Ten thirty on a Wednesday morning might seem a little early for cheap booze and chicken on a stick, but in a week when most people went back to work, the drinks may well have been medicinal rather than any attempt at merriment.
Despite its sometimes maddening quest for modernity, Tokyo does still retain a decent amount of old, fairly untouched places. Even then, however, there are usually plenty of giveaway signs that it’s most definitely the present, and not some undetermined time in the past. But now and again a scene does appear that arguably wouldn’t have looked any different decades ago.
Big and shiny buildings may well be sprouting up all over town, but even on dark, damp afternoons, Tokyo’s narrow little alleyways remain considerably more compelling.
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Now in her early 80s, this bar owner’s beauty queen days are little more than a distant memory, but the former Miss Fukushima is still far from ready to give up the profession that has ultimately consumed much more of her life.
Owning and running the tiny place below for the past 52 years, she shows no signs of slowing down. Even advancing years and a battle with cancer have thankfully proved incapable of dampening her enthusiasm. So 6 nights a week booze is still knocked back, the banter remains gloriously bawdy, and brief glimmers of the past abound.