Just south of the vibrant hub of Kashiwa City is a genuine Irish bar. Perhaps for the average visitor to Japan, an Irish pub may seem to be an anomaly amongst all the cherry blossoms, Edo Period architecture, and delicious Japanese cuisine. But the Irish pub is an institution in big urban centers in Japan. They’re places where you can relax, have a pint, and chat with local people, both resident foreigners, and Japanese.
Brennan’s Irish Bar is one of these unique centers of community and hospitality in Japan, but in the Irish idiom. Liam Brennan, the owner, opened his bar eight years ago and is the only Irish person running a bar or pub in Chiba Prefecture. Brennan’s has been consistently endorsed by Guinness for properly poured pints since he established his bar. Besides Guinness, various ciders, bourbon, and whisky are on the menu.
Occasionally, the bar hosts Irish music nights and other events. It’s a lovely out of the way place to savor a drink, chat with the neighbors in English and Jinglish - hybrid English and Japanese - and have a chinwag with the master in English, Japanese, and a smattering of Irish Gaelic.
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The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program took me to Ehime Prefecture in 1999, and Japan’s culture and beautiful places kept me here. You will see many of my stories on Japan Travel are about places and events outside of big tourist draws. While I highly recommend the big name sights and experiences, I encourage visitors to see and feel the atmosphere off the beaten path, too. I've lived in cities in the Tokatsu area of Chiba Prefecture (Noda, Nagareyama, Matsudo, Kashiwa, Abiko and others) for the last 15 years and have discovered the many cultural, culinary, and historical treasures here which I share with our readers.