Independent bars and eateries overseen by sprightly septuagenarians aren’t a rarity in Tokyo — quite the opposite in fact. There’s this one owned by a lovely lady for example, and this wonderful establishment run by a jovial ex-French chef.
However, while such places obviously differ in regards personnel, there are often certain similarities: they are tiny, cluttered and show a decidedly cavalier approach when it comes to cleanliness. Common elements very much in evidence in the drinking den pictured below.
In business for over 40 years, and run by its 70-year-old owner, the bar is definitely on the cosy side, with seating at the counter for only 7 or 8 people.
And, as previously mentioned, it follows a familiar pattern by not being exactly spick-and-span.
But, what it is above all else is friendly. Not to mention an awful lot of fun.
You are braver than I am Lee. I can totally understand how interrsting they are, but the fear of getting sick would terrify me. I just couldn’t do it!
Generally the food they have is bought on the same day, so it’s at least fresh. Certainly fresher than the surroundings anyway!
But never been sick. Not even slightly. But I have had food poisoning twice in Japan — both from quite fancy places…
Hans ter Horst says
The proprietor looks like a dear. 🙂 But what if an earthquake strikes? looks like everything will come crashing down.
He was. Absolutely lovely fella. He left to walk some regulars to the station at one point, leaving my mate and I along with one other customer in there without him. Bottles empty, we grabbed a few fresh ones from the fridge and just told him to put them on the bill on his return. He never batted an eyelid. All very relaxed.
But yeah, any shaking and that place will be a mess. Or should I say even more of a mess!
Looks excellent to me. Many places where I’m at are like this too. I love how they are pretty much doing business in their homes. How do you come across such places? 🙂
It was. A cracking place. Really enjoyed it.
A mate and I are working our way along a train line, getting off at a different station each time and then scouring the area for interesting bars like this one. Some are better than others it has to be said, but we’ve never had anything short of a very good evening.
It was a wonderful place. The minute we walked in, we felt completely at home.
I really admire your capacity in shooting in these small bars. You have so many ; maybe you should make a book of this series…
Thank you. Once a few drinks have been bought and conversations had, it’s generally fairly easy to shoot in such places. Once comfortable with you, they really don’t seem to mind the camera. Or maybe after those few drinks I’m a lot less mindful!
Some day, when I’ve got some more, that would be really nice…
Zeno Vassiliades says
It surprises me how lax their attitudes are to cleanliness
I know. For a country generally in love with very often pointless rules and regulations, it seems odd that something as important as hygiene is so neglected.
A very happy post indeed. Many of the posts make one sad but present life in its true form. I only wonder- are there ways to make Japanese architecture look more solid with granite and brick?
Yeah, happy post, happy place!
Look more solid is one thing, but they have to be flexible to deal with earthquakes. Not something I know anything about, but many homes are still built round a wooden frame. And with stringent building regulations, it can’t be just tradition. That said, Tokyo Station building is brick, but pretty much the only one I know…