By JJ Walsh
Celtic is a great little pub nestled on a quiet corner opposite a park, only a few minutes walk from the main Aioi-dori intersection in the shopping and drinking district of Hiroshima city center, it is run by a Japanese fan of good scottish whiskey, ale and pub grub.
I have been to Celtic many times and it has a different feel from the other popular Irish-British pub in Hiroshima city, Molly Malone's, this is not a sports bar- there are no big screen tvs here. It is similar to its Irish brother in some ways, Celtic sometimes has live music on offer and has great pub food, a good selection of beer and ale on draft as well as many imported bottles available. On most days, however, Celtic is a quieter pub.
Celtic is a good choice as a single, couple or for a small group. I'd call ahead if you have a group larger than 8 to make sure there is a table available or at least standing room. I've been here for a drink on my own and enjoyed the quiet and warmth of the sun while sat on the front porch overlooking the park. I've also had a great time here with a close friend on a busy night and we ate our delicious fish and chips and appetizers while enjoying a few great beers stood around a barrel table. On yet another occasion, we had a great night here for a group dinner of 15- we took over the whole front section for a couple of hours and enjoyed an all-you-can eat and drink plan for ¥5,000 yen per person. It was great value and all the foods tasted great. I always enjoy the imported brews and had a wonderful organic, Scottish Amber Black Isle ale on my last visit.
The owner has decorated the place with some of his favorites from his travels to Scotland. I love the colored shadows that fall on the wooden furniture late in the day, or from the street lamps at night from the stained glass windows. I'm not a whiskey drinker myself, but I have heard that the Celtic owner has quite a nice selection on offer. If you are staying in Hiroshima for a while, I can imagine making this place a regular stop in your day to unwind, have a chat and recap your day with a friend.
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I've been living in Hiroshima since the mid 90's & still discovering new things to enjoy. I'm a big fan of both the old "wabi sabi" as well as modern and new designs, Japan offers both of these type of places to explore and enjoy. Even after many years here, I am still discovering surprising, fantastic and wacky things about this strange and wonderful land. I hope you enjoy your adventures around Japan- feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about traveling with kids, vegetarian dining or anything specific to Hiroshima.