Over the last year or so there have been quite a few posts on Tokyo Times documenting old bars and homes that have been closed, demolished or just left empty and bare. Scenes that rather starkly represent the cycle of life, but for every place that has disappeared, there’s another that battles on, and the fabulously rickety little Chinese restaurant below is one such example.
It’s genuinely like no other eatery I’ve been in. Nothing is flat or straight, and everything is patched up and falling apart. The food is also great and the mama-san lovely, meaning there’s nothing more that one could ask for. It has also stood there for 65 years, as the master took over from his grandfather. Understandably there isn’t a third generation waiting to step in, but with no talk of retirement just yet, it remains somewhere to go, eat and simply enjoy.
The lady is so beautiful!
Yes, she really is. Always lovely and friendly too.
Definitely one of your most characterful finds. It looks like an origami building that has begun to gradually fold itself back up.
I love the colourful design on the window beside the door, but inside that stack of newspapers is too close to that fire for my comfort!
Let’s hope the owners have the confidence to put up a 2023 calendar in a few weeks time.
Yeah, it really is special. That’s a great description of it too. Hadn’t thought about all those papers, but they have clearly been there a long while, so all good — hopefully.
Yes. Fingers crossed crossed, but very sure it will do.
Sometimes I wonder if one of the reasons they do not retire is because they want to keep socializing with people. Which is far from stupid at all since loneliness kill, litteraly.
Cheers. A really special and unique little place.
I’m sure that’s an element with many places. Also just the simple habit. It’s what they have always done. Likely always wanted to do too. So presumably hard for them to imagine not doing it.
Keeping the restaurant open allows them to engage with other people and feel useful in life. The financial aspect must be important, too.
I do wish they would remove those newspapers and clean the place up a bit. I would not find it appealing to eat there.
Yes, there’s definitely that aspect. Often wondered about the financial side too. If they own the building then it’s all money on top of their pensions. Dare say it’s the former that drives them more though.
I don’t mind at all about that kind of stuff to be honest. Find it fascinating. The main thing is the food is fresh, and in these little places it always is.
John Van Hecke says
I haven’t been to Japan. But I get the impression (from your photos as well as other places) that old school Japan is at peace with a degree of discomfort. Heaters that don’t quite heat completely, bare and worn surfaces, a patina of grease in the restaurants etc. And maybe even some of it in the new school Japan: kids as janitors. (Wildly contradicted by high tech toilet seats and other meticulous, painstaking efforts to accommodate creature comfort). Yet these patches of (or foundation of?) worldly stoicism makes me impressed with the Japanese people truth be told.
That’s a very good point. Hadn’t really thought about it that way. One of the many contradictions of Japan. The population in general like to boast about how convenient everything is here. And that’s true in many instances. But like you said, it’s also quite the opposite in many other situations.