Ejo #63 – Drunk In….. Tokyo (Golden Gai)

DRUNK IN….. TOKYO
GOLDEN GAI

Golden Gai is a small city block (I make it out about 60m x 80m) in Shinjuku, Tokyo that should have been condemned and knocked down for being a fire hazard about 80 years ago. Within that area there are about 200 tiny little bars each with a capacity of only a handful of people. You might recognise the name Golden Gai from the baby sardine ramen joint Nagi I mentioned eaerlier but it’s so much more than that. After dark it’s like a Bermuda Triangle of miniscule dens of iniquity and mischief. David and I went one night with the intention of doing a Golden Gai Crawl. Let me tell you how that went. We got dropped off by the taxi and entered the first bar we came to. Hours later we stumbled out of that bar, lost each other and ended up at home at 3.30am and 4am respectively. I don’t even know how I got there. Golden Gai is dangerous. DANGEROUSLY FUN!!!!!

Apparently not all the bars welcome foreigners (a clue to look out for is that if there’s a sign outside in English, you’re welcome). The place we went to (I have no idea WHAT the hell it was called) was run by a sophisticated older lady who coolly welcomed us into her little warren of a bar and served us glass after glass of nihonshu. After the first couple of hours she warmed to us and towards the end we were best friends. And I think I may have sexually assaulted the adorable waitress in a pink cashmere sweater. There was lots of hugging and giggling. I think.

Anyway, Golden Gai has to be seen to be believed. Go after 7pm.

This photo is the only evidence I have that we were ever at Golden Gai.  And I can't remember taking it.

This photo is the only evidence I have that we were ever at Golden Gai. And I can’t remember taking it.

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