Live Music Venues in Kumamoto

ByJustin Hanus
Jul 19, 2023

Live Music Venues in Kumamoto

Kumamoto is the live music hub of the Kyushu region in Japan. While it doesn’t have the same reputation for live bands as Tokyo or Osaka, it boasts a few lovely little venues that showcase everything from in-house bands to out-of-town rock and rollers. If you’re looking for a gig or two in the area, here’s where to check out.


Opened in 2005 as a bar and live music space, Navaro has established itself as one of Kumamoto’s best live music spots. It relocated to Minamitsuboi ward in 2016 and attracts acts of all genres and descriptions, from rock to J-Pop to hip-hop to techno. Most performers are Japanese acts, although the place does get the odd overseas name in to play. It has a great little intimate setup where you can get close to the stage. Fantastic sound, too.


Kumamoto B9

Tucked away on an alley in Kumamoto’s Chuo ward, this venue is bigger than it looks and hosts a few tasty out-of-town bands. It puts on a lot of rock and metal acts where you can get down and dirty in the moshpit, although the venue caters to plenty of other styles if this is not your bag. Capacity is around 200, and you can get right to the front next to the speakers if you want a proper ear-rattling experience.

Address: 5-13 Jotomachi, Chuo Ward, Kumamoto 860-0846


One of Kumamoto’s most established live music venues, this basement hub is centrally located just a minute or so walk from Karashimacho station. It plays host to various music styles and frequently puts on rock acts from the local area and further afield. Even if you’re not into the live music output, keep an eye on schedules as other live showcases, such as musical shows, frequently appear. Also, check out the sister music instrument store Beatnic80 if you’re a musician yourself.


Good Time Charlie

Good Time Charlie is something of a legendary musical institution in Kumamoto. It’s a country music venue and bar owned and run by octogenarian singer Charlie Nagatani, known in some quarters as the Johnny Cash of Japan. Charlie has been playing country music for 60 years and runs an annual country music festival in the city. He regularly still plays his own live shows and booking other country acts. The bar serves an excellent range of bourbon whiskeys, as one might expect, and – get this – punters often get to serve themselves the drinks.

Address: 1-Chome-7-24 Shimotori, Chuo Ward, Kumamoto 860-0807

Live House CIB

Pronounced “key-b,” CIB offers a gentler live music experience. It’s a cozy restaurant and bar where you can enjoy covers bands, tribute bands, jazz bands, acoustic acts, and more while tucking into western-style food such as burgers and fries and maybe even indulging in a shot or two of spirits. The venue is located in the downtown area, so easy to reach from all parts of Kumamoto.


Earthmatics, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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