Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Izakaya

Right so the evening began when at about 7 we headed to the reception to grab some food for the night. When we get down stairs we are greeted by a film crew filming this massive banquet the hostel seems to have put on for the cameras. So we grab a few plates and start talking to some of the other guests. It's was real nice and the food was possibly the nicest we have had the whole time we have been here.

So anyway from nowhere this old drunk Japanese guy appears and starts trying to get people together to take to his Izakaya. This guy could speak no English at all apart from being able to count to 7 which he did as much a he could. I wasn't really too sure what the hell as going on but the main selling point for me was that he was going to pay. So far we haven't been out properly in Japan yet so thought this would be a good opportunity to see what the locals get up to. The receptionists at the hostel kept telling me he was 'safe' to go with which I guess meant he wasn't going to mug or sexual assault any of us so I thought it was a decent enough opportunity to see a bit more of japan.

So myself Tommy and 4 Australians headed out with this guys to a bar. Now when I first signed up to this I was under the impression it was going to be a small local bar where this guy was going to get us all a few drinks. However upon arrival it soon became clear that a had not been taken to a bar at all by instead some sort of tiny kitchen that almost could double up as cafe. Now a little bit concerned I entered. Sitting down were several old Japanese men, pushing sixty. They looked like complete rude dudes in cardigans shades and funky trousers. They looked like they had been plucked from a film was brilliant.

So I apprehensively sat down next to them and from there the night began. Spending my first night out with Japanese pensioners wasn't really what I had planned when i first got here but it was a free night out so it had to be done I guess. The beers were flowing and some more free food was being put on and we tried to talk to each other the best a could. It just mad. This dude starts trying to whip the worst magic tricks I have ever seen like making a cocktail stick vibrate WTF! I tried to seem impressed. The night took a turn for the better/worse when the Australians dropped the 'S Bomb' or Sake, the staple drink of any Japanese night out. Every time we finished one the owner would give us another. I'm not the biggest drinker in the world so at this point felt so ill but it was all worth it. We eventually got kicked out at the very respectful time of 11 and we all staggered off home. In the morning I was greeted by a preposterous hangover. Not good at all!!

We go back again the next day just to see what's going on but this time bring Wilson with us. It ended up pretty much the same as the night before although I avoided the sake a much as possibly. His wife cooked up a whole host of Japanese food and kept a steady stream of Asahi up. It was all good fun till we decided to make a move back to the hostel at 10. We said our goodbyes and said we wouldn't be back again as we were going to Yokohama the next day. However once we tell him this things get a bit intense as he starts crying and repeatedly hugging me, Tommy and Wilson just saying thank you, thank you, thank you over and over again. At this point nothing really made much sense and just excepted it but it was far to intense for my liking and we left safe in the knowledge we would never experience something like that again.

Here is a little video of the first night. Enjoy.