Opening the door and stepping inside an old, unknown Tokyo bar is always done with at least a touch of trepidation. Will it be good? What will it look like? And perhaps most worrying of all, will we be even welcome?
Thankfully this place ticked all the boxes and then some. A wonderfully dated establishment with bags of character and an owner so friendly it immediately felt like we’d been going there for years.
Although nowhere near as many years as it’s been open, which is a very impressive 50 and counting. Even more impressive, however, is that the jovial fella in charge is the establishment’s one sole proprietor. A man now into his 71st year, but in possession of such energy and enthusiasm that it’s still possible to picture the young buck who started the business all those years ago.
Looks like a great place Lee. Although it seems a little cleaner than most of the places you visit 🙂
Haha, that’s very true! There were a few old, peeling photos on the wall, but yeah, surprisingly clean.
Was a great place. Never received such a want welcome before. A welcome that even went as far as allowing us an extra beer after his official closing time, and when all the other customers had gone.
That is always the best when the master gives extra drinks after hours. :). The yakitori joint I often visit likes to provide special chicken pieces from Kyushu instead of brews. But the feeling is all the same. Cheers:)
Very nice! It’s those little extras that make such places even more special, isn’t it?
Hans ter Horst says
In the on-line forums like Japan-guide.com people often ask about recommendations for ‘unique Japanese experiences’ and I always try to show these people the fun of just dropping in on one of the many small restaurants in the older areas of town and let the experience develop from there. Usually one or two persons support my recommendation but I always wonder how many of the people asking the question actually end up going to such a place. The unique Japanese experience is right in front of their noses for a very reasonable price, they would miss out if they went elsewhere in search of Japan. (other people would recommend Miyajima, or Ise, and I never saw Japan there, maybe a hint of it at the Tsukiji fish market)
Yes, that’s a very good call. These kinds of places certainly offer a more real Japan. Or at least a sense of what real life is like.
At the same time I can imagine how intimidating they’d be — if only due to the language. Plus some are difficult to know what they are unless you know what you are looking for. But intimidating or not, it’s an effort definitely worth making.
I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to go in this kind of place myself, but I love that I get to see them through you! 🙂
Cheers! There’s no guarantee of a good time, but the best way of looking at it as that even if a place is awful, you can always leave after one beer. And having a beer somewhere can never be that bad!
He looks like a great host. Very cool little bar!
He was and it was. A really good find. Something we knew the second we walked in. We’ll definitely be back.