The Best Izakaya in Kobe

ByJustin Hanus
Dec 17, 2019

The Best Izakaya in Kobe

In Japan, a popular activity after a long day of work is a visit to an izakaya. A type of informal bar, izakaya serves alcoholic drinks and (often quite substantial) food. Patrons continue to order throughout the evening, receiving a bill at the end. Most cities have numerous izakaya and Kobe is no exception.


A retro-style izakaya with walls plastered in Japanese posters to take you back in time, Hanbey is a low-lit establishment in downtown Kobe. The setting is ideal for sharing snacks and trying some original drinks, all at affordable prices.

Location: 2-minute walk from Kobe-Sannomiya station
1-7-6 Kitanagasadori, Chuo Ward, Kobe 650-0012 (map link)
Hours: 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. (until 1:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays)


For more of a meal head to Tamian, an izakaya specializing in seasonal dishes of seafood and meat for patrons who want to eat late into the night. If you’ve ever seen the Japanese TV show Midnight Diner, you’ll feel like you’ve walked right onto the set.

Location: 3-minute walk from Kobe-Sannomiya station
2-1-5 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo Ward, Kobe 650-0011 (map link)
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., closed on Sundays


Alternatively, if you’re looking for a place that opens early in the afternoon, check out Gonta. There’s even a happy hour on beer before 6 p.m. One of the best-known izakaya in Kobe, it’s popular with everyone from executives to college students. The prices are reasonable and quality is high, but be aware that it can get quite loud.

Location: 4-minute walk from Kobe-Sannomiya station
2F, 1-31-26 Kitanagasadori, Chuo Ward, Kobe 650-0012 (map link)
Hours: 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (from 12 p.m. on weekends)


Vegetarians may find they have limited options when dining at an izakaya. Nouka, however, is fully vegetarian and has options for vegans. Plus, all the vegetables are locally sourced and organic. It’s also a great choice for those looking for something healthy.

Location: 3-minute walk from Motomachi station
4-2-17 Kitanagasadori, Chuo Ward, Kobe 650-0012 (map link)
Hours: 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (until 12:00 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays)


At Kokoroya you can combine the izakaya experience with Kobe beef. The establishment has both a set menu and another menu just for beef. The meals are much heavier than at most izakaya.

Location: 3-minute walk from Motomachi station
1-1-1 Motomachidori, Chuo Ward, Kobe 650-0022 (map link)
Hours: 2:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. (closed Sundays)


You won’t find fresher seafood than at Hatagoya. After you place your order, the chefs take the fish straight out from their tank.

Location: 5-minute walk from Sannomiya station
4-2-3 Kumoidori, Chuo Ward, Kobe 651-0096 (map link)
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (weekends until 10:30 p.m.)

Whenever you feel like relaxing in the evening during your time in Kobe, pay a visit to a different izakaya. Each offers a unique atmosphere, down to the seating arrangements.

Mx. Granger [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

About the author

Justin Hanus editor