A grubby, cramped, but great Tokyo bar

Like so many of Tokyo’s bars that are old, cramped and in need of a good clean, this one was a real joy. Serving cheap food and booze, it was packed full of character. Not at all lacking in characters. Plus signs of its 30-odd years in existence were plastered and splattered all over the walls.

So pretty much perfect, really.

drinker in a tiny, dirty, Tokyo bar


  1. Coli says

    Nice picture as always. I’m assuming that fellow’s grimace is from stubbing out his cigarette? I can’t imagine it would be from his drink. But I like that he looks like he just ate or drank something foul and unacceptable. :)

    • says


      Happy to say the drinks and food were all very agreeable. He was, like you thought, putting out one of his many ciggies.

    • says

      Like many of these places, there was no menu. Just whatever they had cooked or bought to cook that day. The hoke was good, and also some chicken and tomato thing that was rustled up quite late on. That’s a bit hazy though, as we’d been enjoying the Sapporo a bit too much by then!

  2. Coli says

    Sounds like you had a good time. I too myself prefer smaller places like that. I can’t bring myself to go to larger establishments anymore.

    • says

      Likewise. They seem so soulless after places like this, don’t they? Food is very often better too. Not to mention cheaper.

  3. June says

    Do you have to drink alcohol in these places? I would love to go to one of these, mainly for the food and atmosphere, but seems a bit intimidating if you’re not much of a drinker.

    • says

      There’s certainly no pressure to drink. And you would be able to get something non-alcoholic — even if it was just oolong cha. At the same time though, they are very much drinking estaiahments.

      But you’d be fine. You wouldn’t be judged. And you’d definitely have a good time.

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