Step into the Inch Bar and welcome to my house! (Photo: Tad Ichimiya)

Inch Bar & Conversation Cafe

Serving up a jumbo-sized slice of home!

Step into the Inch Bar and welcome to my house! (Photo: Tad Ichimiya)
Tad Ichimiya   - 3 min read

A relative newcomer to the Osaka scene, the Inch Bar first opened its doors in April of 2012. Since that time the bar has developed a very unique niche for itself, including the emergence of an international language learning community, and the opening upstairs of a cozy lounge facility. This side of the bar is known as Smart Eikaiwa, an English conversation cafe. "Step into the Inch Bar and welcome to my house", James our host says, by way of describing the concept. He continues to explain that very few folks here in Japan entertain in their own homes. Dinner parties, for example, are virtually non-existent. It's this reality that generates inspiration for the Inch Bar's direction, and its homeliness. “Mi casa, su casa!”

Do not expect the razzle dazzle and the plastic feel of your regular downtown pub: spit shined mirrors, rows and rows of exotic top shelf liqueurs, and service that's delivered with a polite yet perfunctory smile. By comparison, the atmosphere here is premised on good old-fashioned warmth, and a generous dose of the 'do-it-yourself'. You may even find the odd smattering of dust here and there.

Arriving at the Inch Bar the first thing to catch the eye is a BBQ corner quietly nestled by the shop’s entrance. New Zealander James, a self-confessed barbecue junkie, firmly rates this as a main feature of the bar. “Grilling on the weekend and a few beers is quintessential New Zealand life”, he believes. Guests can BYO whatever takes their fancy and, just like the BBQ at home, cooking is done on a ‘self grill’ basis. There is a 1000 yen charge per person and this covers one drink, assorted condiments, and other sundry items such as paper plates, napkins and chopsticks. Drinks are available at the bar from 500 yen, typically wine by the glass and bottled beer. The house red - a tasty Chilean - is a particular favourite. Mixed drinks, shots and cocktails are generally subject to availability. James makes a special point to emphasize that discounts and other specials are available to members of the SMART Community. Punters are encouraged to check the following link to best keep ahead of the BBQ schedule, as well as other seasonal shindigs and food-oriented events:

Expatriates with a hankering for home cooked tucker will also brighten upon hearing that roast dinners are another Inch Bar specialty. This little feast begins with a lovingly hand crafted soup, and a main course follows with any one of chicken, pork, beef or lamb. Beautifully roasted meat comes with fluffy mashed spud - real potatoes, not instant - mixed vegetables and, according to many, “bloody good gravy!” Roast dinners are priced from 1500 yen per person and are strictly catered based on an advanced booking.

As the Inch Bar does not open every day and business hours can vary, guests are reminded it’s essential to call ahead a day or two to ensure your needs are fully met. Tasty bar snacks and tapas can also be prepared if lighter dining is a preference. James can be contacted anytime on 080-4025-4287, English or Japanese.

Getting there

The Inch Bar is conveniently located just three minutes walk from JR Shigino - Gakkentoshi line - or Subway Shigino on the Imazato line.

Tad Ichimiya

Tad Ichimiya @tadaaki.ichimiya

I was astounded at the number of Japan-loving foreign tourists that visit Japan each year. I have made friends with many foreign travel writers that have contributed articles for JapanTravel. I find working with JapanTravel most rewarding as I can help travellers see a different Japan outside the...