Update: Sadly the Gael closed its doors for the last time in 2017.
In Search of … the Craic Part 1
Earlier this month my friend David Ewen and I went on a pub crawl of Kyoto’s Irish pubs to see what they had to offer. Though neither of us are particularly keen on the “gaijin pub” scene, we both occasionally feel a hankering for Irish beer and I especially for traditional Irish music. Over the next few days I am going to post about each of the pubs we visited and tell you what we found there. Tonight’s post is on…
Formerly named Tadg’s and renamed the The Gael in 2007, this is probably the most popular Irish pub with the expat community. In fact, once you walk into this Irish style pub and find yourself surrounded by foreign faces, you could be forgiven for feeling like you aren’t in Japan at all. The staff are professional and courteous and they have an excellent menu with lots of veggie options for our vegan friends. David and I both enjoyed our meals which you can see pictured below. However, I do have one gripe: there’s no soda bread on the menu! And when I asked for it I was offered a baguette! A baguette! What kind of self-respecting Irish pub doesn’t sell soda bread, I wonder! Well my one gripe aside, they do have a good live music schedule in their favour; Irish music every Friday from 8:00 pm, Jazz every 3rd Sunday and an Open Mic Night on the first Wednesday of the month. You can check out the events schedule by clicking here, and see some music videos on this page here. The Gael also doubles as a sports bar and has six screens to keep the punters happy. Overall, thanks to the music, the food and excellent service I’d say The Gael is a cut above your average “gaijin bar” and does a fair job of bringing a little bit of Irish culture to Japan. But they ought to make some soda bread. Here are some pictures:
To find The Gael, from Shijo bridge cross to the east side of Kawabata and keep walking up Shijo. You’ll see an opening on your first right through the Otoh building. Go through there and look up to your right for the Irish flag in the second floor window. Here is a very handy map. Open: 5:00 pm-1:00am Sunday to Thursday, 5pm till later on weekends. Tel: 075-525-0680
Tomorrow: Mc Loughlin’s
Related: Irish music at Cafe Woodnote
Julie Naybour says
Hi – Don’t know if you can help? Living in Hong Kong we are planning a trip to Kyoto at the end of May – the FA Cup Final being on 30th May. As an avid Evertonian I am reluctant to book anything until I know for sure I can watch the game. I am getting the feeling that although premiership matches may be screened, the cup final may be a different matter.
Do you have any idea of this Gael Sports bar will show it or for that matter if any pub will show it. I have rung Gael and whilst they were very friendly , they did not know what I was talking about.
I am concerned as I’m not sure that Sky have the rights. Someone mentioned the TBS Channel 739 used to have the rights to the FA cup but dropped it.
As it happens, it is being screened live in Japan on J-sports and the Gael Irish pub will be showing it.