Japan’s many old school bars run by similarly aged owners are always a pleasure to spend time in. The trouble is, what makes them so special also means there’s the very obvious element of the clock ticking ever louder down to those final last orders. Of course some do carry on for a truly incredible number of years, but ultimately time can never be defeated. All of which rather sadly brings me to the little drinking spot below.
In business for over 50 years, and the owner well into her 80s, it’s amazing it kept going for as long as it did. Originally a ramen shop, the mama-san at some point made the sensible decision to switch to a simpler menu of yakitori and beer, then in the last few years, more or less just beer. Now, however, it’s simply closed.
After the enforced break due to Tokyo’s pandemic-related state of emergency, it’s entirely possible she thoroughly enjoyed the time off and decided to retire. That’s what I hope is the case anyway, as a bit of rest and relaxation is the very least she deserves. Yet whatever the reason, the memories of visits remain as full of warmth as the welcome always was.