Exotic Bars in Shinjuku

Omoide-no-nukemichi (literally translates as a way through memory; I will call it Omoide later on) quietly sits deep inside the alleys of Kabukicho, in Shinjuku East. It is one of the small corners where tiny bars and eateries are crammed in, and passersby give curious looks from outside to peek through the door. The buzzy air it creates illuminates like a miniature cosmos, each beaming singular and different colors. Among such corners, this Omoide is probably one of the scarcely explored places, especially by travelers from overseas (who now occupy more share by the number, expense, and ENERGY after all in those corners, you will see what I mean by having a step inside Golden-gai alleys.) so the small paths inside the Omoide still maintain well its composure, and geographically (since the buildings surround the corner make it like walls and entries here look almost invisible) seems successfully shields itself away from the ongoing hustles and jostles outside.

Anyway, one of the unique features of this corner is that it gives more of a sense of being in Asia when you find people eating on the corner of a stall kind of bar. The alleys in this quarter are so narrow and make no guarantees for first-time visitors to go through the passage. The loudly spoken exchange of passing orders among stuff coming from the neighboring Chinese restaurants makes one feel like you lost your way in Hong Kong or Shanghai. (By the way, they serve not only commonly known Chinese cuisine but also some locally eaten stuff like spiders. They provide a menu with pictures so that it may be worth a try for gourmand adventures.) Most bars look very dark from the outside and seemingly only offer stools to sit on the counter; it appears unclear whether it is open or not. You need to gaze in to see where anyone is seated or inside the counter. The bars here run with irregular schedules because they are run and managed strictly by the owner or assistant and few part-timers or time-workers.

Inside this quarter, a bar with a beaming light shines. The bar is called Latin Bar Mexico and has a different style from all the neighboring bars. The doors are wide open, and the inside is quite visible. The wooden counter table, red stools, and maracas, popular Mexican music instruments, hung from the ceiling, brightening up the space with their Latin rhythms. A guy sipping a shot of tequila with a portable microphone in his hand was singing a karaoke song or only making a noise aloud; I was not confident to say which. Although it is located in the heart of this Omoide quarter, this bar is one of the most challenging places to find because, from any corner, you need to make at least one turn, for only those who are brave enough to get through can reach the bar. So, the way here is like finding gold in Amazon. To avoid any unexpected intrusions and make the adventure safe, it might be better to step inside from the main entrance with this gate and carefully go further to avoid getting lost.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *