Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Finding Paradise in Umeda

For those looking for “Paradise” amongst the Mecca of Osaka this has to be on the “must visit” list of priorities. One of the very few jewels in the city, this bar is very much on the pulse, rare Scotch whiskies are dominant at this very homely bar, however, there is a very decent and carefully selected array of Japanese whiskies to get excited about, arguably many of which you will not find any where else. Bar Paradis; French for “Paradise”, basically started from the owner’s extensive personal collection. The owner, which is always casually dressed, started this hobby like bar with an extensive range of whiskies. These accumulated gems built a reputation and loyal fans in search of something different.

“The master” at Bar Paradis lives and breathes whisky, a walking encyclopedia if you like, which is the way it should be. Throw a Scotch or Japanese whisky related question at him and it will be promptly answered. Perhaps one of the most appealing aspects about this place, besides the mouthwatering Japanese expressions, is the owner is basically a guy who shares the same passion as his customers. This is also visually evident with bottles and books displayed throughout the bar.

Bar Paradis is small so it may pay for anyone wishing to visit to arrive early and secure a seat at the casual and homely bar, which is cluttered, but in a very welcoming way, with all sorts of bottles. Half shots are quite acceptable, be sure to ask, for some of the hardcore whiskies, given some of the prices, a half shot is visible. However, if funds are endless, as they say, “the world is your oyster”. This is definitely a place for the novice or expert. There is no bar snobbery here. This is the first bar introduction at Whiskies R Us for 2013, one that you will not find any in book, for now, and one which I highly recommend. When funds are available I will be making this place a regular stop off.

Taiyo Bldg. Nishigawa 2F
Sonezaki 2-1-6, Kita-ku, Osaka

Phone: 06-6362-0203
Open: 6:30pm ~ past midnight
Closed: every third Sun/Mon

(8 min walk from JR Umeda station / 3 min walk from Dai 3 building Umeda)


  1. I agree, Clint, there is a seemingly small selection of Japanese whiskies but with some hidden gems. A small, delightfully cluttered place that I would love to revisit!

    1. Yeah, it's not too bad I guess. There are at least 5 Karuizawa expressions, a few assorted owners casks including the 86 Mizunara, the lovely Mars and Kirin single casks, plus an assortment of old distillery OBs from various distilleries. On the day of consuming these beauties there was the arrival of the three SMWS Nikka expressions. I think the positive thing about this place is he always tops up the Japanese selection, so although small for now, we can hope to see the selection increase in the future. I'm confident by the next time drams are consumed there a bigger selection will be available.

  2. Mmm,
    a small but cracking offering. Might head there in April.

    1. I kind of like the selection, sometimes, and only sometimes when there are more expressions in a bar than a bottle shop it can be too overwhelming. This place at least you can sample your best six, go back another time and sample another six, then wait a few months to other bottlings arrive. I forgot to mention there are some great Hanyu's here also.

    2. I would recommend that you go and have a look, Brian. The place is small but very cozy, the selection of Japanese whisky might be bigger at other places but what is there is superb, plus you'd get the master who just knows about everything about whisky. I definitely plan to visit again.

  3. What an absolute delight it was to visit here last night! Homely, welcoming and clearly passionate about all things whisky; the bar owner speaks limited English but it is more than enough to pass on his recommendations and they are all stunners, particularly the dusty OBs. I only wish I could have spoken more Japanese to properly convey my esteem for such a well curated collection.

    Many thanks for pointing out this hidden gem!

    1. Great to hear about your experience, Johanna. The thing that many patrons do not realize is that the owner has many more OB's out the back and below the bar that you cannot see unless you ask for. If you are wanting something in particular but cannot see it, just ask, and he will start pulling out bottles from everywhere and anywhere. Glad you like the place. Out of curiosity what did you drink?