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Dr John Hawkins

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Posted on 2013/04/01 08:22:53 (April 2013).

[Wednesday 27th March 2013]
Met up with Tanaka-san in Ebisu this evening. It's not a district of familiar I'm very familiar with - despite being fairly central and quite a popular area for nights out I hardly ever went there when we were living in Tokyo.

We met at a Pronto near Ebisu station, I got there first as there were problems with the Yamanote line which delayed Tanaka-san (yes they actually do have delays on the trains in Japan!). It's a sort of Italian themed chain of cafe/bars which are all over Japan, and particularly in and around stations. I was pleased to see an Aperol Spritz on the menu, which albeit not a very good rendition thereof still brought back happy memories of last summer in Venice.

I was keen to try the Sapporo beer station, an izakaya attached to the Yebisu beer museum (the nearly eponymous Yebisu beer originates from here, which is now owned by Sapporo). It was actually a bit corporate and bland and pretty much just like any other large open plan izakaya, so we only stayed for one drink here.

The main highlight of the evening, and an unplanned one, was discovering Ebisu Yokocho. It's a little sort of covered alleyway / arcade filled with tiny little bars / eateries which all open out into the same passageway. So sometimes it's hard to know which bar you're actually in. It was really lively, and pleasingly rough and ready - just the sort of thing I was looking for after the disappointment of Sapporo beer station. We went to a couple of little bars there (or maybe we just sat in two different sections of the same bar? who knows?) and it was rather jolly.

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