A Perfect Bar For Bananafish
I hope the patrons of this little all-night bar in Nishi Azabu don’t take the name too literarily, or the bartender/owner will find himself without repeat business. Which would be a shame, because it’s one of the best tiny theme bars in the back alleys of Nishi Azabu, a neighborhood better known for being home to The World’s Most Expensive Condo.
There are a number of strategies for what to do if you miss Last Train and need something to do until First Train pulls away at 5:00 in the morning. 24-hour manga cafes are the cheapster crashpads of choice, but if you’ve got the stamina and the cash – bars like this usually have a cover charge in addition to the drinks – you can walk down a single alley and dip into worlds as different as English Art Nouveau Pub with trees growing at either end of the bar and 20th Century Pop Culture. Like the seedier and more famous Golden Gai in Shinjuku, few of them seat more than 10 customers, but the atmosphere is much more laid back and welcoming, the themes much more interesting and beautifully executed.
If you want to visit any of these bars, maps are on my website The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.
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