Comments on: Drinking in the Back Alleys of Shinjuku Golden Gai http://www.toddswanderings.net/2011/07/drinking-in-the-back-alleys-of-shinjuku-golden-gai.html Travel Articles, Adventures and Advice Sun, 17 Jun 2012 06:42:58 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 By: Todd Wassel http://www.toddswanderings.net/2011/07/drinking-in-the-back-alleys-of-shinjuku-golden-gai.html/comment-page-1#comment-15187 Todd Wassel Sun, 31 Jul 2011 14:10:22 +0000 http://www.toddswanderings.net/?p=950#comment-15187 Hmmm, just like the French to bash America without even looking into history :) As it turns out the tipping culture in the US was adopted from France. We American's thought it was cool a hundred years ago and took it on. Unfortunately, we dived into the deep end of the pool, while everyone else back in Europe ended the practice before it got out of hand. Just another failure of our "deregulation" that puts the burden on workers rather than owners of businesses. Life would be a lot easier if the price included everything, service, food, mood lighting :) Hmmm, just like the French to bash America without even looking into history :) As it turns out the tipping culture in the US was adopted from France. We American’s thought it was cool a hundred years ago and took it on. Unfortunately, we dived into the deep end of the pool, while everyone else back in Europe ended the practice before it got out of hand. Just another failure of our “deregulation” that puts the burden on workers rather than owners of businesses. Life would be a lot easier if the price included everything, service, food, mood lighting :)

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By: Japan Australia http://www.toddswanderings.net/2011/07/drinking-in-the-back-alleys-of-shinjuku-golden-gai.html/comment-page-1#comment-15175 Japan Australia Sun, 31 Jul 2011 07:09:46 +0000 http://www.toddswanderings.net/?p=950#comment-15175 I love the little back alleys that most big cities have. You can find some real gems down them :) <a href="http://japan-australia.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow">Japan Australia</a> I love the little back alleys that most big cities have. You can find some real gems down them :)

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Japan Australia

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By: David http://www.toddswanderings.net/2011/07/drinking-in-the-back-alleys-of-shinjuku-golden-gai.html/comment-page-1#comment-15131 David Fri, 29 Jul 2011 08:38:03 +0000 http://www.toddswanderings.net/?p=950#comment-15131 "Europeans are shocked by it" I concur. “Europeans are shocked by it”

I concur.

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By: Todd Wassel http://www.toddswanderings.net/2011/07/drinking-in-the-back-alleys-of-shinjuku-golden-gai.html/comment-page-1#comment-15121 Todd Wassel Thu, 28 Jul 2011 23:41:52 +0000 http://www.toddswanderings.net/?p=950#comment-15121 Hey Mack, well I think themed bars are actually the norm in Japan. They do not necessarily have to be themed in a way that is not about Japan. A lot of the bars in the areas are really just shot bars, but might have some kind of theme that binds the visitors together. In Japan being a part of a bar is being a part of a group, and this is something the Japanese take very seriously. Themes can be as simple as: a different wine special each night, and as elaborate as a star wars bar I once went to :) Hey Mack, well I think themed bars are actually the norm in Japan. They do not necessarily have to be themed in a way that is not about Japan. A lot of the bars in the areas are really just shot bars, but might have some kind of theme that binds the visitors together. In Japan being a part of a bar is being a part of a group, and this is something the Japanese take very seriously. Themes can be as simple as: a different wine special each night, and as elaborate as a star wars bar I once went to :)

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By: Todd Wassel http://www.toddswanderings.net/2011/07/drinking-in-the-back-alleys-of-shinjuku-golden-gai.html/comment-page-1#comment-15120 Todd Wassel Thu, 28 Jul 2011 23:39:37 +0000 http://www.toddswanderings.net/?p=950#comment-15120 Seating charges are actually quite normal and widespread in Japan. They are usually associated with a small appetizer that comes at the beginning when you sit down. This i usually not much, and definitely does not cover the price of the seating charge but is the system here. No one tips so this might be a way to recover some of staff costs. In the bar I went to I got a very very small plate of sun dried tomatoes and cheese and crackers ;) Many visitors, and foreign residents get upset by this seating charge, while Japanese hardly even think about it. It is quite like the tipping culture in the US where we just accept it as a part of the system (a bad system by the way) but Europeans are shocked by it. Seating charges are actually quite normal and widespread in Japan. They are usually associated with a small appetizer that comes at the beginning when you sit down. This i usually not much, and definitely does not cover the price of the seating charge but is the system here. No one tips so this might be a way to recover some of staff costs. In the bar I went to I got a very very small plate of sun dried tomatoes and cheese and crackers ;)

Many visitors, and foreign residents get upset by this seating charge, while Japanese hardly even think about it. It is quite like the tipping culture in the US where we just accept it as a part of the system (a bad system by the way) but Europeans are shocked by it.

