Wednesday, July 28, 2010


My favorite bar in Tokyo is "EST" in Yushima. The first time I visited this legendary bar, I was with Ken Shiotani, my fat philosopher friend. We had just turned 22. Shiotani was actually not that fat at that time. Then his belly area started to grow rapidly, and outpaced the Japanese economy.

I have a vivid image of the first night at EST. We were wandering in the small streets of Yushima, and Shiotani said out of the blue that he had a place that he wanted to try out. At that time, it was mainly Shiotani that came up with the proposals. I was rather a naive boy in the field of culinary and alcoholic delights. Shiotani was quite eager in this respect, which probably accounts for his big gain in weight.

The walk brought us to a thick wooden door. Inside, we found a polished bar table and a man in white cook coat with a gentle smile. That was Mr. Watanabe, master of EST.

Since then, EST has been my haven, EST has been my heaven, EST has been my home. EST, EST, EST. When do I go to EST next time with my fat philosopher friend?

With Ken Shiotani on the "Hanami" (cherry blossom admiring) night this March.


Unknown said...

I just can't love your Japanese english any more -- it is so easy to read/feel on because I am Japanese fluent in Japanese. When I write in English I always pause and sometime get lost trying my english perfect, and what I want to write gets rust, you know what I mean? Words are living thing, blog is more livable than other format. I love The way you post your writing, it is japanglish, but I can feel it very close and flesh. I also love what you write on Japanese on the other blog, those makes me think so deeply. Keep good health, and looking forward to meet in person some day, I'm just an ordinally person lives on NY though.

Local Beer said...

In my school days I devoted myself to looking for coffee shops for lofty talk.
These days I and my friends go straight to bars for well chilled beer.

You look still naive and a well knit frame side by side with Mr.Shiotani !

砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

"outpaced the Japanese economy."!? Great!

I recall the bubble economy of Japan started in the middle of '80s. And it finished several years later.

But, the bubble economy of Mr.Shiotani still continues to grow now. Super! You are the star in this country. this case,I might have to say, you are the "moon" of Japan.

In that sense, we can see the "two moons" in this photo.(sorry)

What? "two moons" in the sky? I read recently the novel written such scene ...

Anonymous said...

+1 for Shino, EST, will have to go there.

(ma)gog said...

I have checked the location of your legendary pub, so I will try to visit EST during my stay in Tokyo!

Now I have finished my packing, and am just praying that the volcano will keep quiet.

yuzu said...

I always like listen to your memories.
Thank you for telling abut your special friend's memory and EST. It's so nice.
I like to feel that you and your friends are on the way dream nicely.
I like your beautiful life is in the middle of the dream now.
I want to find a that kind of place like EST.