Tokyo regenerates at a frightening pace, and yet in older — or more neglected — parts of the city, it can often feel like time has stood still. Something that’s definitely the case with this little bar and eatery.
Run by its 78-year-old owner, the furnishings clearly haven’t changed all that much in the decades they have both been there. A staggering 46 years to be exact.
Brought up in Okayama, the mama-san moved east to Tokyo as a young woman, and, after first living in Shinjuku, she later relocated to the suburbs — opening and then running the bar with her late husband. Something she still does today. Five nights a week. 5pm to 11:30 or so. Cooking, serving and generally being lovely.
A routine she intends to continue for the foreseeable future, or for at least as long as her health holds out. Ruefully admitting that it’s talking to customers that keeps her going, and when she can’t do it any longer, a massive part of her life will be lost. As indeed will the bar itself, which will be unceremoniously shuttered up like many other businesses on the same street. And on countless other streets all over the city.