Hikone Bar-Hopping Drink Tickets

Hikone Bar-Hopping Drink Tickets

Experience the real nightlife of Castle Town of Hikone that you can't find in big cities

place Area: Hikone access_time Published: 2021.03.25

The Charming Castle Town of Hikone

Located in an abundant natural environment near the center of Japan’s main island, Hikone has thrived as a junction point of historic routes such as the Nakasendo, connecting east and west Japan. The area’s geographic advantage led to its position as a major historic center of Japan, where many battles were fought between famous warlords of the Warring States period (late 15th to late 16th c.), as evidenced by the many castle ruins that still remain.

During the Edo period (early 17th to late 19th c.), the area was controlled by the Hikone Domain, which grew to be a major domain of Japan. Its center of governance, Hikone Castle, was built and preserved by the Ii clan, who served an important role for the Edo government. The castle still stands today, as a National Treasure and iconic reminder of feudal order in the samurai era.

The rich legacy can also be felt in the traditional townscape surrounding the castle, occupied by the well-preserved former residences of merchant and military families. Walking through the historic artisans’ district of butsudan Buddhist altars, or enjoying delicious Omi Beef, which has deep ties with the Ii family, you can experience the true charm of this historic castle town.

Fukuromachi and Japan’s“ Snakku” (Snack Bar) Culture

Fukuromachi is a district around the Hikone’s Kawara area, which includes about 100 snack bars, hostess bars, and izakaya restaurants. These are all clustered in fukuro-koji (lit. “blind alleys”), which is how the area became known as Fukuromachi.

In the past, Fukuromachi was actually a red-light district, with brothels occupying much of the district, reaching a peak of 69 such establishments in 1929. But those businesses were ordered to shut down in 1958, and so the area began a transformation into the Fukuromachi of today. The new district thrived, becoming the largest nightlife district of Shiga’s Koto region (east side of Lake Biwa). Walking through the alleys, some of the buildings still retain elements of the former district such as bengara-goshi (red lattice), offering a glimpse into the past.

Fukuromachi now offers a variety of places to gather and socialize, from traditional snack bars to more casual, modern ones. Yet, the snack bar remains a popular favorite. Snack bars are believed to have originated at the time of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964. They began as late-night restaurants, serving light meals (snacks) in addition to alcohol. Normally the snack bar customers sit at the counter, and are served by a barkeep called either mama (female) or master (male). Typically, each bar has their own pricing system, including things like a “table charge” that includes small snacks and drinks, “bottle-keep” service allowing customers to purchase a private bottle that is kept for return visits, unlimited drinks for a set period of time, and so on. With many bars to choose from, you’re sure to find whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s a quiet place to unwind, a chance to enjoy mama’s cooking, or a night to show off your talent with karaoke!

Backround Info and Interiews with mamas and masters

Get to know the local “mamas” and “masters” of the Fukuromachi nightlife district! They love people, Fukuromachi, and Hikone and are also great listeners, so don’t hesitate to engage them in some friendly conversation! We’re sure you’ll have a fabulous time here.

How do Bar-Hopping Drink Tickets work?

Since each bar has their own pricing system, which can be confusing for first-time visitors, we are offering easy-to-use tickets for your convenience to try some of the local bars and restaurants and enjoy a special night out in Hikone. After purchasing ticket online, visit any of the participating bars and restaurants locations with the ticket.

Ticket Details

Choose from 3 ticket types depending on how many bars you plan to visit: 1) 2 bars, 2) 3 bars, 3) 1 restaurant & 2 bars. Tickets are only available online. Choose your ticket type and then visit the page down below to purchase.

Participating Bars and Restaurants

  • Business hours or schedules may change due to pandemic conditions.
  • Most snack bars don’t accept credit cards. Please keep cash with you in case you should order extra.

Bars

Japanese Snack Setsuko

Business hours: 19:30 - 1:00
No. of Seats: 9
Regular holiday: Sundays & Holidays (open by reservation)

Tavern Takazono

Business hours: 21:00 - 1:00
No. of Seats: 8
Regular holiday: Sundays & Holidays

Snack Logan

Business hours: 20:00 - 1:00
No. of Seats: 20
Regular holiday: Sundays

Café & Bar Uruwashi

Business hours: 19:00 - 24:00
No. of Seats: 40
Regular holiday: Sundays & Holidays

Leader’s Bar

Business hours: 20:00 - 4:00
No. of Seats: 34
Regular holiday: Sundays

Snack & Bar Luna

Business hours: 19:00 - 2:00
No. of Seats: 10 counter seats / 20 booth seats / 40 karaoke room seats
Regular holiday: Sundays (& occasionally for holidays, obon and New Years)

Izakaya En

Business hours: 19:00 - 24 (Mon / Wed / Thu) / 19:00 - 2:00 (Fri & Sat)
No. of Seats: 15
Regular holiday: Sun, Mon & Holidays

Snack Saint Laurent

Business hours: 20:30 - 1:00
No. of Seats: 15
Regular holiday: Sundays & Holidays

Eat Pub Matenro

Business hours: 20:30 - Late
No. of Seats: 24
Regular holiday: Sundays & Holidays

Ripea

Business hours: 20:00 - 1:00
No. of Seats: 18
Regular holiday: Sundays & Holidays

Snack Sir. Windsor

Business hours: 19:30 - 1:00
No. of Seats: 25
Regular holiday: Sundays & Holidays

Snack Sakuranbo

Business hours: 20:00 - Late
No. of Seats: 24
Regular holiday: Sundays & Holidays

Restaurants

Suicho

Business hours: 18:00 - 1:00
No. of Seats: 7
Regular holiday: Sundays & Holidays

Sushimatsu

Business hours: 18:00 - 24:00
No. of Seats: 8 counter seats / 25 seats in private rooms
Regular holiday: Sundays (& occasionally for holidays, obon and New Years)

Iseiku

Business hours: 11:00 - 14:00 / 16:00 - 20:00
No. of Seats: 6 private rooms / 10 counter seats
Regular holiday: Irregular

Tsurukian

Business hours: 11:30 - 15:30 / 17:00 - 20:00
No. of Seats: 60 seats total (tables / private rooms)
Regular holiday: Wed (irregular in spring & autumn seasons)

Hokkoriya

Business hours: 11:30 - 14:30 / 17:30 - 22:30 (last order 22:00)
No. of Seats: 1st floor: 40 seats total (table / counter) / 2nd floor: 20 seats total (tatami style, chairs also available)
Regular holiday: Wed (irregular in spring & autumn seasons)

Ginsui

Business hours: 11:30 - 14:00 / 16:30 - 23:00
No. of Seats: 100
Regular holiday: Irregular

Sennaritei Kyara

Business hours: 11:30 - 15:00 pm (last order 14:30) / 17:00 - 22:00 pm (last order 20:30)
No. of Seats: 80
Regular holiday: Tuesdays

Sennaritei Hanami

Business hours: 11:30 - 14:30 / 17:00 - 22:00 pm (last order 20:30)
No. of Seats: 5 private rooms (each seating 4) / 1 private room (seats 6) / 2 private rooms (each seating 12)
Regular holiday: Wednesdays