Nest Seasonal, Shiga Kogen, Harvest Stout, Harvest IPA, & Harvest Pale Ale.

The best food, fine craft beers and great music await you at Tadg’s Irish Bar & Restaurant.

Thanks Tadg! To find Tadg’s walk straight up Kiyamachi from Sanjo, before you get to Oike you should see the Empire building on your right. Tadg’s is on the 8th floor. Click here for a most convenient map.

Deep Kyoto & Tadg’s

Right then! I’m off to Bali for a week and will be resolutely offline during the interval so there’ll be no more posts for a wee while, but before I go a short word of explanation. The astute among you may have noticed the appearance of a black box on the upper right of this page which proudly bears the name “Tadg’s”.

It looks like this (only smaller):

I’m pleased to announce that Tadg Mc Loughlin has agreed to become Deep Kyoto’s first official sponsor! Fond as I am of good food and tasty beverages, I don’t think I could have found a better partner. Tadg’s Irish bar and restaurant has a phenomenal selection of craft beers on tap (just check out the list on his site! go on click it!), and a fantastic menu. As I don’t eat meat myself, I’m particularly keen on the vegan selection. Take a look at Tadg’s legendary vegan pizza :

Mediterranean veggies, cheeseless pizza with organic Ise Miso

I ate that you know – and it was gorgeous! I ate this Tuscan bean and vegetable stew too (not at the same time though – that would be silly).

Tadg & Mika

Look at those colours! That’s not just food you know, it’s a beautiful piece of art. It’s poetry – in a bowl.

So there you have it; Tadg’s has great food, great beers, beautiful views over the Kamo river and super friendly staff and (I might be courting controversy here but), it’s also the only real Irish bar in town (in the sense of you know, actually having someone Irish in the place). That’s why I’m more than happy to have Tadg as my sponsor – I’m delighted!
To find Tadg’s walk straight up Kiyamachi from Sanjo, before you get to Oike you should see the Empire building on your right. Tadg’s is on the 8th floor. Click here for a most convenient map.

Tadg’s Irish Bar and Restaurant

The Home of Craft Beer in Kyoto

Meet the family: Jimmy, Tadg, Mika, and Ben.

Four years since it first opened, the Irish pub formerly known as Mc Loughlin’s has been renamed as Tadg’s. Not a big change really, as I think everyone was calling it that anyway. I’ve written previously about this pub; its friendly hospitality and the fantastic views over the river and city. And Tadg’s cooking is also justifiably renowned; he uses locally grown organic vegetables in his many fine creations and the menu features an impressive vegan section. All that aside though, this bar’s most impressive feature is the selection of craft beers: Rogue, Ise Kadoya, Minoh, Yeti Imperial Oak and Victory at Sea… I had a snifter of the latter last night; a fine coffee flavored porter with hints of bitter chocolate like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. Absolutely gorgeous. Continue reading

Singing & Dancing Round the Table @ Irish Pub Gnome

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:

You’ll notice a couple of chaps at the back. Continue reading

Folk Music Workshop @ Irish Pub Gnome

img_0566Last 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

Keep your eyes either here on D. K. or on the Gnome Live Schedule page for the next event. In the meantime there’s a video of a nice Gaelic song, Siúil a Rúin, after the jump. Continue reading

In the mailbag…

Every now and again I get an email like this that makes everything seem worthwhile:

As a vegetarian, I found your website SO HELPFUL! And I was happy to see you featured in the current issue of the Kyoto Visitors Guide. In that guide, I found the name of Mariko’s Kitchen Japanese Cooking classes, which I attended last night. It was such an amazing, special night, and I learned so much. Mariko is a very sweet person, and so fun to be with and learn from. If you ever find anyone asking about a cooking class, please recommend Mariko!
I went to
Mikoan my first night in Kyoto (the visitors center at the Kyoto Station gave me a handout of vegetarian and vegetarian friendly restaurants) and I agree, it was an excellent meal for an amazing price. (I’m staying just outside the Gion area, so it’s close.) Next I tried Cafe Proverbs, and the soymilk ramen was AMAZING. I hope to try Hale and Kairasu this week. I’m also cooking at my apartment, which will be easier with what I’ve learned from Mariko. The hard part is shopping for food. It took some time to find soymilk at Fresco’s, and it’s hard to know which of the sauces are vegetarian…but it gets easier every day.
Anyway, thanks again for such a great website. I can see why you love Kyoto. The people have been so very kind, and several times I have been personally escorted to a restaurant or shop that I couldn’t find by a very helpful and friendly Japanese person.
Keep up the good work!

Thanks, David! I shall have to check out that cooking class when I get a chance! Also this week (and also on a vegan theme), I received a mail from Tadg Mc Loughlin of Mc Loughlin’s pub.

