Wind round the narrow backstreets where small eateries and drinking holes (izakaya) pop up now and then for the real dining experience. If you don't want to get lost in the backstreets, try the izakayas in the few buildings around the Hotel Econo (about 3 minutes walk from the JR station).
There one's across the junction from the hotel where there's an izakaya on the 4th level. Get close with Japanese office crowds having the time of their life after work.
Don't need to know Japanese - just point at the picture menu.
Dress Code: Office wear (haha) - anything goes but definitely not clubbing wear (you'd stand out immediately)
Generally a male environment, ladies get a few curious stares initially.
Hands down, the best bar in Katamachi is the vibrant Viva Antipolo. The bar is run by Mama Red who is chipper, attentive and able to cook up a mean plate of Philippine food. Mama Red also provides karaoke, if you so desire. A word of caution though, the place is only as fun as you make it. I have rarely seen many other people coming in, which means you should try to go with some people or it might just be you in the bar alone. However, late late at night there are plenty of good looking Philippine girls that frequent the place also.
Best part is, she’ll stay open all night, so drop on by.
Mama Red can speak English and all menus are in English as well.
Walk 2 blocks south from the scramble. At each block you’ll see a convenience store on the left. Make a left at the second block/convenience store. Follow the short road to the end. Make a right. Viva Antipolo is the left side 5th floor. You’ll see a sign listing all the bars outside the building.
Dress Code: none
This is a quiet little place in the heart of Katamachi. I wouldn’t really go out of your way to make it here, but I know the owner so I like to drop by now and again. There is a cover on the door, which is pointless and annoying. Expect to pay at least 1000 yen for just walking into the joint. They will charge you at the end. Like I said, its kind of annoying. It does have a nice staff and is very laid back with great mood lighting though.
No English here.
Dress Code: None
The Katamachi district in Kanazawa is the place to go for fun. The district is filled with scores of bars, hostess clubs, pachinko, karaoke and places to eat. It’s about a 20 minute walk from the train station, near the Sai-gawa river. Its pretty easy to get to. There is even a loop bus from the station that will take you there for 200yen.
As well, if you’re looking for adult entertainment this is the place to head. There are some very worn out looking hookers that hang out near the scramble. There are plenty of Russian hostess around as well.
Dress Code: none
There is a small street of bars behind the Katamachi district. It’s a little hard to find, but if you walk behind Korinbo you’ll find it. It’s not really part of Katamachi though. The bars in this alley are all tiny but quite interesting. I can’t promise you won’t get ripped off here (these areas sometimes have a bad reputation however I have heard nothing bad about this area), so you should ask for the prices of everything before you order or go with some Japanese.
If you’re looking for foreigners, easy Japanese girls, a large selection of beer, decent western food or a bar that is bigger than your closest, than head on over to Apres. It is a western bar, end of story. Staff speaks English and there are English menus. Expect loud music, pool, darts and half a dozen TVs. They use to have free internet and free karaoke on the 2nd floor, but that's gone the way of the Dodo. There’s now a Thai restaurant on the 2nd floor which is overseen by a Thai chef. Unfortunately this planning decision has killed some of the charm the bar use to have. Its still a spacious place to hang out though. Beer prices are average for Japan. Expect to pay about 500 yen per bottle.
Dress Code: none