Great Pubs in Kobe

ByJustin Hanus
Mar 24, 2022

Great Pubs in Kobe

Kobe might not be quite as bustling as Osaka or Kyoto, but it has a vibrant evening culture with the centrally-located Sannomiya, in particular, featuring several venues worth visiting for a beverage or two. There is an eclectic vibe about the city, and you can find a range of international pubs and bars and some more localized haunts. Here is a selection of favorites.

Old England

Old England is for expats looking for a traditional British pub experience. This local Kobe pub in busy Sannomiya decked out to look like a homely and welcoming English watering hole. Like most traditional UK pubs these days, you can get a nice pub meal here, along with beers, spirits, and cocktails. The place opens until lat,e so is suitable for an early drink or two and a good destination for later on in the evening.

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New Munchen

New Munchen (or New Munich) is a small chain of Japanese pubs done in the German bierkeller style. There are two locations in Kobe – one in Sannomiya and one closer to the port that offers nice views across Meriken Park. Both bars can get busy, especially at weekends. You’ll find a nice mix of Sapporo beers and a couple of craft brews, a blend of German grub (think tasty sausages) and Asian cuisine, plus a touch of karaoke in the evenings at weekends.

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This hip Kitano bar is a focal point among jazz connoisseurs, both local and visiting. Kobe is the spiritual home of jazz in Japan, and Sone is at that home’s center. Opened in 1969, it hosts a wide variety of live jazz sets most nights and a jamming session on Sunday afternoons. You can buy beers, a nice selection of whiskeys, food including western platters, and some tasty bar snacks. Entry for the live music sessions is usually around 1,200 yen.

Website link (in Japanese):

Avery’s Irish Pub

Irish-themed bars have become commonplace in many parts of the world in the 21st century. The Avery’s Irish Pub is Kobe’s much-recommended Irish experience. It’s very central – about 5 minutes from Sannomiya station – but deceptively tricky to locate with a small entrance opposite the Hankyu department store. Speaking of small, the bar can only seat around 25, but it opens early afternoon, so you can usually find seats if you get there at the right time. There is a nice mix of locals and expats, a TV that shows sports, including international football, and bar snacks (no full meals, though).

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Main Bar Emerald

More of a bar than a pub vibe with Main Bar Emerald, it is situated within the 5-star Hotel Okura close to Kobe Port Tower. A place for sipping cool cocktails rather than chugging back pints of beer, it offers a chilled atmosphere, a soft jazz soundtrack, and lovely night views across the harbor.

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運転太郎, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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