Where to go: Shinjuku Golden Gai, After7

Posted on Sep 16, 2013 in Japanese customs, Must see, Things to do, Where to drink | 0 comments

Shinjuku Golden Gai (新宿ゴールデン街) is a small area of Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, famous both as an area of architectural interest and for its nightlife. It is composed of a network of six narrow alleys, connected by even narrower passageways which are just about wide enough for a single person to pass through. Over 200 tiny shanty-style bars, clubs and eateries are squeezed into this area. History Golden Gai was known for prostitution before 1958, when prostitution became illegal....

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How to drink… Shochu (Japanese gin or vodka)

How to drink… Shochu (Japanese gin or vodka)

Posted on Sep 16, 2013 in History of Japan, Japanese customs, Japanese technology, Things to do, What to buy, Where to drink | 0 comments

While sake is familiar to millions outside of Asia, shochu is the drink of choice amongst the Japanese. Since 2003, shipments of shochu within Japan have outstripped sake and the trend shows no sign of reversing. Shochu can be made from barley, sweet potatoes or rice and is distilled like whisky, unlike sake, which is brewed similarly to beer. The shochu is then aged in oak barrels giving the drink more kick (it averages around 25 percent alcohol, rising to 40 percent for...

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A guide to Japanese whisky

A guide to Japanese whisky

Posted on Sep 16, 2013 in History of Japan, Japanese customs, Things to do, What to buy, Where to drink | 0 comments

In Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice, the Australian spy Dikko Henderson gets a vile hangover drinking Japanese whisky. James Bond, more of a martini man, is amazed that Dikko would even consider drinking that gutrot, saying, ‘I can’t believe Japanese whisky makes a good foundation for anything.’ That neatly sums up the attitude of most foreigners to Japanese whisky for most of its more than 80-year history. In 2001, that all started to change when a 10-year-old Yoichi made...

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Where to shop (and drink): Maison Kitsuné and Café Kitsuné

Where to shop (and drink): Maison Kitsuné and Café Kitsuné

Posted on Sep 8, 2013 in Things to do, Where to drink, Where to shop | 0 comments

Café Kitsuné The Kitsuné brand has fingers in several pies – fashion, music and, it seems, coffee. Grab a well-brewed cup in the Japanese-style café next to the Maison Kitsuné shop in Omotesando, and browse records and selections from the Parisien and Kitsuné Tee lines. The décor incorporates Japanese touches like custom-made tatami and fusuma sliding doors, while the in-house barristas have been trained by Omotesando Koffee‘s Eiichi Kunitomo. Details Address ...

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5 Tokyo bars for train nerds (yes, they exist)

5 Tokyo bars for train nerds (yes, they exist)

Posted on Aug 15, 2013 in Japanese customs, Must see, News, Things to do, Where to drink | 0 comments

You thought your grandfather was a train buff? Sorry to break the news to you, but ol’ gramps would have been a mere caboose in the train of railway geeks inJapan, where hard-core train aficionados are referred to by the somewhat affectionate term “densha otaku,” or train nerds. They’re famous for feats like memorizing phonebook-size timetables and visiting every single one of the country’s almost 10,000 stations. When they aren’t trying to increase their encyclopedic...

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