"A" Bar, Kyoto
"A Bar" is a small bar in an area that has become a sea of bars. What makes it special, though, is the large tables invite everyone to sit and eat/drink together. Eventually you will find yourself in conversation with people from all over. The bar is really big with expats living in the area as well as locals who pop in for a cheap bite and beer.
Yes, you couldn't find a more generic name. But, A bar is really a great place to relax. The walls are made of shiny logs covered in layers and layers of Japanese and English grafitti, and the tables are huge and wooden as well. The customers are about as diverse as the city gets--- salarymen on their way home, college students, foreigners, guys in ripped jeans and afros.... The unique thing about this bar is that you are given a seat at the large tables as you come in, so you end up surrounded by (if it's a crowded night, almost pressed up against) anyone who happens to be around. It's interesting, and it sometimes makes for fun conversation (although if you are just looking to talk to the people you came in with, that's alright too). I recommend this place to anyone who visits Kyoto, especially if you're looking to chat with new people. The drinks are relatively cheap (cocktails I think are 550 yen).
A Bar is... A bar! It's one of the many hole-in-the-wall bars around the Gion area and it's popular among foreigners for some reason. There are a fair amount of drinking options and the menu is in both English and Japanese. Like many of the bars in the area, it is not very large and as more people enter, they are seated wherever there is room, so you will likely end up with people you don't know along with whoever you came with. The atmosphere is interesting, as the walls are decorated with random posters and drawings tacked about along with menu items and prices.
Most drinks are 580 yen apiece.
One of the hot spots. Never qiet and never lonely.
You find the good places in the most unlikely spots.
Just up the stairs and to the end of the hall.