Nightlife in Hiroshima
Nagarekawa has the highest concentration of bars in Hiroshima — the good, the bad, and the hostess — but there are a number of good, quiet wine bars on Hakushima-dori, and plenty of foreigner-friendly pubs clustered around the giant PARCO building [www]. Yagenbori-dori is full of bars and clubs that are spread across floors of the various high-rise buildings.
Sake enthusiasts should not miss the chance to visit the breweries of Saijo, particularly during the annual festival in October.
- Barcos, 7-9 Yagenbori-dori, Naka-ku (Sanwa Building, 2nd floor) (Hatchobori tram stop), . 8PM-5AM daily. All races and creeds are in attendance on an average night at Barcos — from the locals to the international community (and not just English teachers), from fashionistas and lunkheads to lost souls and chatterboxes. If you come on a weekend or a holiday, be prepared for a massive crowd. The DJs play a wide range of music, including soul, techno, R&B, and Latin, but they're happy to take requests. Mambos Latin Bar, on the third floor of the same building and with the same owner, focuses on the Latin music, with dance classes in various styles in the early evening before things get rolling.
- Club Quattro, 10-1 Hon-dori, Naka-ku (PARCO Building, 10F) (Hatchobori tram stop), . Doors open for most shows at 6PM on weekdays, earlier on weekends. The biggest rock venue in town, Club Quattro hosts most of the major touring bands that deign to visit Hiroshima. Tickets vary; anywhere between ¥2-8000 depending on the band.
- Fukuya Beer Garden, 9-1 Matsubara-cho (11F), . Open 6-10PM, varies by season. Many of the department stores have beer gardens on their roofs, and this is a nice one, directly across from JR Hiroshima Station — just you and a few hundred of your closest friends under the stars, sharing a terrific city view. Regardless of the crowds, though, there's plenty of room and the lines are well-managed. Admission varies from ¥1000 to ¥2500 by day of the week and season, which includes all you can drink, some desserts, and a ton of Western and Japanese fried food.
- Kemby's, 2-9-1 Ote-machi, Naka-ku (Fukuro-machi tram stop), . Su-Th 6PM-1AM, F-Sa 6PM-2AM. A big, friendly bar that's a favorite with locals for watching major sporting events. There's plenty of seating, and pool & darts as well. The English menu offers enough food (mostly Italian and Mexican) to make this a valid dinner spot. The same folks run the smaller Kemby's AM at 8-27 Nagarekawa, 10PM-6AM daily.
- Kulcha, 6-45 Fukuro-machi, Naka-ku (Fukuro-machi tram stop),. Opens 6PM daily, closes late. A popular bar just off Hon-dori, frequented mainly by ex-pats. It's known for monthly theme parties and televised rugby and soccer games. If you're walking towards Parco from Rijo-dori, take a right at Andersens. Walk one block down (past Daiei supermarket) and turn left. The bar is on the right.
- Mac Bar, 6-18 Nagarekawa-cho, Naka-ku (Hatchobori tram stop), . M-Sa open 6PM, close varies — as late as 6AM. A friendly, venerable hole-in-the-wall owned by a chatty fellow with a massive collection of rock CDs. He's happy to take requests or just talk about music.
- Molly Malone's, 1-20 Shintenchi, Naka-ku (Teigeki Building, 4F) (Hatchobori tram stop), . Open 11:30AM daily, close late. Another popular foreigner hang-out. It's a reliable source for rugby and soccer games, but arrive early if you want a good viewing spot. The Irish food is great (¥850-1800), and the desserts (¥700) are quite good with a beer. Happy Hour M-Sa 5-7PM.
- Mugen 5610, 1-3 Yagenbori-dori, Naka-ku (Atsuma Building, 2&3F) (Hatchobori tram stop), . 10PM-4AM daily. Local and traveling DJs spin quality dubstep, reggae, and drum 'n bass with the aid of a great sound system. The two floors are split between a big dance space and a more laid-back bar area. Cover is usually around ¥1200, which may include a drink or two.
- Plum Garden (Ume Tsubaki), 1-25 Hon-dori, Naka-ku (Pao Building, 2F)(Hatchobori tram stop), . 5PM-2AM. A female-friendly izakayaspecializing in plum wines and light, healthy dishes. ¥600-800 per drink or dish.
- Sacred Spirits, 6-3 Tate-machi, Naka-ku (Apex Building, lower level) (Tate-machi tram stop), . Su-Th 7PM-2AM, F-Sa 7PM-5AM. In business for years as Jamaica, Sacred Spirits has a long, narrow basement space devoted to mostly decent, occasionally great dance music, at least until it's too crowded to move any more. Foreigners should be sure to bring an ID, as they do check. It's on a side street just off the Hon-dori arcade — there will inevitably be people milling around outside, despite the owners' best efforts at neighborly noise control.Cover varies — usually ¥1000 or so, with a drink included.
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