Old Rock in Matsumoto, Nagano

Old Rock The Bottom Line

If you’ve been to a British or Irish pub in Japan, then you’ve been to them all – Old Rock is no exception. It offers up that “traditional” pub experience of being in Britain or in Ireland – and a similar pub grub lineup too. Old Rock isn’t a bad place to sit and drink though that’s mainly because most of Matsumoto seems to close down early for the evenings. There is no table charge but you do have to pay tax at Old Rock but people who don’t speak or read Japanese may have troubles ordering – as noticed by a few other people in the bar when I was there. There was also a segregated smoking section too in the bar, but I didn’t notice it until the end.

Old Rock Inside

Old Rock The Full Review

The second of two bars on our trip to Matsumoto was not meant to be Old Rock. However, due to timing issues – Monday is not a good time for drinking craft beer in Matsumoto – there weren’t many other choices as Bacca Brewing and Hop Frog Cafe were closed. Old Rock has been around in Matsumoto since 2003, making it one of the oldest bars in the area apparently, though with the smaller bars and izakayas in the area, I’m sure there is something older. Old Rock has a British / Irish pub theme – not really surprising to find a pub like this in a major tourist area in Japan. I wonder if there is a city in Japan that DOESN’T have pub like this?

Old Rock is located about a 10 minute walk from Matsumoto station, and it’s on one of Matsumoto’s busiest roads that runs up to Matsumoto Castle. I’d like to say walking inside reminded me of a British pub but then seeing as how much British pubs have changed over the last 15 years, then it’s more like walking into an idea of a what a British pub should look like. There is space for about 60 people inside, either seated around the various benches and tables around the bar, and also some standing areas too. For a British pub, there was a distinct lack of standing space at the bar – the traditional place where you should be in a pub to chat. The main area of the bar is non-smoking, though there is a small smoking section at the back that I only noticed when I left. There was no table charge either at Old Rock.

Old Rock has about 5 taps of beer on, with two of those dedicated to craft beer and the rest beers from the UK or some Japanese macro beers. There is always a tap dedicated to Matsumoto Brewery’s lineup with the other tap being from a different Japanese craft beer brewery. Beers come in three sizes: half UK pint (283ml) for ¥650, US pint (473ml) for ¥930, and UK pint (568ml) for ¥1,150. None of the prices include tax, so make sure you add that on. Moreover, there was no happy hour nor any beer flights.

Old Rock Food 1

The food menu is based around typical British pub grub so expect fish and chips, scotch eggs, chips, and other things in between.

Old Rock Details

Open: Weekday 17:00 – 24:00 (L.O Food 22:30 Drink 23:25) Saturday & Before Holiday 12:00 – 24:00 (L.O Food 22:50 Drink 23:25 Sunday & Holiday 12:00 – 23:00 (L.O Food 21:50 Drink 22:25)

Happy Hour: None

Phone: 0263-38-0069

Homepage (in Japanese): http://pub-oldrock.com/

SNS: Facebook / Twitter

How to Get to Old Rock

The closest station to Old Rock is Matsumoto station on the Shinonoi Line, Ōito Line, Chūō Main Line and Kamikōchi Line operated by Alpico Kōtsū. The bar is about a ten minute walk from the station.

About the Author

Rob

Been drinking beer since longer than I can remember. You can find me in a bar, on the slopes, or doing DIY. I enjoy porters, imperial porters, golden ales, and amber / viennas.

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