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.
Tadg’s (formerly Mc Loughlin’s)
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.
Dublin (formerly The Hill of Tara)
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.
Related article: Irish music at Cafe Woodnote