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Kyoto Gastropub Kiyamachi Golden Sakaba Celebrates Showa Nostalgia and Festival Fare

While Kyoto is known for offering very sophisticated, culturally refined dining experiences of the highest level, with price tags just as high to match them, you don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy tasty food and drinks, even in the entertainment district of Kiyamachi.

A favorite among locals and tourists alike, Kiyamachi Golden Sakaba is a must-to destination for the budget-conscious tourist as well as those who enjoy the warm, nostalgic mood of the Showa Era. However, while, Showa themed pubs and bars are becoming quite common in major cities of Japan, Kiyamachi Golden Sakaba distinguishes itself by also incorporating thematic elements and menu items transported from the food, toy and game stands that line the roads leading to temples during important festivals.

Kiyamachi Golden Sakaba owner "Doctor Hasegawa," a local celebrity and accomplished musician who got permission from the R&B Band Tower of Power's saxophonist Stephen 'Doc' Kupka to use the "Doctor" name when he visited him in the US 27 years ago, likes to stop by often and mingle with customers.

Grape Japan

Grape Japan

Slide open the door, step inside, and you'll immediately notice a giant koi on the wall, illustrated by a famous graffiti artist. As popular hits from the Showa Era play on the speakers, take a good look around and drink in the atmosphere.

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Colorful masks, the kind which you can buy at toy stands on festival days, line the ceiling on the entrance wall.

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The menu selections continue the matsuri theme, with favorites such as the grilled frankfurt cut to resemble baby octopuses. Usually only seen in kids' bento boxes or as festival fare, they're served with ketchup and mayo on the side. They're a steal at 200 yen a plate.

Grape Japan

Grape Japan

Skewers of grilled smelt or grilled chicken (neck meat) are popular and tasty choices. At only 100 yen a piece, you'll want to order several.

Grape Japan

Grape Japan

In addition to standard chu-hi (shochu cocktails) flavors like lemon, lime, grapefruit, pineapple, etc., they also have more unusual varieties like grape ice balls and matcha.

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The passage to the second floor lounge continues the matsuri theme with a staircase lined with banisters looking like they came from a shrine.

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The gold-toned lounge allows you to enjoy food and drinks in a more comfortable setting

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For more information on Kiyamachi Golden Sakaba, please check their website here.



Once you've tried Kiyamachi Golden Sakaba, you may also be interested in stopping by Doctor Hasegawa's older establishment, Pon!, a tiny hideaway, almost like a secret base, which you access from a low door in the style of a nijiriguchi, the entrance to a tea room for traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. It's just a few steps down the side alley adjacent to Kiyamachi Golden Sakaba, on the left side.

Grape Japan

Grape Japan

Very cozy, intimate, and nostalgic for the Showa Era, every single nook and cranny of the tiny establishment is filled with visual records of the Showa Era, sports and music memorabilia collected through the decades. The menu items are cheap and the selection is modest, but it's worth stopping by...

Grape Japan

Grape Japan


By - Ben K.

Source:
(C) Kiyamachi Golden Sakaba / (C) Pon!
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