The spirit of the 90s is alive in Kyoto

A-Bar 90s themed izakaya in Kyoto, Japan
Would you believe that this glorious hippie-fied cabin of a bar is housed on the second story of a non-descript building in a dense Kyoto neighborhood? Billed by Lonely Planet as a “raucous student izakaya”, we showed up a A-Bar early in the evening and had the place to ourselves. No partying with locals this time around, but I reveled in the fun atmosphere and cheap-for-Japan prices nonetheless.
 The little gem of a novelty bar is unique, but themed bars in general are all over the place in Japan (booze, campiness, amazing food—Japan’s historic temples and gorgeous landscapes are really just icing on the cake).
A-Bar 90s themed izakaya in Kyoto, Japan
A-Bar 90s themed izakaya in Kyoto, Japan
A-Bar 90s themed izakaya in Kyoto, Japan
The food was good, nothing amazing, but cheap enough that a night out won’t put the normal Japan-size hole in your pocket. 
A-Bar 90s themed izakaya in Kyoto, Japan
I had to try some of the sweet potato shochu liquor I’d heard about. It has a sweeter, almost fruity aroma….but still tasted like most other clear liquors to me. Which is to say, it was in urgent need of some lime juice and simple syrup.
A-Bar 90s themed izakaya in Kyoto, Japan
A-Bar 90s themed izakaya in Kyoto, Japan
In case you can’t can’t read the signage, it’s on the menu as well. I love the “thank you” at the end.
A-Bar 90s themed izakaya in Kyoto, Japan
A-Bar 90s themed izakaya in Kyoto, Japan
Nearly every surface is graffiti-ed or stickered, and it’s apparent that the bar gets its share of tourists.
A-Bar 90s themed izakaya in Kyoto, Japan
A-Bar 90s themed izakaya in Kyoto, Japan
If you don’t think about what the blankets have seen, this bench looks like a nice place to stretch out after over-indulging. Think they’d put on some Jane’s Addiction for me? 
A-Bar 90s themed izakaya in Kyoto, Japan