- 3 min read

Hand Craft & Bottle Cafe YES。

A unique and well hidden bar in Onomichi

After asking for some recommendations for places to eat at my hostel, one of the first thing I was told is that as it is Monday, I should go to the bottle cafe at 9. And from experience of great success after following such recommendations, I was set to stop by.

First of all, the bar is only open three days a week, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and it open at 9pm. With a map in hand, I first scouted the area, I found the building right next to the entrance of the shopping arcade. On the door, you will see the name of the place, that is located on the third floor as well as name of the cafe that occupy the second floor. However, on the outside, the only signs visible are the one for the cafe, well, appart from a postcard sized note written in Japanese that explain the opening hours. When I passed after dinner, the shutter was closed as none of the stores are open.

I went back around 9pm, and the shutter was half open and I also saw some movement by the window. I thought that they were likely setting up to open. When I returned 20 minutes later, the shutter was open and different signs were out in front of the store. No mistake, they should be open.

I open the door and climb the stairs to the second floor and I get in the cafe that is close at this time and that is suspiciously dark… wait, did I make a mistake? I have to make sure so I get deeper inside, climb a couple of stairs and notice a door with the name of the bottle shop. I open the door to find a steep set of stairs to the third floor, where I am welcomed by the owner in the dimly lit room.

Don’t wait for a menu, there is none. The menu is a shelf of beer bottles with price tags Fromm 500 to 1000¥, all imported beers, the owner helped by using a small flashlight to make it easier to see, yes, as I said, it is dimly lit. Other than beer, they have a selection of soda, most of them also imported, cup sake, cup umeshu and they had a bottle of hot wine too.

When I got there, there was already another customer, a fellow Canadian who previously worked in Onomichi and who knew the owner, who seems to understand English well enough.

The inside of the bar was completely decorated and renovated by the owner. The mood is perfect to relax, sitting on one of the few chairs or in the hammock or you can get your drink to the fourth floor, that is as dark and intimate and accessed by a staircase as steep as it can be.

While I did not take pictures of the inside, you will have to trust me on it, this will for sure be unlike the common bar you are used to.

Getting there

The first building on the left of the shopping arcade, the door is next to the stairs to the ramp to cross the street.

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