The Best Bar in the World

The best bar in the world is in Kyoto, Japan.

You cannot get directions to this bar. It can’t be found on the map. Someone who knows where it is must take you there.

Once you enter this bar, you are a regular. You are home.  Everyone may not know your name, but if you found the place, you’re in.

There are four tables in this bar. Big, long tables made out of wood, like someone quartered a log cabin and built picnic tables out of it. You sit next to friends and strangers alike.

There is only one drink served in this bar: Yebisu beer. It comes in tall, 24-ounce bottles that you pour into your friends’ tiny cups after the bar’s owner opens the bottle by jamming the top down on a pair of chopsticks. Because of the small glasses and the ease of ordering and serving, it is easier to by a round of beers (i.e., one bottle of beer for the group) here than any other bar.

The owner of the bar is charismatic and a little odd. He may hug you when you arrive and when you leave. He may kiss you on the cheek. It’ll be a little weird.

This is a bar where foreigners become fluent in Japanese after a few glasses of sake (which reminds me: you can also order sake here). This is a bar when you may enter the bathroom laughing so hard that you pee all over your pants at the urinal.

At this bar, you’ll feel like you’re on the show Friends. You’ll go there after big events or for no reason at all. You’ll break news to your friends at this bar. Everyone will feel like they’re on fire at this bar–every word, every joke perfectly timed.

This is a bar where you feel like you’re having the best time of your life, and you’ll know it. You’ll look around at your friends and the crazy bar owner and you’ll know it. You’ll know it then and you’ll know it when you go to any random American bar years later and realize that you’re living a good life, a blessed life, one of hot dates and Bud Selects and trustworthy friends.

And you’ll be grateful that even though you’ve moved on from that year in Japan, you’ll always have those times at the best bar in the world to look back upon.

That will never change.

6 thoughts on “The Best Bar in the World”

  1. Is this @ Bar? If so, I think you summed it up pretty well. What a great bar…

    Those of you who haven’t visited Japan, what are you waiting for? The country is so welcoming and the traditions, buildings, and foods are so different yet wonderful. Go book your flight!

  2. though it did get me favorite bar in kyoto is/was called *pon.* it is/was about the size of your kitchen, run by a guy named kenji. he lived near where you and i lived in leo palace. i would see him coming home as i was leaving for school. i brought the man a loaf of pepperridge farm bread from the us once…i don’t remember why.
    i wonder if it’s still there….like half the bars of that sort, it may have long since closed……


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