Tokyo drinkers in a wonderfully grubby drinking den

Tokyo may lack some things, but not drinking establishments — not by any stretch of the imagination. And yet despite many being lavish and elaborately decorated affairs, it’s almost impossible to resist the dirty little places down dark alleyways that offer wonderful, character-filled glimpses of the past. Cramped escapes that happily exist in the modern world, but very rarely give the changing times more than a cursory glance.

Tokyo drinkers


    • says

      Yeah, can’t beat ’em.

      Not sure if he was amused, interested or irritated, but hopefully it wasn’t the latter.

      • says

        Thanks a lot!

        The one near the park? It wasn’t long ago it was demolished. Funnily enough it was in the news recently, as they found some ancient remains on the site. There is the other Iseya though that was also rebuilt, and it has a good amount of the old Iseya feeling. Not that one?

  1. John says

    The clock and the chef’s (?) glasses make the photo for me. These two things could’ve been from 50 years ago or now. Wonderful photo.

    • says

      Thanks, John. Yeah, those little details add to the timeless element. Just a shame the air-con is visible, but in this day and age, that’s a very necessary nod to modernity.

  2. Willy says

    “rarely give the changing times more than a cursory glance” …

    A little nugget of gold for a changing today.

  3. Willy says

    And I just noticed that the clock says quarter to 4…. very life in the night… very nice time in Japan.. in a cozy little bar…
    Me thinks you know something about having fun…

    • says

      I’m sorry to say it was 3:45 pm. My days (or should that be nights?) of being out and about at that time are few and far between nowadays. I remember when I first came here, the novelty of being able to go out all night, any night, was impossible to resist. If I do it now though, it’s simply impossible to get up the next day…

  4. Willy says

    Oh yeah.. I remember that one well…. And I think the dudes that had dragged me into it (not entirely without my consent) had forgotten that too.. some lessons in life I’m sure!

  5. says

    I wish more bars in the US had real food like in Japan. I’ve never been able to sit and just drink in a bar for very long without getting bored or stir crazy. Having some yakitori going on a grill seems like it contributes to a convivial atmosphere.

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