Nightlife

Top Choice Bar in Sendai

Peter Pan

A music-loving father-and-son team runs this lounge-room-vibe 'rock' bar. Dad provides the soundtrack with his extensive, alternative-rock vinyl collection, while his son busies himself with the clientele. Coffee, b…
Craft Beer in Sendai

Craftsman Sendai

When there's a global trend, like craft beer, the Japanese are never far behind. This small Craftsman outlet (a few are popping up around Japan) combines casual Italian dining (tapas plate ¥1450) with Japan's indepe…
Brewery in Tōno

Tono Brewing

Sleepy Tōno is a surprising home for this hip, friendly taproom, but it's a welcome addition to the city's drinking landscape nonetheless. Locally brewed beers include a 'coffee stout', as well as pale ales and lage…
Bar in Sendai

Gallo

Gallo is a tiny basement bar that keeps the tempo low and slow and mixes fruit-infused cocktails with a Japanese twist. Our pick is the lemon-and-ginger-spiked umeshū (plum wine, ¥650). The city's more eclectic DJs …
Cafe in Ginzan Onsen

Coté de la Poste

Tucked away on a corner near the bend in the river (next to the orange post box, hence the name), this petite coffee shop is the perfect spot for a post-soak tipple. Drinks are pricey, but the ambiance is unbeatable…
Pub in Hirosaki

Robbin's Nest

This is an excellent Japanese rendition of a British pub. It's intimate and there's no cover charge (except sometimes when bands are playing), frequent live music, Guinness on tap and a few tables on the outside ter…
Cocktail Bar in Sakata

Kerun

In business for decades, Kerun is run by an octogenarian Japanese man who whisks up frothy whisky sours from a well-stocked bar that's surrounded by mirrors and booth seating. You can also get lovely filter coffee a…
Coffee in Hirosaki

Cembalo

Hirosaki's students flock to Cembalo to sip strong coffee and munch on cinnamon and honey toast while they type ostentatiously on their laptops. Light and bright, with friendly staff, it's a perfect break from wande…
Cafe in Rikuzen-takata & Ōfunato

Pechka

Excellent coffee and delicious baked goods – such as Earl Grey scones with lemon butter – are the standouts at this hip cafe, which also hosts a lending library. The architect-designed space is constructed entirely …
Coffee in Morioka

Cappuccino Shiki

Perfectly placed to catch caffeine addicts as they tumble off their train and out into the bustle of Morioka, this cosy, dark-wood coffee shop has great espresso and a hip vibe. Toasted sandwiches are also available…