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Updated: Apr 21, 2023


Originally written for the Kitakami Times (additional information added)

Renowned artists from around the globe including Count Basie, Elvin Jones and Hank Jones have visited BASIE, one of Japan’s most famous jazz bars. Sadao Watanabe* also performs here frequently. The sound systems are next level with higher ups at JBL traveling over to personally check the sound systems. Basie isn’t limited to jazz buffs or musicians. If you are like me and have no idea about jazz, you can still enjoy the atmosphere and appreciate the music. It is also a popular tourist spot – perfect for when your legs are tired and you want to chill and enjoy a coffee or alcoholic beverage.

One thing I would like to mention though is that if you go with a group of friends, you may find it difficult to talk to each other here as it is a space to appreciate music. Such care has been taken to install the best sounds available and a lifelong effort has been made to acquire an extensive jazz collection. As a general guideline, you should treat the music as if it were a live performance.

This is a picture of the outside of the bar, I will not show you a picture of the inside just because I would love for you to come and experience the place first hand without any preconceived images. Feel the atmosphere – immerse yourself in the highest quality sounds, smell the coffee roast, and be transported to a difference space.


BASIE is currently closed, and there is no word of when it will reopen.

Address: 岩手県一関市地主町7-17 Hours: Closed on Wednesday Phone number: 0191-23-7331 Coffee¥800 Student discount ¥200 


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