Many areas of Tokyo have awesome “yokocho”. Yokocho means alley and these alleyways are busy and bustling and full of amazing little bars and restaurants. They are loud and vibrant and narrow and a writhing mass of humanity, in the nicest possible way. We love these yokocho and they often have excellent yakitori places with draft beer and sake. We wanted Mum and Ted to experience this, as it is quite different from anything in Australia.
Ebisu Yokocho did not disappoint. We all wound our way through the myriad of tiny eateries wondering if we would be able to find anywhere that could accommodate 8 people. Some of these tiny places only seat 6 or 8 people in total. Along the way, Ted got distracted, and made a friend who had been awake all night helping a friend with an event in Osaka, and the tone was set for the evening.
The place we ended up eating had super delicious food. Super Sake Boy and I had a dish of yam, calamari and grilled cheese and an assortment of very yummy tapas style dishes. Mum and Ted are quickly becoming addicted to edamame and Mum ordered a potato salad with mentaiko, which is pollock roe, which she almost inhaled. She was very impressed with the fishy flavoured potato salad.
There was a guy wondering around with a guitar taking requests for a small fee, of mostly 50s and 60s songs. He was a little on the ordinary side, but very funny and very friendly. By striking up a conversation with him, I met a table of salarymen who were drinking sake across the alleyway from us. We were very quickly talking sake in a weird hybrid of English and Japanese. One of the guys had studied in America and had great English. The others, very limited. We all ended up sitting over on their table with our sake glasses being filled, probably a little too quickly, with an awesome namazake (unpasteurised sake). The girls liked the guy who had studied in the States, and everyone else was a bit amazed at Super Sake Boy’s and my own knowledge of sake. We are finding many Japanese people are very surprised that we know and love sake so well.
We eventually managed to extricate ourselves and went back to our accommodation to have yet another awesome namazake and then bed. I think Super Sake Boy is beginning to see where my ability to make friends wherever I go comes from. Mum, and Ted, are both making friends everywhere they go and embracing and loving the experience of being here.