My good friend and poker nemesis Ian Ropke turned me on to your site. A wonderful mine of information, thoughtfully planed and excellently presented. Although not a vegetarian myself I take more than a passing interest in it for health and culinary reasons. I am launching our new Vegetarian/Vegan Menu this week end, I was wondering, if you or readers could suggest some of their favorite Western styled recipes to be featured as specials in the future. I will be giving out free samples in the coming weeks for feedback and suggestions.

Thanks, Tadg! I’m looking forward to trying the new menu!

For the time being comments are switched off, so if you have some information you would like to share with me please email me (Michael Lambe) at Or sign up for the Deep Kyoto group on Facebook here.


There’s a Scottish pub in north Kyoto named antighseinnse (a.k.a. Horie’s Bar). The name (pronounced “an ti shayn jay” I think) is Gaelic and means simply “Inn”. The owner Toshiyuki Horie named it after a favored pub on the isle of Islay in Scotland and still proudly wears a T-shirt celebrating “The best pub in Portnahaven”. Horie-san, a self-described whisky otaku or geek, visited Scotland out of his interest in Scottish whisky and there he fell in love with the scenery, culture and the warm and friendly people he met there. He went on to revisit Scotland every year over a ten year period. Now his pub is a celebration of Scottish culture and fine whisky. He also does some damn fine pub food. The menu is enormous and ranges from typical Scottish pub food (Guinness stew! Venison steaks!) to Korean dishes. Why Korean dishes? “If they’re tasty, why not?” says Horie-san. I recommend his hand made bespoke pizzas myself. Absolutely wonderful. Here are some pictures. Go to flickr for a closer look.

Horie-san himself is an entertaining fellow, and if you sit at the counter and he’s not too busy he can chat with you for hours on end. While we were there, he told us about his whisky tasting experiences, his travels in Scotland, and some of his amusing regular customers. He also gave us an fascinating talk about the relationship between Japanese sake in different regions, the local geography and how this affects the flavor and what food is best eaten with it. Whether sake or whisky, he is quite the expert on the culture of these beverages and it makes you realize what a shame it would be to unthinkingly knock the stuff back just to get drunk. Horie-san was kind enough to share with us a sip of 1965 Glen Grant on our last visit and together we shared our impressions of the changing flavor and aroma as this fine vintage whisky aired; hints of papaya, mango and then custard cream… Just like sipping history. This pub is a whisky specialty shop but also has a good range of beers on tap including Guinness (of course) but also that fine Japanese micro-brew Yona Yona real ale. It’s not far from Shimogamo Shrine and the Tadasu no mori woods, so if you happen to be sightseeing or rambling in the area it’s a nice spot for you to finish off your day with some good pub grub and a quiet drink. Horie’s bar is on the west side of Shimogamo Street, a little ways north of the bridge at Demachiyanagi. Here is a  map.

Opening hours:4:00 pm ~ 2:00 am
Tel: 075-723-6686

Related articles: Sheep’s Public Cafe
In Search of the Craic: A guide to Kyoto’s Irish pubs.


img_9538-mediumSheep’s Public Cafe is a place I have been meaning to check out for a while. I kept seeing it as I cycled home from work and thinking to myself “Sheeps. Why Sheep’s?” The signboard outside says “Fish & Chips”, “Guinness” and looking at the exterior I imagined just another foreign style pub. Once inside though I was impressed by how bright and cheerful it is. The owners have abandoned traditional British or Irish pub trappings in favour of their own relaxed cafe style. And though they do serve Guinness and chips, and Bass Pale Ale, they also have a large selection of very nice Belgian beers including some on tap. And why is it called Sheep’s? Well, the two handsome young fellas who run it, Sawano Takehiko and Yokoyama Naoki, were both born in the Year of the Sheep. Simple really.

Photos by mewby.

Takehiko worked for a time as a regular salaryman before jacking it in and getting a job in an Irish pub in Hirakata. Then he and Naoki opened up their own bar Sheep’s in September of 2007, doing a lot of the interior work, such as the wooden counter and flooring themselves. They have created a pub with a uniquely fresh and young feel to it. There is a screen opposite the bar on which you can watch the football (Takehiko is a keen supporter of Newcastle United).  And as of December 2008 there is also an art gallery in the basement, set up by a artist and neighbour Nika Feldman. The opening exhibition was not surprisingly a collection of works inspired by the theme: Sheep.
Photos by mewby.

Sheep’s is a nice spot for a quiet drink and a tasty bite to eat. You can find it on the east side of Higashioji Dori a short walk south of Marutamachi. Here is a map.
Open everyday: 16:00 ~ 3:00 (the gallery closes at midnight).
Tel: 075-334-5676

Many thanks to mewby for the photographs!

Related: In Search of … the Craic.
Next post: An upcoming music event at Zac Baran!