This perhaps was the highlight of the Kyoto trip. This bar was nothing short of amazing. We went in thinking that we’ll just have a couple of drinks, but ended up staying till closing (after five or so hours). We made new friends, and kept trying different drinks till the owner/master was tired around 2am. We had to walk 25 minutes back to hotel since all the public transportation was closed.
Entrance of the place. It’s somewhat hidden in a narrow alley.
The bar was tiny. You can maybe fit like 10 people max, and there were only like four stools, and maybe six places to sit in total. Even then, it was packed. People were standing for hours to hang around here.
It was cozy, and the decorations were consist of melt candles, notes from all the past visitors praising the place, and empty gin bottles among other things. Really gave a nice forest-y vibes.
Every drink in the menu was unique, and had different presentations. Look at this beautiful Botanical Garden below.
After having a couple of drinks, we wanted to try different ones on the menu. Aaaand see the result below. We were not let down.
Black shrimp cracker on top of black gin drink in the middle photo. Top of the middle right drink was covered by the real soil. Bottom right comes with roasted shiitake mushroom. Middle left show a part of the concoction process, the master burned 1500 year old incense to gather the smoke inside the glass then poured the cocktail into it.
They were all crafted to perfection and they were all tasty (except one, not in the photo. It was yogurt based. It wasn’t bad… but I wouldn’t order it again lol).
Towards the end of the night, we made new friends, one from Portland, and the other from Seoul. We talked for a while, got to know each other, and got to know the master. He’s a very down-to-earth, genuine guy, and told us about how he opened this bar.
While at it, he made the cleanest gin & tonic for me. He showed me my new favorite gin, made from a local Kyoto distillery, called Tatsumi Distillery.
Interesting thing about this bar is that there is no price tag on any drinks. You decide the price and pay what you want. But once you fully experience the bar, you just can’t put a low price tag on it. Also, it’d be best to bring just a friend or two. More than that would crowd the place and I feel like it’d be hard to have a group conversation given the structure of the bar.
All in all, We had an absolutely amazing experience here, and I would definitely visit again in the future.
nokishita711 Gin and cocktail lab
Shimogyō-ku-235 Sendōchō, Shimogyō-ku, Kyoto, 600-8019, Japan