As you probably know, we’re big fans of Japanese convenience stores. Where else can you pick up cherry blossom cakes, eat chicken nuggets so good they’ve been approved as space food, and print your photos out as postcards?
Now, there’s another special experience we can enjoy at the convenience store — drinking alcohol at a bar.
Our Kansai-based reporter K Masami recently heard that convenience store giant FamilyMart now had a bar inside their Kyoto Station branch, so she immediately hotfooted it down there to see what it was like. Online buzz described it as a fashionable space, and totally unlike anything you’d expect to see at a convenience store, and when she arrived she saw the murmurs were right.
▼ Through the windows at the left of the entrance she could see the lights of the bar beckoning customers to imbibe.
Unlike a lot of bars in Japan, this one had no cover charge to get in, so Masami stepped inside the familiar-looking FamilyMart, and followed the sign to the “Bar Liquor Museum“.
That’s when Masami realised we’d enjoyed a tipple from the Kyoto-based “Bar Liquor Museum” before, when it appeared as a pop-up bar inside the Poplar convenience store in Hakata, Fukuoka Prefecture, last year.
However, this is the first time for the Kyoto-based business to actually open a convenience store bar in its home city of Kyoto, and here it’s a more permanent operation, with beautiful dark wood interiors and dim lighting making it seem a world away from the bright white lights of the FamilyMart it’s housed in.