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Can women safely visit bars in Kyoto 2008/2/10 09:06
Kyoto City
Is it okay for women to go into bars in Japan without a man with them? My mother and I are going to visit Kyoto in April. The last time I went, I felt intimidated by the curtains across the door of bars and restaurants as I could not see in. I would not wish to give an impression that we are anything other than tourists, having been approached by men before when travelling without my husband. Can you please tell me whether we would be better enjoying a drink at our hotel bar rather than trying local bars in Kyoto?
by Scottish Blossom  

... 2008/2/10 10:57
Western style bars? Japanese style "snack" bars? I don't think there are many Western style bars in Kyoto to start with. And I don't think you want to visit "snack" bars, do you?

Two women going to an izakaya (restaurant for drinking) or hotel bars/lounges would be no problem.
by Uji rate this post as useful

don't think good idea 2008/2/10 16:54
Hello. I'm a japanese. I've never been to bars only with female friends. I think bars are generally for men. I wonder how you can tell the bar is doggy or not.
by gabaine rate this post as useful

why not 2008/2/11 05:48
I think there is no problem. Women enjoy themselves as well in a Japanese bar (why not?). It is ridiculous that Izakaya (Japanese pubs/bar) are for men. The curtain you describe may be a noren, which is also used by any other shop such as a sushi bar or soba stand. If there are red lanterns, the shop is most likely an izakaya that UJI describes. I am a Japanese, too, by the way.
by just a stranger rate this post as useful

Izakaya 2008/2/11 06:49
Thank you for your comments. I think it is an Izakaya that I'm thinking of but the comments so far make me think that maybe this is something my mother and I will leave untried on our visit.
by scottish blossom rate this post as useful

izakaya 2008/2/17 13:18
You shouldn't have any concerns about visiting izakaya or western style bars in Japan. Women do it all of the time. If you see older men, that is only because it is a popular neighborhood destination. I see single women, small groups of young women, older men, at the local izakaya in my neighborhood all of the time.

If you are feeling adventurous, izakaya can be a source of unusual bar food, local culture, or friendly conversation and travel tips. If you don't like experience, you can walk out. Small bars can have certain negative connotations in some parts of the world, but that isn't the case in Japan.
by Inago rate this post as useful

Ask hotel for recommendations 2008/2/17 14:48
I'm unfamiliar with Kyoto, but I've been to bars alone or with no male accompanying in various places in Japan including Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya etc. No problem.

But I think that like in any country, there are places where most of the customers are males and there are places where most of the customers are youth or where most of the customers are elderly, and then there are always places where it's natural for women to enjoy alcohol without standing out. Here in Tokyo area, I've invited my mother and aunt to go to a cozy bar where my female friend works at. It was fun.

Why not ask your accomodation for recommendations. I'm sure there are nice taverns where they serve exquisit Kyoto dishes using their unique materials!
by Uco, Japanese female drinker rate this post as useful

^^ 2008/2/20 19:12
drinking with two women is completely fine! me and my friend (female) always hit the bars at night when we visit kyoto and have a great time. bars are deffinitely not a man thing and you should not feel that you need one there to go to one.
by mari rate this post as useful

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