A regular theme for Kyoto bars (just like in Tokyo) are, firstly, how many there are and, secondly, how small and cosy they can be! Unlike the UK, Japan uses all spaces in a building for smaller restaurants / shops and bars so look out for the sign showing what places are on each floor.
Rub a Dub
中京区木屋町通三条下る石屋町115辻田ビルBF 604-8002 Kyoto, Japan
Hawaiian themed small basement bar serving a variety of cocktails. Great palm tree decorations and a chilled feel. The rum cocktails are pretty strong!
2nd fl, Reiho Kaikan, 366 Kamiya-chō, Nishikiyamachi-dōri, Shijō-agaru
Bar with a student feel with a football table and comfortable booths and slightly cheaper drinks than other places.
Rocking Bar ING
2nd fl, Royal Bldg, 288 Minamikurayama-chō, Nishikiyamachi-dōri, Takoyakushi-agaru
Was a little difficult to find at first (look for signs for Kyoto Royal Building) but so glad we did. The owners were so nice and loved The Rolling Stones (see all the memorabilia) hence the rock bar feel. Like most of the bars, it was only small but great music and an extra special personal touch.
Japan, 〒604-8024 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto
Great karaoke bar find – much larger than other venues, lovely staff and open late! We had a group of locals singing to us, which was so fun! You just take it in turns, pick a song and get a mic! You can sing from your seat.
71-25 Daikokucho Kawaramachidori 3-jo Sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8031, Kyoto Prefecture
Right by the Pontocho is Zaza, a louder more tourist pub. Gets going later in the evening for a dance and a sheesha is available!
7th floor Empire building Kiyamachi Sanjo
A fine example of a number of bars being in one building. You can find Fishbowl on the 7th floor. A small venue with seats at the bar and a couple of tables. Selection of cocktails (around £8-10), friendly staff and some games to keep you occupied.
East London Girl Travel Blog