Tag Archives: Tokyo

Tokyo Ice Bar

29 Nov

Unfortunately, IceBar Tokyo is no more 😦 They closed their doors on Sept. 30, 2011 {yes, 2011…yes, I am totally slow in writing blog posts…}

Anyway, back in September of last year, we jumped on the subway and headed downtown with some friends of ours to visit the Tokyo Ice Bar just one day before they shut their doors for good.  In the wake of the March 2011 earthquake, Japan engaged in a great energy conservation movement. This, of course, meant that the establishment could no longer produce the power necessary to keep it at a cool -5 degrees celsius.

Brrrrrrr!  Now, even though they provide you with a hefty coat and gloves – let me tell you, it was still freezing!

Drinks served in an ice “glass” probably didn’t help to keep me very warm either – but they certainly were tasty!  With the price of admission, you got to enter the bar, receive one free drink, and wear the cute get-up (lookin’ good guys!)

So, even though the IceBar in Tokyo shut down, if you have a chance to visit any of the others around the world, I’d highly recommend it.  It was definitely a “cool” experience.  {sorry, I just couldn’t help myself there}

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Typhoon Shmyphoon

30 Oct

With all this talk about Frankenstorm back home, I figured it was prime time to post about the weather here in Japan.  Ok, actually just about the Typhoons – which is really just another name for Hurricane when a storm is located in the Western Pacific. {But if you ask me, I think typhoon sounds way cooler/scarier}

For all you facing dear Sandy back East, I would like to pass on some words of wisdom that allowed us to survive our first typhoon in Japan.

1. Be sure to stock up on all of your necessities:

2. Have plenty of food and make sure you have a means to prepare it without using electricity:

3. Take care of thy neighbor:

Unfortunately, I’m a bit rusty in my typhoon skills since we haven’t faced a serious one here in Tokyo in over a year. However, Okinawa (an island in southern Japan) did recently face one of their worst storms yet, so I’ll leave you with this video to enjoy. {Moral of the video? 1. Always have your camera ready and 2. put some heavy junk in your car before she blows away!}

 

Stay safe everyone!!!

Tokyo Bar Crawl

8 Jun

So during my first visit to Tokyo {you can read about it here, here, here, and here}, we decided to go on a mini bar crawl in Roppongi and man did we find some amazing places! Here’s a recap for ya:

+ Mori Tower

I know I’ve already told you about Mori Tower, but I must say this is the perfect way to start of your bar crawl.  There’s nothing like enjoying your beverage 52 stories above the city.

+ The Hub

Little did we know at the time, that this bar would be one we frequent often. It’s actually a chain here in Tokyo and has ridiculously awesome happy hour prices! But, we were more so just excited to find a Pub with good grub in the land of sushi and rice {sight-seeing really works up an appetite and fish just wasn’t going to cut it}. We also ordered our first Jagerbombs of the trip here – note to self, specify that you would like a “shot” and not a “drink” next time.

 

+ The Ant ‘n Bee

We actually passed the Ant ‘n Bee earlier in the day and made note that we wanted to visit there in the evening. I am so glad we went back! This little hole in the wall of a place is a craft brewery that surely didn’t disappoint.

And while we could have probably stayed there the entire night sampling their beers, we decided to keep moving. But without a game plan for the night, we decided to ask the waitress for a recommendation. 

+ Abbot’s Choice

The waitress from Ant ‘n Bee pointed us directly upstairs in the same building to a quaint spot known as Abbot’s Choice. While this wasn’t a craft brewery, their beer (and liquor) selection was fantastic!

After finishing our beers we decided it was time to move on and again asked the bartender for a recommendation.

+ Goshiki

Our favorite spot of the night and a MUST if you are ever in Roppongi! Goshiki is a craft brewery with by far the best service I’ve ever received. When we saw that they offered a sample of their beers our hearts were set, and it surely did not disappoint.

At one point, the owner/manager/important guy {not too sure who he really was} came over and offered us fresh hops that they use to brew the beer to munch on – kind of like peanuts, but hops.

And when we asked for another bar choice, the waiter personally walked us there. And I’m talking two blocks down the street, around a corner, through an alley, and up an elevator!

+ Jazz Bar

Ok, so the name of this place wasn’t the Jazz Bar. Honestly, I forget the name – but really it’s not worth remembering. Perhaps it’s because we visited after finding our favorite spot that it just couldn’t live up to the high standards we’d now set, or it’s because they offered only 1 type of beer and didn’t actually have any live music at the time we were there. Regardless, I wouldn’t keep it as a “must” on your bar crawl list – however, they did have this humorous poster in the bathroom 😛

… And so, that concludes our recap of our Roppongi Bar Crawl.  In case you want to do a crawl of your own, you can find a map of the places we visited below:

  • A – Mori Tower
  • B – The Hub
  • C – Ant ‘n Bee & Abbot’s Choice
  • D – Goshiki

In The Beginning – Part IV

1 Jun

+ Downtown Tokyo

What trip to Japan wouldn’t be complete without a trip to downtown Tokyo right? Well when I came to visit in February 2011, we spent 3 glorious days there (and barely even brushed the surface of all the Tokyo has to offer)! Seeing as how it takes about 1.5 hours by subway to get downtown from the base, we decided to book a room at the New Sanno – a military hotel that thankfully offers amazing prices, but also books weekends a year in advance.

Day 1:

The first day we decided to admire the city from above. And while most people would probably choose to do this from Tokyo Tower (the red and white Eiffel Tower looking thing) – we opted for the observation deck on the 52nd floor of Mori Tower in Roppongi so that we could actually get a view of Tokyo Tower, see?

Ok, ok so we went for the view AND the beers.

And they even let you go up to the roof for an even more breathtaking view!

Day 2:

The next day we attempted to see Ginza. {I say attempted because we somehow got off at the wrong station or left out of the wrong exit}. BUT, never fear because we accidentally ended up at the Imperial Palace! And although you can’t go inside without making reservations, we did get some pretty great views.

And we still made it to Ginza later on in the day too. {I made sure of this – hello, it’s the most expensive real estate in the WORLD!} Not only did we soak in the riches of it all, we also visited the famous Sony Building – 8 floors of glorious electronics, and 1 happy husband.

We saw some pretty outrageous crosswalks too, although I hear the real famous ones are in the Shibuya area – a place we have yet to explore.

We finished off the day with a trip to Akihabara – the overpriced famous electronics district.

Day 3:

Our last day downtown was spent in Asakusa, the “old Japan”. Even though it didn’t look very old to me, it still had touches of past times that you don’t see throughout the rest of the city (like trolleys and rickshaws).

They also have an abundance of souvenir shops where you can pick up your fill of chopsticks, samurai swords, and hello kitty products.

And in case you missed it, don’t forget to check out In The Beginning Parts I, II, and III.

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