Now that there’s no danger of police raiding clubs for the heinous crime of booty-shaking, it’s time to break out your best moves. Here’s where to hit the dancefloor in Kyoto.
World lives up to its name by a) being extremely big, and b) hosting DJs from across the planet. There's a focus on techno, house, and electronica, and since it's spread over two floors dance fans are likely to hear something they're into. Even if the music's not your thing, it's a great place for a drink at the weekend and a spot of serious people-watching.
Kyoto's club culture arguably began here in 1990, a Marutamachi venue with its adventurous ears wide open to all types of music. There are always international DJs on Metro's schedule, but you might also find hip indie bands or touring international rock bands gracing its stage. A 250-person capacity means it's a great spot for experiencing intimate performances.
Opened in 2015, the 800-capacity Kitsune Kyoto boasts a festival atmosphere, a top-notch sound system and dazzling lights, allowing guests to totally immerse in electronic dance music over its two themed floors, 'land' and 'sea'. The weekends often see appearances from big-name artists and celebrity DJs.
The Weller in question here is Paul Weller, the English singer-songwriter behind The Jam and The Style Council, as well as a long successful solo career. The so-called 'Modfather' of Britpop has apparently given his support to this atmospheric fan-bar, which, driven by a Wellerian spirit of adventure hosts a wide variety of events spanning many musical genres including new wave, soul and R&B, and Japanese rock. It's more a place for sitting back and relaxing than a place for dancing all night.
Beloved by Kyoto's music geeks and outlaw punks, this 100-person capacity underground spot hosts everything from hardcore bands to experimental DJs, and the kind of devoted performers you won't catch anywhere else. If you're looking to get stuck into Kyoto's wild and often magical local music scene, you should head here.
How's this for a distinctly Japanese twist on retro-chic? This geek-hip cafe is wildly obsessed with video games from the 1980s and 1990s, when Japanese companies such as Sega and Nintendo (the latter based here in Kyoto) experienced enormous worldwide success. Events here tend to be on the nerdy side, and even the music comes in 8-bits. With a 30-person capacity, it's tiny, but if you can squeeze in – and you remember how to do the Gou-Hadoken move in Street Fighter II – this bar, with its Nintendos and Super Nintendos, will make you roll and jump like Sonic the Hedgehog.