Kobe is not quite on the New York levels of “city that never sleeps” but there is plenty going on after pubs and restaurants close up for the night with something for everyone from ravers to jazz aficionados. The good news is that many decent late-night joints are within walking distance of each other in the Sannomiya area. Here is our pick of the bunch for night owls looking for some fun past the midnight hour.
Dubbed “the hottest and most popular club in Kobe”, Larus offers young and enthusiastic clubbers the chance to party deep into the night. The club operates from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. and has a monthly timetable of events and DJs that is published on the website. Larus Bar attracts a youthful crowd with its quality performances and cheap early evening drink deals. It’s located in the busy part of the city close to Sannomiya station, so within easy reach of other bars, restaurants, and late-night taxi services. Entry price is around 1000 yen.
Another Sannomiya venue for the night owls, Second Chance also runs until 5:00 a.m. It’s a smaller club than Larus consisting of just a single second-floor room, but it’s very popular with Kobe’s regular clubbers and has been running for nearly 30 years. The club has a cool reputation with various DJs spinning tunes into the early hours and has a Hawaiian-influenced décor with surfboards adorning the walls. Drinks are reasonably priced and there is a food menu for those who haven’t had a chance to eat earlier in the evening.
Address: 2 Chome 1-12, Nakayamatedori, Chuo Ward
A popular choice for tourists and expats as they have English-speaking staff and serve a global food menu. International Bar 1134 lives up to its multicultural name and is a good place to go for a relaxing bite to eat or for a late-night drink and a dance. Located in the busy Sannomiya district, the club is open until 3:00 a.m. during the week and on Sundays while being open until 5:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The weekend is definitely party time as attendees get the chance to enjoy fun live events.
Address: 1 Chome-2-1, Nakayamatedori, Chuo Ward
Denial is where to head if you fancy singing your heart out in a spot of karaoke until the sun comes up. Close to Sannomiya station, it’s usually full of a mix of pop fans, those up for some late night fun and those who have missed their train and fancy having a laugh until transport starts up again in the morning. With it only costing 500 yen to enter, you’ll also have access to some nice priced drinks and snacks.
Address: 1 Chome-5-4 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo Ward
This late-night Sannomiya basement bar is a cozy space soundtracked by a mix of live acts and DJs playing the likes of jazz, R&B, soul and house music. As well as a stage and dance floor, there is a pool table and a good range of food and drinks. Open until 3:00 a.m.
Open until 12:30 a.m. six days a week, Sone doesn’t go deep into the night like some clubs do but it’s a great late-night option if you’re into some laid back jazz sounds. Kobe has had a thriving jazz scene since the 60s and this bar celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Just three minutes walk from Sannomiya station, it offers four live shows each night showcasing a variety of traditional and modern jazz sounds and there is also a laid back Sunday session for those who want to wind down after a Saturday night on the town. There is a cover charge of around 1500-2000 yen with live music.
Address: 1 Chome-24-10, Nakayamatedori, Chuo Ward
Matty Adame omgitsmattyvee [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons