Whether you’ve already started your first week at Kansai Gaidai or you’re about to, there’s no doubt you will receive a lecture and warning about the infamous Beer Park. Located centrally between all the seminar houses and behind the Hirakata Library, every year the Beer Park attracts the seminar house students in the masses. I must admit, many, if not most of my friendships at Kansai Gaidai were started over a beer here.
Due to its prime location and convenient “amenities”, the Beer Park no doubt quickly becomes a popular social hub. What could be better than a beer vending machine and a liquor store in walking distance, right? However, while it may be a great place to meet up with your friends from the other dorms for a casual drink, it’s important to remember that you are not the only ones living in the area.
The Beer Park is surrounded on nearly all sides by residents of Hirakata, and if you’ve ever spent a winter in Japan, you’ll know just how paper thin their walls are. I have to admit, I’ve personally spent many evenings hanging out in the Beer Park, whether it be just myself and a couple of friends, or often a group of 10 or more. Either way, one thing I noticed irregardless of how many people there are, North Americans are loud when we start drinking. We may not notice it as we’re having a good time, conversating with friends, but between the alcohol and being outside, the level of our voices tend to quadruple. This creates two problems you will frequently encountered:
- A visit from the Keisatsu (Japanese Police). While they’re normally polite and understanding, they will kick out of the park if you’re too loud, or even if you’re congregating in too large of groups. Remember, you’re a guest in Japan and here on a temporary student visa. You don’t want to jeopardize this.
- And then there’s the frequent mandatory lectures from the Dean on Campus. You will be chastised for consistent loud behavior reports from the locals. These meetings are made mandatory for all students, as such, you will be scolded by the non-beer park goers. Nobody wants to spend their evenings on campus getting lectured.
- The liquor store tends to close around 9:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. unless their hours have changed. So grab your specialty booze early if you prefer something other than beer, chuu-hai, or sake.
- The liquor vending machine shuts down about 12:15 a.m. so make sure you buy your nights worth before then.
- You need a TASPO card to purchase cigarettes from vending machines in Japan. If you need smokes, buy them from the liquor store before it closes, or may have to walk to the nearest Konbini.
- My advice is, keep your gatherings small (or at least spread out) and relatively quiet and you won’t have any trouble. For some of you, this will become a regular nightly hangout, it’s a great place, let’s keep it that way!
This is the liquor store and infamous beer vending machine. Located directly in front of the Beer Park and just around the corner from Seminar House 1. There are plenty of trash/recycle bins around so there’s no excuse for not cleaning up after yourselves.
There’s a few other hidden spots close to the Beer Park I can recommend, message me if you’d like to know. Contact Here