See all that mouth-watering Japanese-style karaage fried chicken? It only cost us 100 yen, and we could have eaten twice as much without getting charged any more.
Are traditional bars a little too bland for you? Do you try to strike up conversations about anime with your fellow drink enthusiasts, only to get weird looks and asked to leave?
Well then you should check out Otarabo the anime bar! Not only does it have a large assortment of alcoholic beverages to enjoy, but it’s packed to the rafters with anime posters, figures, and toys. And best of all if you want to argue about Goku vs. Vegeta, or which Love Live! girl is the cutest, you’ll have plenty of inebriated otaku friends to discuss with.
Getting pounded into the turf by a 40-meter (131-foot) tall martial artist who can shoot beams of energy from his hands can’t be an easy lifestyle. So last year when a restaurant opened in Kawasaki to honor the giant monsters and aliens who so often end up on the losing side of the battles in the Ultraman franchise, we thought it was nice they now had a place to relax, enjoy some tasty food, and knock back a few beers between regularly getting pummeled by the good guys.
Of course, we Earthlings were also welcome at the establishment, called the Kaiju Sakaba (“Monster Pub”). We stopped by shortly after the place opened last year, and all of the Ultraman-themed decorations made us feel like we were little kids again (well, at least until our first round of alcoholic drinks arrived, anyway). And then we felt like little kids again as wept in sadness upon hearing the Kaiju Sakaba was closing last March.
But, just like the ending of each installment of the Ultraman saga gives way to the next chapter, the Kaiju Sakaba is coming back to Kawasaki later this month, and this time it’s here to stay!
MOVIE LIFE KYOTO is a video series which aims to introduce Japanese culture to foreigners in a light-hearted and humorous fashion. With English narration and Japanese subtitles, they’re filled with little factoids and hilariously on-point observations that will be of interest to foreign visitors and a source of much ‘that’s so true!’ amusement for Japanese people, too!
We live in a world of innovation and inspiration. Every day, we see new products riffing on older ones, and apps that are purporting to be the next Instagram for Snapchat inspired by Vine.
But when does something cease to innovate and become a simple knock-off? Would you consider “Word・Press” a different web service from “WordPress”? How about if someone opened up a hamburger joint called “McDonalds” instead of “McDonald’s”? Well one izakaya in Hiroshima, Japan tested out this first example for us, and found that simply slipping a dot into its name didn’t allow it to get around copyright and trademark laws.
Tokyo is a wonderful city; there’s no denying that. But sometimes you might want to get out into the country and experience some of the different cultural areas of Japan. Of course, if you’re busy working all week or only in the country for a brief time, you may not be able to get out to a place like Aomori Prefecture.
Recently, however, we were in the mood for some tsugaru-jamisen and a few glasses of Aomori Prefecture’s distinguished sake. We didn’t have time to jump on a train to the northern prefecture, but, fortunately, Tokyo is home to Haneto Izakaya, an establishment featuring food and music from Aomori Prefecture. Check out the food, drinks, and a video of their amazing shamisen player rocking the joint!
A Japanese pub deep in the heart of white-collar Tokyo wants to help out their customers whose heads are showing the consequences of too much stress and hard work (and perhaps a bit of genetics too).
The restaurant hopes that instead of covering their heads with a complex comb-over or taking a cue from monks to shave it all off, “salarymen” white-collar workers treat their thinning hair as a badge of honor and proof of their dedication to help the struggling Japanese economy. And to show their support, the restaurant has announced a generous “balding discount” as a way of thanking follicly-challenged gents for sacrificing their precious locks for the country!
Japan’s most popular alcoholic drink is beer—and now it’s easier than ever to serve perfectly! True to form for a country known for automation, Japanese brewer Asahi has released the Tornado: a machine that automatically fills cups with beer. Rather than pouring, the spigot connects to the bottom of the specially-formed cup, filling it from the bottom up. As it fills, the foam swirls, resembling a—you guessed it—tornado!
On April 24, Kanagawa prefectural police sent papers to prosecutors concerning a pub operator in Yokohama city on suspicion that two of its female staff members violated the Entertainment Business Act by serving beer and other alcoholic drinks to a group of young girls, including a 6th grade elementary school student.
As anyone who has ever entered a Japanese-style pub, or izakaya, will tell you, whether you want it or not, as soon as you’ve ordered some form of alcohol, a small plate or bowl will be placed in front of you alongside your chopsticks and hot towel. The contents of said vessel are almost always a mystery to the customer prior to its arrival; it could be noodles, vegetables, fish or even meat. Sometimes it’s piping hot, sometimes it’s as cold as the ice in your Bill Murray-inspired Suntory whiskey.
Known as お通し (otōshi) or sometimes 突き出し (tsukidashi), this appetizer is given to each and every alcohol-imbibing customer, and sometimes even to those only sipping on soft drinks, regardless of whether you’re drinking at a chain pub or a family owned watering hole. The customer has no say whatsoever in what the snack will be, and even if it remains completely untouched it is added to the bill, costing on average 200-500 yen (US$2-5) per head.
Japan has more than its fair share of the delightfully bizarre. If you are looking to experience some of it first hand, with a frosty beverage in hand to help you embrace the weird, of course, check out this list of Tokyo’s top theme bars. Read More