Jan. 18, 2019 UPDATE

Enjoy Kyoto's chic night with sake

Let’s enjoy Kyoto’s night with sake in a cool way! I’m going to introduce 5 izakayas in Kyoto where you can enjoy good sake.
Enjoy Kyoto's chic night with sake

How about enjoying the tasteful Japanese city of Kyoto at night with sake and Japanese food?

Recently sake has been getting more and more popular among young people, in Japan and abroad. Because of this, there are more and more sake standing bars and bars specializing in sake. This time I’m going to tell you about 5 places where you can enjoy beautiful sake and Japanese food. From welcoming places to fancy diners, Kyoto is crammed with good restaurants and bars.

1Masuya Saketen / 益や酒店

Masuya Saketen

If you want to enjoy sake in Kyoto, you can’t miss the sake bar of Masuya Saketen.

A place where people can enjoy sake in a welcoming environment

 Masuya Saketen was started in 2015 with the concept of “A place where people can enjoy sake in a welcoming environment.” Now the place is so popular that it’s always full even on weekdays. The refined and bright bar has a counter right by the entrance so the place looks really welcoming even from outside. 

taste and type of sake

If you tell them what taste and type of sake you want, they will choose a sake just right for you. This place can be recommended for those just beginning their journey in the world of sake. 


They have many delicious “otsumami” snacks to go with the sake. This bar is right by Hankyu Kawaramachi Station so it’s easy to go to. 

Address !F 426Dainichicho Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu
Open Hours weekdays:5pm - 11:30pm (L.O.) on weekdays Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays:12pm - 11:30pm (L.O.)

2Renkon-ya / れんこんや


Next I’m going to introduce to you a place completely different from Masuya Saketen, an izakaya with a traditional retro feeling, Renkon-ya

Renkon-ya was founded in 1950

Renkon-ya was founded in 1950, and the restaurant is situated in a renovated terraced house originally from the Meiji period. The well-used tables and chairs of the restaurant are yellowish brown, the posters on the wall are retro, and the whole vibe of the place makes you think you went back in time to the Showa period. 

karashi renkonNikujaga

At the restaurant you can have their most famous dish Renkon-ya Nikujaga, meat and potato stew with mustard, which with its taste reminds Japanese people of the dishes their mother used to make. Renkon-ya is in biggest bar district of Kyoto, Kiyamachi. They also have a menu in English so visitors from overseas can enter without worries.

Address 236, Yamazakicho, Nakagyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 604-8032
Open Hours 5pm - 11pm (L.O.)


3Tsukitokage Shinmachi / ツキトカゲ 新町店


Next I’m going to tell you about a really fun izakaya where you can have delicious tempura for a surprisingly low price. 

The building

The building the izakaya is in was renovated from a Kyoto machiya town house and looks very refined. Some people might mistake it for a fancy place from the looks. But have no worries. Inside the restaurant has an at-home feeling and a fun atmosphere. 

tempura frying counter

Right after you enter the place there is a tempura frying counter made out of brick. The chef is always deep frying tempura here. This izakaya is also close to many hostels and hotels so many foreigners also come to taste the tempura. 


And Tsukitokage is of course most famous for their tempura whose prices start out from the incredibly low price of 30 yen. Getting to taste just fried tempura with some sake is an unbelievably luxurious experience.


4Manzara Honten / まんざら 本店

Manzara Honten

For those of you who want to enjoy sake and Japanese cuisine more thoroughly I recommend Manzara Honten. This place is run by the same company that runs the izakaya chain Manzaratei, but the atmosphere and prices of Manzara Honten are for grown-ups, and this izakaya is a call place to have a drink. 

counter seating

Manzara Honten is also in a renovated almost 100 year old machiya town house. In this picture you can see the counter seating and the beautiful decorations. In the back they also have an inner garden so the atmosphere is without peer. I recommend this place for couples both young and old. 

 Japanese foodJapanese beef

They mainly serve Japanese food, but their menu is varied, they have dishes from Japanese beef grilled over charcoal to even the Chinese classic mapo tofu. You can of course enjoy sake in this restaurant, but you can also properly enjoy food too.

5Nijo-jo Furuta / 二条城ふる田

Nijo-jo Furuta

Lastly I want to tell you about a kaiseki restaurant. If you talk about Kyoto you have to also mention kaiseki. Among Kyoto’s kaiseki restaurant, I’m going to introduce to you a place that opened just recently and boasts a great selection of sake close to Nijo-jo Castle

kaiseki restaurant

Nijo-jo Furuta is run by a husband and wife team. The husband creates the dishes, while the wife chooses the sake that best brings out the flavors in that dish. The restaurant is informal for a kaiseki restaurant and the at-home atmosphere of the restaurant is almost relaxed. 

sake cups

The gestures of the hostess are beautiful as they are polite, and she even picks out sake cups that go well with the sake. The sake matches the dishes very well and tastes delicious.

I’m sure you will have a special night if you go to Nijo-jo Furuta. It’s a special restaurant that is worth a visit even if it can be said to be a luxury.

Shiho[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]
Sake brings out the tastes in food. Of course sake by itself is delicious, but sake with food is even better. Don’t you think sake that tastes good to the last drop is spectacular? Because of this I like sake. If you come to Kyoto I hope you will drink some sake. With some delicious food and delicious sake, I hope you will spend a chic night out in Kyoto.
Related keywords
Izakaya Downtown Central Kyoto Area Gion & Kiyomizu Temple

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