For cocktail lovers, Osaka offers a paradise of unique options. This week at the ROR Comedy Club blog, we’ve reached out to one of our local experts, Rodney Smith, owner of Drink Osaka tours to give the lowdown on four of the best bars to visit in Osaka.
Find the Right Osaka Bar
I’m Rodney at drinkosaka.com. We run small-group guided tours through intimate izakaya, cool clubs and boutique bars around Namba. When it comes to nightlife in Japan, and specifically in Osaka, local knowledge is key to finding the best places. Drinkosaka guests get introduced to both uniquely Japanese and lively expat friendly venues on an eating/walking/drinking tour of the heart of Osaka’s biggest nightlife district, “Minami”, including awesome live comedy on Friday & Saturday nights. But here are a few suggestions for those of you not on the tour.
Lapichu is a gem of a venue close to Nankai Namba station. It’s a cozy bar that’s consistently lively any day of the week. Fridays and Saturdays can be completely packed with a DJ and barely enough room to squeeze inside. I prefer to hit it up on weeknights where you can chill out with a shisha (water tobacco) and a beer. While it’s certainly foreigner-friendly, the clientele are mainly Japanese and it’s a great place to broken English/Japanese chat up a local.
If you hate karaoke, the odds are you’re doing it wrong. We’re not talking Western-country karaoke with a stage in a large room where singing effectively announces “Everyone stop what you’re doing – I’m something worth listening to!” Unsurprisingly, Japan does karaoke better, and Moonshine is a perfect version of that. A small counter bar, everyone essentially faces the same direction and passes the mikes up and down the bar depending on who’s song it is. Pick a crowd favorite and you’re guaranteed an awesomely enthusiastic sing along.
Rock Bar Cherrybomb is another typically small Japan-style bar, but everything else about it is American Rock ‘n Roll. Awesomely friendly staff and a fantastic atmosphere make it a great choice any night of the week. Taco Tuesday is extra special for lovers of spicy food. While you can season the fish, chicken & pork either mild or spicy, the shrimp tacos are equal parts delicious and burning-hell-inside-your-mouth.
L&L is a little bit of everything, being open from early until late, serving tasty food, drinks and shisha too. A larger bar, you’ve got sofas, tables and plenty of space for larger groups, and a chance to meet larger groups if you come alone. Come for a bite to eat, drinks and shisha, a good mix of foreigners and locals, and best of all – live Stand Up Comedy downstairs at ROR Comedy Club on Friday and Saturday night’s at 9pm.