Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Golden Gai

Love this picture Amanda took of Yusuke and me in Golden Gai. Golden Gai is a famous block in Shinjuku packed with tiny little bars that used to be brothels. If you can't speak Japanese, it's not really worth the table fee most of these places charge you to sit and drink -- you can find similar 5-seat dives at almost any station in Tokyo. If you can speak conversational Japanese and like paying table charges, there are some really good places in here. Good luck finding them and then remembering them. I have lost two great bars in Golden Gai.

If you CAN'T speak Japanese, go walk through Golden Gai at night anyway. The atmosphere is awesome if you're a sucker for time-warps. Probably one of the funnest walks you can take on the planet is from Shinjuku Station, out the East Exit, amble through the smoker's island, cross over to ALTA, pass through the red gates, swim through the river of hosts, and head south to Golden Gai. This walk is the best. Just pay attnetion and don't do anything I would do.

2 comments:

Beth said...

p.s. if you really really want to have a drink at a real old-looking bar in golden gai and can't speak japanese, the "flamenco bar" near the entrance is very foreigner-friendly with a very good selection of whiskey and no table charge. it gets plugged often so it gets crowded as the night goes on, but it's a nice little place if you go earlier.

selena said...

I've been to the flamenco place - if I remember correctly, they have a bunch of stuff all 500 yen.

Otherwise GG is kind of a rip off though.