Osaka is known as being a city of people who love good food and good fun. There are countless nightspots to discover, from high-class cocktail bars to grungy live houses to tiny, hole-in-the-wall whiskey bars.

    If you're looking for something a little more cultured to do of an evening in Osaka, consider a visit to the National Bunraku puppet theatre or the Osaka Nogaku Hall, which presents classical Japanese noh drama. There are many venues for live music, hot dance music and relaxing jazz. Head to the area around Shinsaibashi station for the biggest concentration of nightlife.

    1

    Club Circus Osaka

    Dance the night away at this underground nightclub

    Club Circus is an intimate nightclub in Osaka’s Nakanishi Building. It has an excellent sound system that plays a wide range of music, from techno to hip hop. The city’s young crowd often come here on weekends for late-night dancing.

    Club Circus is easy to get to from anywhere downtown, as it’s located between the Yotsubashi and Shinsaibashi metro stations. The cover charge varies depending on the DJ of the night. It’s a good idea to check its schedule online before you head to the club.

    Location: Nakanishi Building, 2F, 1-8-16 Nishi-Shinsaibashi Chuo-Ku Osaka 542-0086, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6241-3822

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    2

    Craft Beer Gulp

    Neighbourhood brewpub with an extensive beer list

    Craft Beer Gulp is a modern bar with an impressive selection of craft beers from all over the world. It's only a few minutes' walk from Dotonbori, occupying a small venue with a cosy atmosphere. Its rather hidden location makes it popular with locals looking to enjoy pub food and beer after work. 

    Craft Beer Gulp has one of the most extensive beer lists in Osaka. You can choose from a wide range of local Japanese craft beers or imported IPAs, stouts, and pale ales.

    Location: 2 Chome-4-6 Nanba, Chuo Ward, Osaka 542-0076, Japan

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 3 pm to 8.30 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6563-7783

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    3

    Irish Pub Shamrock Osaka

    Good music, good sports and great beer

    Irish Pub Shamrock Osaka is a little slice of Ireland transported right into the middle of Osaka. Drinks are imported from far and wide to get that authentic taste, whether you're sampling a glass of Blue Moon cider or knocking back a pint of Guinness.

    Irish Pub Shamrock Osaka has an outstanding whiskey selection, with several great Irish labels like Tullamore Dew and Bushmills Irish Honey served alongside Japanese whiskeys. Food-wise, must-tries include the shepherd's pie and pork stew made with apple cider. Classic rock, pop and indie music play on the sound system. You can also catch live sports on several screens, reinforcing the typical sports bar atmosphere.

    Location: 2 Chome-10-15 2FB, Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Japan

    Open: Monday–Friday from 5 pm to midnight, Saturday–Sunday from 3 pm to midnight

    Phone: +81 (0)6-7709-0092

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    4

    Giraffe Osaka

    Modern 4-storey nightclub in Dotonburi

    Giraffe Osaka is a huge nightclub in the middle of Osaka’s Shinsaibashi district. It’s on Soemoncho Street, between Croesus Shinsaibashi and Don Quijote Dotonbori. There’s always a long queue to enter this nightclub, so try heading there early in the evening.

    Giraffe Osaka occupies 4 floors of the Soemoncho Building, each of which has a distinctive theme. Reception is on the 1st floor, while the club’s main dance area is on the 2nd floor. The 3rd floor is reserved for VIPs, and the highest level features a small dancefloor.

    Location: Soemoncho Bldg, 7-9 Soemoncho, Chuo Ward, Osaka 542-0084, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6211-1516

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    5

    Pure Osaka

    Trendy nightclub in Shinsaibashi

    Pure Osaka is a posh nightclub in the Shinsaibashi district, across the street from Croesus Shinsaibashi and Don Quijote Dotonbori. The venue’s sophisticated décor is inspired by New York’s trendy clubs, while its busy calendar features some of the world’s most famous international DJs.  

    Thanks to its downtown location, Pure Osaka attracts plenty of locals and tourists looking to party until late. The nightclub is also very popular with Japanese celebrities, which means it really gets crowded after midnight. It’s a good idea to get there early to secure a spot on the dancefloor.

    Location: Diamond Bldg, B1F, 2-3-12 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo Ward, Osaka 542-0085, Japan

    Open: Monday–Wednesday from 9 pm to 4 am, Friday–Saturday from 9 pm to 5 am (closed on Thursdays and Sundays)

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6214-6600

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    6

    Namba Hatch

    A riverfront concert hall in Osaka

    Namba Hatch is a modern concert hall right on the banks of the Dotonbori River in Osaka. This venue hosts a wide range of music performances, including jazz, soul, funk, rock, and hip hop. Its main hall can accommodate around 1,500 people, making it one of the biggest nightlife venues in Osaka.

    Many local and international musicians have performed on stage, including Crossfaith, Slash, Miyavi, and Carly Rae Jepsen. Namba Hatch has an outdoor stage for different events throughout the year, such as beer festivals, flea markets, and fashion shows.

    Location: 1 Chome-3-1 Minatomachi, Naniwa Ward, Osaka 556-0017, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)6-4397-0572

    Map

    photo by hajipon (CC BY 2.0) modified

    7

    Sam and Dave One

    Join a festive young crowd at Sam and Dave One, a modern nightclub that buzzes with hot lasers, fluorescent lights and a huge dance floor. Flair bartenders put Tom Cruise to shame with their flamboyant cocktail mixing skills adding to the spectacle of this club. Regular music events range from the hottest hip hop groups to trance parties. Sam and Dave One is very foreigner-friendly and has a vibe similar to western clubs. It's located on Higashi Shinsaibashi, walking distance from Ōsaka Namba Station.

    Location: 6F, 2-7-20 Higashi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo, Osaka 542-0083, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)6-6243-6848

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    8

    Cinquecento

    A great place to start or end a night out, enjoy a relaxing cocktail at this elegant martini bar. Rustic décor presents a contrast to the classy atmosphere inside Cinquecento. The affordable prices are another nice surprise – most drinks are 500 yen. Try a classic Manhattan or a cool chocolate martini before a night of fun clubbing around Shinsaibashi and Namba. 

    Location: 1F 2-1-10 Higashi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0083, Japan

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 pm to late

    Phone: +81 (0)6 6213 6788

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    9

    Billboard Live Osaka

    You can expect more than just smooth jazz by leading domestic and international artists at Billboard Live. Dimly lit and demure, this live jazz lounge serves food and drinks, so you really can spend the whole evening here. Music ranges from jazz and blues to Latin and even contemporary folk. Filling to capacity almost every night reservations are recommended to avoid disappointment.  It’s located close to Umeda station.

    Location: 2 Chome-2-22 Umeda, Kita, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 530-0001, Japan

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 5 pm (show times vary). Closed on Sundays.

    Phone: +81 (0)6 6342 7722

    Map
    10

    Fandango

    If you're looking to enjoy some niche live music genres like heavy metal or punk, head to Fandango. This is one of the best live houses in the city. Hosting acts from around the country indeed around the world, the club attracts a young and dedicated crowd who rock out to the music in a feverish manner. It's located close to Juso station, north of downtown Osaka, close to the Yodo River.

    Location: 1-17-27 Juso-Honmachi, Yodogawa-ku, Osaka 590-0985, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)6 6308 1621

    Map

    photo by watashiwani (CC BY 2.0) modified

    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveller

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