Spanning the central business district of Umeda to the southern shopping center of Namba is Midosuji Street, underneath which runs the Midosuji Line of Osaka’s metro. This area is not only filled with fun activities and culinary delights, but is also the center of Osaka’s nightlife. Here we explore the best clubs, bars, and lounges accessible from Midosuji for when you’re in a party mood.
For the non-Japanese speaking traveler, one of the most off-putting aspects of Osaka’s nightlife is that many local bars don’t have English speaking staff or clients, making it trickier to enjoy your night out. At Seven Seas, however, you never have to worry about that. This Australian-styled bar is a favorite haunt of expats and travelers in Osaka, as the staff all speak English and, unsurprisingly, so do many of the clients. They have overseas beer on tap, including brands that are not easy to find in Osaka, as well as other liquors.
Moonshine is the perfect place to go if you’re feeling outgoing and want to make new friends; the combination of karaoke, good booze, and the cozy space always seems to bring people together at this popular bar. Both locals and travelers gather here every night of the week for a good time. The bar features drinks based on prohibition recipes and Western food, and on certain nights you can find the owner grilling up cheap and tasty hot dogs outside.
Established in 1931, Bar Yoshida is a family-run establishment that serves a fabulous variety of drinks. From shots like rum and aged whiskey, to original cocktails and Japanese shochu, you are sure to be both impressed and satisfied. They have a new cocktail every month, made from local fruits available according to the season. This vintage bar is well worth a visit.
A high-end cocktail bar, Kaara is the place for a classy evening of good company and appreciating the art of mixology. With low lights and brick walls, the décor of this venue is classy yet comfortable, with a slight industrial feel. A house speciality at Kaara is their gin and tonic, which is served in a lime skin, allowing the sour and slightly bitter flavor of the lime to infiltrate the drink for a unique taste. If you would like to try something exotic then ask one of the mixologist bartenders for a suggestion.
A night out in Japan is not complete without a little karaoke, and a nighttime excursion in Shinsaibashi just isn’t the same without a trip to Kama Sutra. This tiny but lively karaoke bar is a staple of the local nightlife scene. Customers sing together in one space, and you can choose from one of the over 130,000 songs while ordering a drink at the bar. The staff are extremely friendly and speak both Japanese and English.
Located near Kitashinchi, Bar Nakamura is a shot and cocktail bar. Despite being little-known, this establishment is loved by all who frequent it, making it one of Osaka’s best-kept secrets. Their drinks include aged liquors such as whiskey and sake, which are used to make cocktails in addition to being served alone. While they specialize in Japanese brands, they do occasionally stock foreign brands and wines.
A Western-style wine and cocktail bar, Bar Juniper unsurprisingly specializes in gin, which includes both local labels and ones imported from all over the world. You can ask to sample different types of gin, including rare vintages up to a century old. They serve both classic cocktails, variations on them, and original mixtures that are flavored with local ingredients such as yuzu and cherry blossom. A lot of thought and effort is put into the appearance of their cocktails, so it is a visual as well as a gustatory treat.
Located in the St. Regis Osaka, the St. Regis Bar is a classy, elegant place for dinner followed by a fancy cocktail, or just for some drinks at the end of a day of sightseeing and shopping in nearby Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori. The Bloody Mary was supposedly created at the St. Regis New York, and each branch of the famous hotel has its own variation on the classic cocktail. The St. Regis Bar at Osaka offers the Shogun Mary – local flavors like yuzu and wasabi blended with vodka.
With two branches, located in Shinsaibashi and Umeda respectively, this Irish bar is a must-visit place during a night out in Osaka. Owned and operated by an Irishman, The Blarney Stone gives an authentic Irish or European bar experience lacking in many of the pseudo-British pubs in the city. With English-speaking staff and an international clientele, The Blarney Stone is one of the best places to go to meet new people, whether they are locals, expats, or fellow travelers. Comfort food, good beer, and a warm and lively atmosphere makes The Blarney Stone a fun place to spend a night.
Located just adjacent to Triangle Park in Amemura, Bar Nayuta is one of the coolest and most cosmopolitan bars around. 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 the glorious cocktails, which the owner will concoct for you based on your tastes and requests. The staff is incredibly friendly, there are regular live DJs, and there is no cover charge.