In Search of … the Craic Part 4
This is the fourth in 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…
Field is the oldest Irish pub in Kyoto having opened in the year 2000. Previously the owner, Suzaki Kazuhiko, ran a cafe and gallery here and Irish music was just a hobby for him. “At that time, I had no idea there was such a thing as an Irish pub,” he told me. But on learning that such places existed he decided to open up his own. It was a bold step in the dark for him and one that was motivated purely out of love for the music. He wanted to create a place where that music could be shared and amazingly, within the space of a year he was rewarded with visits from top Irish musicians such as Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine and Altan . You can still see their signed bodhrans and photographs lining the walls.
Music really is the main thing here. I don’t rate the food much. It will fill you but that’s all. Field isn’t aiming for the culinary heights of gastropub like Mc Loughlin’s. But Field is a nice place for a quiet pint of Guinness and on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 21:00 – 23:00 they have Irish music sessions for local musicians which create a wonderful atmosphere. When David and I went, they were really kicking it! Here are some pictures:
I asked Suzaki-san if he was worried by the increasing number of competing Irish pubs in town, and he said he was, but actually I don’t think he has anything to be worried about. For one thing Field has a different clientele, the regular customers being largely Japanese. And also the emphasis on encouraging local musicians and the presence of the music studio on the 3rd floor still gives Field its unique edge over its rivals. For a long time Field was my own personal favorite, and I still like it but recently my primary affections have been stolen by another pub – which I shall tell you about tomorrow!
Field is on the north side of Nishiki Dori mid-way between Higashinotoin and Karasuma. Here is a map.
Pub Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday 17:00 – 2:00 am
Friday & Saturday 17:00 – 5:00 am
Lunchtime Opening: 12:00 – 14:30
3F Rehearsal & Recording Studio: 090-3702-0369 (14:00 – 2:00 am)
Related: The Hill of Tara
Irish music at Cafe Woodnote
HDtracks, CD-quality Folk music downloads with complete liner notes