Must-see nightlife in Kyūshū

  • Good Time Charlie

    Kumamoto

    Charlie Nagatani is a living legend, the 'Johnny Cash of Japan', the founding figure behind the nation's entire country-music scene, and an accomplished…

  • Honkaku Shōchū Bar Ishizue

    Kagoshima

    This chic, amber-and-wood shōchū bar has everything going for it, and it's one of the finest places to drink Kagoshima's prefectural liquor. There are…

  • Citadel

    Fukuoka

    At this classy upstairs bar, mellow out over coffee cocktails such as mojitos (with homemade coffee rum and coffee ice cubes) and espresso martinis…

  • Andcoffeeroasters

    Kumamoto

    Delightful boutique coffee shop with freshly roasted beans and a 'tart of the day', such as persimmon or Earl Grey. Coffee nerds will feel right at home…

  • Vibes

    Kumamoto

    Come to this cool new 'glocal' bar for an immersive experience in shōchū, Kyūshū's signature tipple. Owner and bartender Nori-san is something of a shōchū…

  • Karakara

    Kagoshima

    On the 3rd floor of a generic bar building next to a 7-Eleven, a low door leads to another dimension. Enthusiastic owner Hiroshi-san has crammed every…

  • Actors Square Coffee

    Kyūshū

    A cool, young vibe pervades this spacious, mid-century-styled cafe perched above the arcade. Sip coffees from around the world or original coffee drinks…

  • Oishii Kōri-ya

    Fukuoka

    Kakigōri (shaved ice) is a huge thing in Japanese summers, and this shop is owned by a long-standing ice company so you know the main ingredient is top…

  • Kissa Natsume

    Beppu

    This retro snack and dessert spot is best known for onsen kōhī (coffee made with hot-spring water; ¥550) and ogura toast (topped with azuki beans and ice…

  • Dolphin Industry

    Kagoshima

    This new, surf-themed beer and burger bar brings the California wave across the Pacific. A friendly, just-off-Huntington-Beach vibe of surfboard art,…

  • Igokochiya Anbai

    Kyūshū

    Anbai is a sophisticated izakaya with more than 350 varieties of shōchū, well-chosen local dishes and cool background music. Not much English is spoken,…

  • The Bar

    Kyūshū

    This hub of the expat community and its local friends draws a cheery mixed crowd who are proud of the city and keen to welcome visitors over Miyazaki…

  • Basara House

    Beppu

    There's a handmade, arty feel to this renovated 1940s house, filled with exposed beams, period tile work and eclectic ephemera. All the better to sip…

  • Recife

    Kagoshima

    This arty, mellow three-floor shop-bar-restaurant also has DJ decks and hosts occasional parties. It's popular with expat groovers and English-speaking…

  • Retroft

    Kagoshima

    There's a lot going on in this retro-cool space c 1968: part cafe, part used bookshop, part artist gathering place. Coffee, hot dogs and local sweets are…

  • Rock Bar DAYS

    Kumamoto

    In business for two-plus decades, this dark, grunge-inspired bar is where Japanese rockers come after playing Kumamoto. Request a tune, and staff will…

  • Bar Rose

    Kumamoto

    An only-in-Japan experience, Bar Rose (not to be confused with Rose Bar, nearby!) is a quiet, polished place. Stools are plush and comfy, and it's where…

  • Creole Cafe

    Beppu

    On the ground floor of Beppu Tower and with windows looking out onto the busy street, Creole Cafe brings together Beppu's Japanese and foreign communities…

  • Stereo Coffee

    Fukuoka

    This artful, art-filled cafe draws a hip, creative crowd for tasty espresso drinks, hot sandwiches and seasonal special drinks such as floats for summer…

  • Shimabara Mizuyashiki

    Kyūshū

    Off Shimabara's central arcade, this delightful Meiji-era teahouse features a lovely garden, a spring-fed pond and an obsessive collection of maneki-neko …

  • Morris' Black Sheep

    Fukuoka

    This Morris bar is just down the street from its Red Fox cousin. It's often packed, loud and fun, and may open even later on Friday and Saturday nights,…

  • Fukuoka Craft

    Fukuoka

    This beer bar, opened in 2017, brews its own creations and offers dozens of other beers from around the world, along with eats like mixed grill and…

  • Bar IWI

    Nagasaki

    Owned by Brynn, a friendly Kiwi, this cosy 'one-coin bar' has (mostly) ¥500 drinks and stays open to the wee hours, with an ever-changing mix of…

  • Shimeisō

    Kyūshū

    In the middle of the Koi no uyogu machi, this cozy villa sits on stilts over a spring-fed koi pond in a lovely garden. Admission includes a cup of tea and…

  • Barakamon

    Nagasaki

    This standing bar sits on the back alley of Shianbashi-yokochō and serves beers, highballs and 'strawberry milk' (with shōchū liquor). Look for the tiny…

  • CC Cafe

    Fukuoka

    This cosy pub hosts a friendly mix of English-interested locals and expats, and doubles in the day as an English-language learning centre, with classes…

  • Morris' Red Fox

    Fukuoka

    One of the better pub chains in Japan, this bar attracts a nice mix of Japanese and gaijin (foreigners). Begin your evening with happy-hour cocktails (…

  • Beer Reise

    Kagoshima

    This cheery, intimate bar has Guinness and Japanese and international craft beers on draft, plus about 15 more in bottles. All the better to wash down…

  • Beppu Social Bar

    Beppu

    BSB has good drinks and a fun vibe, plus a dance floor and even a hookah. The crowd varies, but there's often a large Asia Pacific University (APU)…

  • Mitsubachi

    Fukuoka

    Enjoy views of Hakata and Canal City across the Naka-gawa through giant windows in this slick dining bar. With lots of glass and mirrors, it's a flashy…

  • Big Ben

    Kagoshima

    This basement meeting spot has dozens of beers from around the world, memorabilia from around the world, and patrons from – wait for it – around the world…

  • Suntory Shot Bar 4665

    Kyūshū

    Drink a highball at nightfall at this subdued art deco–styled spot with many Japanese malt whiskies to sample and hand-carved ice for cocktails. It gets…

  • Lifetime

    Kyūshū

    Modern jazz is alive and well in Miyazaki: there are near-nightly jams at this upstairs bistro-bar. Drinks start at ¥500, with coffee, snacks and steaks…

  • International Bar

    Fukuoka

    As the name implies, this is one of the original places in Fukuoka for locals and gaijin (foreigners) to connect, in a time warp of red-velvet seating…

  • Panic Paradise

    Nagasaki

    Cool but friendly, this dark basement bar is a bit of a local icon, cluttered with rock memorabilia. There's a huge collection of tunes on LP and CD, and…

  • Satsuma Eikoku-kan

    Kyūshū

    Across the main road from the samurai houses and marked by a slightly dented, red double-decker bus, this teahouse serves award-winning English-style teas…

  • Inokuchiya

    Nagasaki

    Away from the Shianbashi nightlife district but worth the trip, this cool spot has a wine shop fronting a warren of rooms for sampling wines, shōchū (a…

  • Jeff's World Bar

    Kumamoto

    Gaijin (foreigners) and local Japanese frequent this 2nd-floor pub. There's dancing some weekends, and each night has a different vibe depending on who's…