Amerikamura, referred to as Amemura by the locals, is a small but spirited retail and entertainment area. It’s named Amerikamura – Japanese for “American Village” – after the strong American influence, especially evident in a small-scale reproduction of the Statue of Liberty. Well known for its Western-inspired fashion, this is where young trendsetters come to shop, strut, and, of course, drink. Here are Culture Trip’s 10 favorite Amemura nighttime locales where you can do just that…and more!
Moonshine is an American-owned, international karaoke spot with songs in English, Japanese and other languages. The gourmet hot dogs are organic, preservative-free, and piled high with mouthwatering toppings. The drink menu features local craft beer and homemade cocktails, including their famous Moonshine. Though the venue is tiny, it manages to be one of the most exciting bars around and is packed almost every night of the week. Moonshine is a great place to start – or spend! – your night out in Amemura. After all, what’s more American than bootleg cocktails and massive hot dogs?
L&L is a great place to meet locals, foreigners and expatriates. Dishing up casual Mediterranean and Italian food, this is a delicious lunch or dinner spot. For you partiers, there’s a comprehensive choice of shisha available along with a variety of cocktails, beers, spirits and sake. DJs play most weekends, and there are often themed events, like the regular ’80s night. L&L is well-known for its effervescent atmosphere, welcoming staff, and the outgoing and friendly owner.
Triangle is a lively nightclub, attracting a dynamic and fun crowd every weekend to enjoy local and national DJs. The bartenders are extremely friendly, as are the members of the vibrant party crowd, who come to dance and drink all night. The club has multiple levels. On the first (which is actually up some stairs) is where the dancing happens. From the second is a view of the DJ booth and the dance floor and spaces for relaxing. The top floor is outdoors and even has a jacuzzi, so feel free to wear something you can both sweat and swim in!
Moon Tower is an ideal venue if you’re looking for a wild night out. The bar is stocked with incredibly potent drinks, especially their signature drink: the Moon Tower. Don’t worry – there’s a variety of cheap and tasty food available to keep you going. Shisha is on the menu as well. It often hosts live DJ events, especially on weekends. Moon Tower attracts a range of tourists and locals, regulars and first-timers, and the staff are bilingual and friendly.
For those into hip-hop and R&B music, Ghost Ultra Lounge is the place to go. The interior is awash in light and color, the drinks are delicious and the atmosphere is vibrant. While normally hosting local DJs, Ghost often invites international DJs to perform, so be sure to check out the schedule before heading over. Unlike most Osaka nightclubs, the entry fee is affordable (though there is a VIP section for those looking to go all out). The bar attracts a mix of travellers and locals, so it is a great place to meet people.
Nayuta has one of the liveliest and most unique atmospheres in this already exciting and eccentric district. What makes it so special is that there isn’t really a set cocktail menu – instead, guests tell the owner (whose English is quite good) about their current mood or preferred tastes, and he concocts an incredible drink just for you. The atmosphere is gothic and mysterious, perfectly suited to this ‘nocturnal apothecary’. You can expect to find people from all around the world at Nayuta indulging in shisha and glorious cocktails.
This beloved bar is visited nightly by hordes of video game and drinking enthusiasts alike. The bar has a number of retro consoles and dozens of games to enjoy free of charge. In fact, Space Station is the only game bar in town that doesn’t have a cover charge – you only pay for your drinks, many of which are named after video game characters you love, like the “Floating Peach” and “Gin Sonic.” To find it, just look for the flashing, animated LED staircase at street level, and climb on up!
This laid-back shot bar is great for those on a budget. Slightly quieter than the livelier bars mentioned above, Bar MoonWalk is a great place to go to with (or without!) a group of friends. After paying a 400-yen (£2.70) cover charge, all drinks are 200 yen and the food is only 100 yen. Head over if you are looking for a fun but laid-back night, or if you want to fill up on food and drink before heading out elsewhere. There are other locations as well.
Visited by the likes of Avril Lavigne, Green Day, The Arctic Monkeys and many more music icons, Rock Rock goes from being a chill bar on weekdays to a heavy rock club on Saturday nights. The bar is packed wall-to-wall on the weekends, but if you like rock music this place is a must. There is a cover charge to get in, but it’s reasonable and includes drinks. With so many famous visitors, you also have the chance of running into both local and international celebrities.
Located in the Big Step shopping mall in Amemura, Big Cat is one of the most popular live music venues in the city. Lots of young and budding artists are discovered playing in Amemura, so check out Big Cat if you are interested in listening to some fresh talent. They often have established performers coming through the venue as well, so be sure to check out the schedule. Here, you can be a part of discovering the next big superstar in Japan.