Irish Pubs in Japan

Irish Rugby Tours fully expect the multitudes of Irish fans travelling east to the Rugby World Cup to enjoy their time in a new land and dive head first into the rich and colourful culture of Japan. But we are aware that after such a long haul, there may be some who feel a slight twinge of heartache for home. For those who are easily struck down by homesickness, we have compiled a very short list of Irish pubs in Japan. In fact we have found you at least one Irish pub in each of the four pool match locations…and one for the final! #MonIrelan’

An Solas, Tokyo

Irish Rugby Tours recommends An Solas - Irish Pubs in Japan

Seeing the light in An Solas

Ok, so we know Ireland don’t have a game here…yet. But whatever happens you’d be an eejit not to visit Tokyo while in Japan and it’s for that reason this Irish pub in Japan makes the cut.

This little corner of Tokyo is about as close as you’ll get to Tubbercurry in Japan. Guinness on tap, daysent grub – soda bread and cider included, Irish staff and a trad group replete with both rams and banjos. It’s in the old part of town too, so after you’ve got your taste of home you can get back out there and do what you’re there for – experiencing Japan! Paddy Maloney’s favorite Irish pub in Tokyo.

 

The Green Sheep, Yokohama

Irish Pubs in Japan

Apart from being a great BAA (sorry), the great advantage of this spot is that it’s a straight run on the Blue Line to the stadium. They also do food and they have an outside seating area. It’s spacious and the staff all speak pretty good English. If you are a nervous traveller this is exactly the spot to go to before the game against Scotland kicks off. It’s easy.

A Boy Named Tsu – the owner told us he only knew ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ and ‘I’ll tell Me Ma’

Giggle, Shizuoka 

Irish Pubs in Japan

A Boy named Tsu

Of all the Irish pubs in Japan on our list this is probably our favourite. Giggle is run by a boy named Tsu who plays banjo and loves Irish music. He runs trad sessions here every week and can probably tell what Shane McGowan had for breakfast. We once asked him if he knew the famous Johnny Cash song ‘A Boy Named Sue’,  and he told us he only knew ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ and ‘I’ll tell Me Ma’. He is a bona-fide legend and deserves honorary Irish citizenship.

During happy hour they have pints of Carlsberg on tap for 700¥ (that’s about €5.60) but it’s probably as good as it gets. Japan is not cheap. Tsu is however worth is weight in gold…out the end of a rainbow of course.

 

Avery, Kobe

Kobe is famous for its beef. Apparently, it comes from cows who are given the finest grass and early morning massages. If  you are staying on after the first two games, this might be the perfect place to give your ego a little gentle massaging too. As well as the beers and stouts you’d expect, Avery’s does a decent line in craft beers. It’s small and poky but that just makes it all the more cosy. After all the mania, you can expect the Irish contingent here to be a little less raucous. This would be the perfect spot for a few quieter pints. Find out how to get there here.

 

The Hakata Harp, Fukuoka

Irish Rugby Tours recommends Hakata Harp - Irish Pubs in Japan

It has a haka and harp. What’s not to like?

 It’s got a haka and a harp so this has to be a rugby pub! In fact a quick look at its website gives the impression that it’s endorsed by the Irish government. We are not sure it is but they sure have a comprehensive food menu fit for Toaisigh! 

 

NOT Going to Japan? Here’s 5 Great Japanese Restaurants in Dublin to get you in the Mood

So you might not be heading all the way out to the land of the rising sun for the Rugby World Cup but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a taste of Japan as the sun goes down over Dublin of a Friday or Saturday night. Yes indeed much has changed since the first Rugby World Cup in 1987 when the most exotic things we got when eating out were Vol-au-vents and Turkish Delight. We are not even sure there were any Japanese restaurants in Dublin back then but things sure have changed and there are now more than you could shake a chopstick at.

Whittling the list down to just five was a tough task but we here at Irish Rugby Tours think we have a good crew assembled here. So why not get your buddies together the day before a game and ‘go on a bento’ at one of these top notch eateries.

Ukiyo, Wicklow Street, Dublin 2

Irish Rugby Tours Japanese Restaurants in Dublin

Ukiyo in Dublin is the real deal

Excellent place for both lunch and dinner with the added advantage of being one of the few places in town where you can do karaoke. They serve up a serious Bento Box (€12) at lunchtime and offer up top class sushi, tempura and noodles. The staff are friendly. Many of them have been there for a quite some time and always greet you like a long lost son or daughter – always a good sign. 

“…one of the few places in town where you can do karaoke.”

 

Zakura, Baggot Street, Dublin 2

Ok first things first, these guys have a BYOB policy which means you’re starting your night off on an absolute winner. It gets busy and the seating can be a little tight but make no mistake, this is top notch. At a recent outing to this restaurant we spent €25 per head and ate the place clean. The service was quick, friendly and a bit of craic but the most impressive thing was without doubt the extent of the menu which covers several distinct styles of Japanese cuisine, including gyoza, tempura, yakitori, sushi and sashimi. The portions are extremely generous but so tasty that it is very difficult to know when to stop ordering. Top notch and informal.

“The service was quick, friendly and a bit of craic but the most impressive thing was without doubt the extent of the menu…”

 

Yamamori, Georges Street, Dublin 2

Having established itself in 1995, Yamamori must be one of the oldest continuous Japanese restaurants in Dublin. This place seems to be open around the clock and is very good at catering for large groups. Again they have an extensive menu and always pull out flavoursome food. Right across the street, their sister establishment, Yamamori Izakaya and Sake Bar serves great informal sushi, sake, cocktails and Japanese craft beers.

 

Ku Raudo, Townsend Street, Dublin 2

Irish Rugby Tours Japanese Restaurants Dublin

A taste of Tokyo at Ku Ruado on Townsend Street

This tiny little spot in a dark corner of Dublin looks like it has been transported from the centre of old Tokyo. Their lunch specials start at €6 for a sushi bento at lunchtime and work their way up to the full bento box for €9. There’s more where they came from too. Impressively competitive and really rather cosy. Oh and it is also a BYOB!

 

Taste at the Bonsai Bar, George’s Street, Dublin 2

Irish Rugby Tours Japanese Restaurants Dublin

You’ve got to love Dylan McGrath – he is fearless. One of his latest ventures is the Bonsai Bar on George’s Street

He has described it as “a twisted authentic version of Japanese pub food” which he has matched with some very cool Japanese cocktails. Bonsai Bento is available in Bonsai Bar from Wednesdays through to Saturday from 4 pm until 8 pm and is quite the taste sensation. Worth it for the Kakigori desert alone but be prepared to pay a little extra.