Are you ready to explore Kobe’s nightlife but are not sure where to go? I have got some great suggestions for you. Kobe has something for everyone in the Sannomiya area and even better, all of the bars are within walking distance from each other. You can easily change from a Japanese izakaya to a jazz club to a sports bar to an International bar with live events. Long story short, Sannomiya is an easy area for bar hopping.
To start off your nightlife experience in Kobe, make sure you have a solid base of food to prevent you from getting drunk after the first drink and spending the rest of the night in the bathroom….
This Izakaya chain gives you the opportunity to munch on some nice grilled chicken skewers, delicious noodle dishes and a lot of other small dishes, while getting your first beer, chu-hai (a rather sweet fruity drink with Japanese liquor) or one of the other drinks on their broad menu. Japanese people, who go to an Izakaya with their friends or colleagues, often order a couple of different dishes and share them.
Address: 1 Chome-2-13 Kitanagasadori, Chuo Ward
Open: Everyday 5:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.
What many people still do not know is that Kobe is the hot spot of Japan’s jazz scene. One place in particular that you should definitely check out is the Sone bar. You will find four different stages where live bands play a variety of different jazz subgenres. The bar first opened in the late 1960s and is a great location to experience some jazz tunes while having a drink or two.
Address: 1 Chome-24-10 Nakayamatedori, Chuo Ward
Open: Monday – Saturday 5:00 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.; Sunday 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
If you are in a group with mixed music preferences then Paradise Garden is your place to be. You will find a variety of music styles like jazz, RnB and soul played by live bands and DJs day in and day out. This bar also has a dance floor and a pool table. I would say this bar is still more on the relaxed side and perfect for hanging out with friends, dancing a bit and having a nice game of pool in a candle lit atmosphere.
Address: 1 Chome-13-7 Nakayamatedori, Chuo Ward (basement of Kobe Yamashita Building)
Open: 7:00 p.m. – 03:00 a.m.
A really nice Irish Pub/sports bar where you can drink a glass of the well-known Irish beer brands Guinness and Kilkenny (as well as others) while watching live football games and meeting fellow expats. Of course, also local people come here to enjoy the lively atmosphere. The pub is conveniently located right outside of Sannomiya station.
Address: 1-10-9 Kitanagasadori, Chuo Ward (1F)
Open: Everyday 5:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m.
This place is like an all-in one bar and club. They serve delicious food from all around the world (including vegetarian options) and have English-speaking staff. On top they feature weekly live events every Friday and Saturday night so you can come here to enjoy a drink and dinner with friends or to party and dance until the morning. It’s up to you what you want to go for, but it’s surely a place to go for a fun time!
Address: 1 Chome-2-1 Nakayamatedori, Chuo Ward
Open: Sunday – Thursday 6:30 p.m. – 3:00 a.m.; Friday & Saturday 6:30 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.
This is just a very limited list of all the great nightlife locations in Kobe (there are lots and lots of bars, clubs and pubs within walking distance from Sannomiya station). Therefore I would suggest that you start your night at either of these locations and then move on to the next place that is most appealing to you.