Kyūshū

Drinking and nightlife

Top ChoiceBar in Kumamoto

Good Time Charlie

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 musician and songwriter. He earned the rank of Kentucky...

Top ChoiceBar in Kagoshima

Honkaku Shōchū Bar Ishizue

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 more than 1500 choices from around the prefecture, each with...

Top ChoiceCocktail Bar in Fukuoka

Citadel

At this classy upstairs bar, mellow out over coffee cocktails such as mojitos (with homemade coffee rum and coffee ice cubes) and espresso martinis. Liqueurs macerating on shelves above the bar lend a...

Top ChoiceCafe in Kumamoto

Andcoffeeroasters

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 with the rich lattes, creamy cappuccinos and other...

Top ChoiceBar in Kumamoto

Vibes

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 evangelist, and he's got 120 bottles on hand, so there's...

Top ChoiceBar in Kagoshima

Karakara

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 square millimetre with 30,000 (!) Shōwa-era toys, memorabilia...

Cafe in Miyazaki

Actors Square Coffee

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 like the 'grasshopper' or the trail-mix latte, or order...

Cafe in Fukuoka

Oishii Kōri-ya

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 notch. Toppings span classic (strawberry milk), Japanese...

Cafe in Beppu

Kissa Natsume

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 cream), and it's been making egg-salad sandwiches since it...

Craft Beer in Kagoshima

Dolphin Industry

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, reclaimed wood and corrugated metal accompanies the small but...

Bar in Miyazaki

Igokochiya Anbai

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, but the 'mama-san' (hostess) is extremely kind, and if you...

Bar in Miyazaki

The Bar

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-brewed craft beers, mojitos made with mint from the owner's...

Cafe in Beppu

Basara House

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 coffee, chai or ume (Japanese plum) soda and appreciate...

Bar in Kagoshima

Recife

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 locals, and it offers Latin American eats before turning...

Cafe in Kagoshima

Retroft

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 sold out of various nooks and crannies, each with...

Bar in Kumamoto

Rock Bar DAYS

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 dutifully find it in the vast library of over 6000 CDs...

Bar in Kumamoto

Bar Rose

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 you come to have a relaxing couple of hours with a...

Bar in Beppu

Creole Cafe

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 over drinks, reasonably priced food (curry and pasta at...

Cafe in Fukuoka

Stereo Coffee

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. There are no seats – all the better to peruse the art on...

Teahouse in Shimabara

Shimabara Mizuyashiki

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 (lucky cat) figurines from all over Japan, some for sale....