Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nagoya, Sendai listings
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Festivals and other events
May 25 - June 3 (weekdays 4-10pm, weekends 11am-10pm; last order 9:30)
Nara Oktoberfest 2018
This popular multi-day outdoor event features lots of German food, beer and music. While there are many imports, beers from Yamanashi brewery Fujizakura are probably the best value for money.
Nara Park, Noborioji Enchi
Price: Free admission, pay as you go
May 26-27 (Sat. noon-8pm, Sun, 11am-6pm)
Craft Beer Live 2018
One of Osaka's major beer events, this festival focuses on Kansai breweries large and small. Thirty-four breweries are taking part this year, pouring more than 130 different beers, and nine local bars and restaurants, including Covent Garden, B&G Nicholson and Yellow Ape, will be running food booths.
Minatomachi River Place, Plaza 3 Open Space, 1-3-1 Minatomachi
Price: Y2800 for book of 7 tickets, Y400 discount with advance purchase; individual tickets Y400 each
June 13-17 (Wed-Fri 4-10pm; Sat 11am-10pm; Sun 11am-9pm)
Belgian Beer Weekend 2018 Osaka
Over fifty Belgian breweries take part each year at this very festive multi-city event. In general the beers here are a better deal than the food.
Osaka Castle Park
Price: Y2900 for a "starter set" book of tickets
BeerFes Osaka 2018
One of Japan's longest-running craft-beer festivals, BeerFes gives you the chance to try over 100 kinds of beer for a single admission price. Cheaper admission on Friday night; check the website for details.
My Dome Osaka
Ticket price TBA
BeerFes Nagoya 2018
One of Japan's longest-running craft-beer festivals, BeerFes gives you the chance to try over 100 kinds of beer for a single admission price.
Nagoya Congress Center
Ticket price TBA
craft beerFujiyama - Beer bar: Osaka Kita-Horie
Billing themselves as a "meat beer bar," Fujiyama delivers on both food and drink fronts, with an excellent selection of craft beers alongside a meat-focused food menu. The bar's six taps dispense US craft beers from breweries like Knee Deep, Lost Coast and Breakside, and there's a selection of around fifty bottled imports as well, including some splurge-worthy premium bottles....[Continue reading]
craft beerTNT - Beer bar: Osaka Taisho
This extremely informal, charmingly scruffy bar has one of the most impressive selections of US craft beers by the bottle that we've seen in town, usually with more than 100 to choose from. Most bottles are in the Y900-1200 range, although you'll also run across some rare finds at higher prices. The bar's five taps are also US-centric, priced at Y1000 a pint....[Continue reading]
craft beerMolto!! - Italian: Osaka Fukushima
Molto's Fukushima branch stands out among Osaka's many craft-beer bars for its excellent food - a selection of a dozen or so home-made artisanal sausages alongside a full menu of casual Italian cuisine. If you're just popping in for a drink the sauteed foie gras and sausage platter (Y800) is highly recommended. Some of the tempting sausage variations here include apple-ginger, yuzu-kosho...[Continue reading]
craft beerAB - Cafe: Kyoto
This very fashionable cafe-bar and boutique serves gourmet coffee, meaty sandwiches, and a rotating selection of Japanese craft beers on draft from five taps. The beer selection leans heavily towards local brewery Kyoto Brewing; on a recent visit there were three beers from Kyoto, plus one each from Swan Lake and Talmary (a small Tottori brewery).... [Continue reading]
craft beerHop Stand - Yakitori: Kobe
Craft beers from Rokko brewery are served with yakitori at this small bar. There are generally five or six craft beers on draft (along with three macros), served in four different sizes and priced at Y920 for around a UK pint and Y480 for a small glass. They also have tasting sets...[Continue reading]
craft beerIchi-ya - Beer bar: Kyoto
Ichiya's spacious dining room is definitely a cut above your average beer bar, with stylish modern decor, comfortable seating and an invigorating musical soundtrack. Launched in August 2016 by Kyoto's Ichijoji Brewery, the bar serves excellent food and very reasonably priced craft beers in...[Continue reading]