TOKYO — So, I was going to write something about how the night began with a nice dinner at a traditional Japanese restaurant then got a little weird when we went to an “international” bar.
Dinner was great. We dined on some authentic Japanese fare — vegetables, chicken and eel. The eel was interesting. Not bad, but I’m not too much into fish (I know, I’m in Japan). Definitely worth trying.
After dinner, we hit the first of our three bars for the night. It has another name, but it’s known as Train Bar because it’s inside an old train car, making it a long and narrow bar. Guns N’ Roses was blasting away when we walked in — one of the patrons was doing his best Axl Rose impersonation.
After one drink, we moved on.[Redacted] [Redacted]
We went to this bar where Japanese girls go to meet American men and … er, have a good time. What kind of alternative universe did we walk into? It’s a bunch of Japanese women dressed like Americans, the hip-hop music loudly playing while girls look for some random guy to grind with. What happened to respect and class? Dignity? This is Japan? I feel like I’ve entered some alternate universe. Where is Anthony Bourdain to add some commentary when you need him the most? I could almost hear him describing the atmosphere.
Maybe it was the sake. Maybe it was the beer. Maybe it was the whiskey. Maybe it was the girl dancing on the bar or the hip-hop music blaring. Apparently there’s no standing around at this bar; you must be drinking, that’s the policy. Thirty seconds after we finished our beers, one of the barkeeps asked us if we were ready for our next drink. No Thanks, I think one is enough.
It reminds me of this song I once wrote — “Drunken Sorority Girl.” “One more beer, one more shot / I’ll tell you something you know I’m not…”
Fifteen minutes later and we’re out the door. But, that’s not enough. It’s on to another “international” bar. There’s a plaque on the wall — 15 shots and you can have your name added to the wall of fame/shame. That sounds like a good plan at this juncture. I think they also give you a T-shirt for your stupidity/suicide attempt. Not a bad idea because after you vomit from having 15 shots, you’ll need a fresh T-shirt to wear.
My friend and I try to determine where the bartender is from.”Australia?” he says. “Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.,” I respond. Apparently, she’s from New Zealand, not sunny Florida. Oh well. We strike up a conversation with two American girls — one is from San Fransisco and the other is from Philadelphia. As Tom Petty says, “It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going.”[Redacted] [Redacted]
Several $10 (1,000 Yen) shots later, we skedaddled, our wallets unable to take any more.
After bar-hopping Tokyo style, we concluded the night with some late night dining Tokyo style. We dined on some noodles before heading home to call it a night. Onward and upward, as they say…