The Best Bars in Osaka's Fukushima Neighbourhood

A 'tachinomiya' (standing bar) is a good spot to mingle and enjoy cheap drinks
A 'tachinomiya' (standing bar) is a good spot to mingle and enjoy cheap drinks | © Osaze Cuomo / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Brooke Larsen
Osaka Hub Writer26 November 2019

Though not as popular or lively as its neighbour Umeda, Fukushima’s growing nightlife scene is well known and loved by locals. Tourists are getting in on the action, too, as more and more hotels and guesthouses open in the area. Here are the best bars to check out when you’re in Osaka’s Fukushima neighbourhood.

Dotonburi is Osaka’s main bar and restaurant street, and perhaps home to the most concentrated collection of LED lights in Japan | © Guida Simoes / Alamy Stock Photo

The Blackstock British Bar for a homely English pub near the station

Bar, Beer, Cocktails

This Japanese-owned, Western-themed pub and restaurant is sure to delight any homesick Brit – or any traveller, really. Run by a friendly and attentive barkeep, Blackstock combines the best of Japanese hospitality with the warm, wooden accents and brews of the traditional pub. Happy hour brings discounts on overflowing pints of Guinness and Carlsberg. The menu goes above and beyond typical bar food, featuring hearty helpings of meals like meat pies, roast beef and fish and chips. There’s even a selection of vegan dishes.

Craft Beer Base for brew connoisseurs

Bar, Italian, $$$

Perched on the very edge of Fukushima, near where the district meets Umeda, is Craft Beer Base, one of Osaka’s most beloved pubs for artisanal brews. The shop boasts an incredibly large and diverse selection of canned and bottled craft beers from around the world. They also have four rotating taps of draft crafts. Some of the staff speak English; all of them are very knowledgeable about the beers’ tastes and origins. Food is served as well, including salads, grilled meats and tacos. The company actually has four shops in total; you can find the other locations on their website.

Craft Beer House molto!! Fukushima for all-you-can-drink lagers

Bar, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
Not to be confused with the nearby Umeda location, Fukushima’s Craft Beer molto!! always has a rotation of eight Japanese craft brews on tap. The molto!! staff regularly visit national craft beer breweries, bringing home the latest and tastiest for guests to enjoy. All-you-can-drink plans start at 3800 yen (£27), a great deal considering the steep costs of craft beer in Japan. Tasty tapas dishes – including a variety of cheeses, sausages and pastas – are served as well.

BOOK and BAR for boozing and reading

Bar, Beer, Cocktails

Few things are more welcoming than the sight of shelves stacked with spirits alongside even more packed with books. Book & Bar combines two of the most loved pastimes on Earth – reading and boozing – in this cosy and airy spot just north of Fukushima Station. Enjoy colourful, fresh fruit cocktails while paging through an illustrated travel guide or a Japanese copy of Steve Jobs’ biography. Counter and table seating are both available, so you can choose whether you want to talk literature with the bartender or find a quiet spot to read and drink in peace.

Bio Bar Greens for juicy cocktails and organic food

Juice Bar, Vegan, Healthy

This adorable hole-in-the-wall marries traditional Japanese aesthetics with hip modern interior design to create a space that’s so welcoming and intriguing, passersby can’t help but enter. The food and drinks aren’t strictly vegetarian, but there is an emphasis on organic produce. Their cocktails are infused with thoughtful details, like fresh peels in the lemon sours and chunks of kiwi and apple in the sangria. On the food menu, tasty dishes like vegetable bagna càuda and spicy fried chicken complement the flavourful drinks perfectly.

Jack and Matilda, a tachinomiya where you can meet the locals

Bar, Japanese, Tapas

This bar is a tachinomiya, a ‘standing bar’ where guests are served on their feet. A bar such as this lends itself to making new friends, so prepare to mingle if you visit (especially if you’re alone). Japanese sake and tapas are served aplenty at this izakaya. The small portions are priced cheaply enough to enjoy them all. If you only pick two, go for the pickled mackerel and seasoned chicken breast. Beer, chuhai and other spirits are also available at affordable prices. This pub is popular, so be prepared to wait in line for up to 30-40 minutes at peak times to get a spot.

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