An old Tokyo bar and its even older owner

Away from the bright lights and busy streets, Tokyo boasts a huge number of local bars, many of which are run by senior citizens. Fascinating, often grubby little places that are filled with as much character as their unflagging and friendly hosts.

And this small bar and eatery is no different, along with the added bonus of a design that blurs the ideas of inside and outside.

old Tokyo bar and its old owner

But age can, at times, catch up. And with all the serving and cooking that had to be done, the master began to visibly wilt.

old Tokyo bar and its old owner

Determined not to be defeated, however, he sneaked in a few naps during the occasional downtime.

old Tokyo bar and its old owner

Resulting in him still going strong when we were looking at getting the last train.

Happy drinker in a relaxed, rat frequented Tokyo bar

Open for over 30 years, this small, cluttered little bar is a wonderfully relaxed place run by the mama-san until late evening, then her son till much later. An establishment so relaxed in fact that a good-sized rat that ran along a shelf behind my pal and I, caused only the briefest of distractions — a nod of recognition basically. Then, just as before, the drinking and conviviality continued on.

happy Japanese drinker