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By: Tours Of The Vatican http://www.toddswanderings.net/2011/07/drinking-in-the-back-alleys-of-shinjuku-golden-gai.html/comment-page-1#comment-15117 Tours Of The Vatican Thu, 28 Jul 2011 21:50:05 +0000 http://www.toddswanderings.net/?p=950#comment-15117 When I travel, I always love to find places like this that aren't as tourist-y and really show the culture of the locals... Granted, I *am* a tourist myself, but I try not to act like one. Thanks for sharing your experiences! -Heidi When I travel, I always love to find places like this that aren’t as tourist-y and really show the culture of the locals… Granted, I *am* a tourist myself, but I try not to act like one. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

-Heidi

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By: David http://www.toddswanderings.net/2011/07/drinking-in-the-back-alleys-of-shinjuku-golden-gai.html/comment-page-1#comment-15114 David Thu, 28 Jul 2011 20:25:14 +0000 http://www.toddswanderings.net/?p=950#comment-15114 I'm not too familiar with the seating charge thing, but know that in most of these types of bars in Japan, customers are regular, they have their seat, their spot, etc. So maybe it's also because they pay for that spot. I'm sure Todd will explain in more details. Concerning the rate it's about 10-13 USD. I’m not too familiar with the seating charge thing, but know that in most of these types of bars in Japan, customers are regular, they have their seat, their spot, etc. So maybe it’s also because they pay for that spot. I’m sure Todd will explain in more details.

Concerning the rate it’s about 10-13 USD.

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By: Barbara Weibel http://www.toddswanderings.net/2011/07/drinking-in-the-back-alleys-of-shinjuku-golden-gai.html/comment-page-1#comment-15111 Barbara Weibel Thu, 28 Jul 2011 18:32:11 +0000 http://www.toddswanderings.net/?p=950#comment-15111 Hi Todd. Curious about your comment about a seating charge - you mean you have to pay just to sit down in one of these places? And what would 800-1,000 yen equate to in U.S. dollars? Fascinating article. Hi Todd. Curious about your comment about a seating charge – you mean you have to pay just to sit down in one of these places? And what would 800-1,000 yen equate to in U.S. dollars? Fascinating article.

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By: Mack Reynolds http://www.toddswanderings.net/2011/07/drinking-in-the-back-alleys-of-shinjuku-golden-gai.html/comment-page-1#comment-15110 Mack Reynolds Thu, 28 Jul 2011 14:47:18 +0000 http://www.toddswanderings.net/?p=950#comment-15110 why do you think the bars there are themed? are there any traditional Japanese bars to drink at in goden gai? why do you think the bars there are themed? are there any traditional Japanese bars to drink at in goden gai?

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By: C Ohara http://www.toddswanderings.net/2011/07/drinking-in-the-back-alleys-of-shinjuku-golden-gai.html/comment-page-1#comment-15102 C Ohara Thu, 28 Jul 2011 05:57:55 +0000 http://www.toddswanderings.net/?p=950#comment-15102 Next time I'm in Tokyo I'm checking this place out!! Next time I’m in Tokyo I’m checking this place out!!

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By: Todd Wassel http://www.toddswanderings.net/2011/07/drinking-in-the-back-alleys-of-shinjuku-golden-gai.html/comment-page-1#comment-15043 Todd Wassel Mon, 25 Jul 2011 12:07:01 +0000 http://www.toddswanderings.net/?p=950#comment-15043 Thanks David. Yeah, I have missed this area a few times on my excursions into Kabuki-cho and it is amazing one you know where it is. I find all the touts in Kabukicho to be a huge nuisance and I really wonder who in their right mind would trust them :) As for the "real" Japan, I used quotations because the "real" is often what people fantasize in their minds and build Japan up to be. It is such a diverse country with so many different experiences. But that being said there is something for everyone. And you know me, I LOVE the Japanese country side. The sad irony of my life is that I married a girl from Tokyo :) Nothing left to do but find all the wonderful things in Tokyo as well...I guess. Thanks David. Yeah, I have missed this area a few times on my excursions into Kabuki-cho and it is amazing one you know where it is. I find all the touts in Kabukicho to be a huge nuisance and I really wonder who in their right mind would trust them :)

As for the “real” Japan, I used quotations because the “real” is often what people fantasize in their minds and build Japan up to be. It is such a diverse country with so many different experiences. But that being said there is something for everyone. And you know me, I LOVE the Japanese country side. The sad irony of my life is that I married a girl from Tokyo :) Nothing left to do but find all the wonderful things in Tokyo as well…I guess.

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By: David http://www.toddswanderings.net/2011/07/drinking-in-the-back-alleys-of-shinjuku-golden-gai.html/comment-page-1#comment-15040 David Mon, 25 Jul 2011 11:07:12 +0000 http://www.toddswanderings.net/?p=950#comment-15040 Todd, thanks once again for such a great blog post. Seriously, I feel that you're one of the few left that still can blog about things to do in Tokyo without falling into all the stupid clichés. Although, dare I correct one of your first sentences? "The truth is that this “real” Japan is fading fast" and add "in Tokyo" at the end of it (cause I find "real" Japan anywhere else in the country real easy to find ;-) ). But you're right, everyone has their own definition of what "real Japan" is (mine in "Not Tokyo"). That being said, I can't agree more with "you should walk into with an open mind and not in search of the exact atmosphere, story, or experience related in a guidebook or travel blog." My advice to any traveler anywhere in the world? Buy a guidebook before going, but make sure you leave it at home when you finally go. Finally (yes, I love long comments) a personal anecdote: "Gosh! When I was in Tokyo last year, I was a block away from this area - now that I see it on the map - and I feel that we walked all around it, except in it - we ended up in shady Kabukicho instead". Todd, thanks once again for such a great blog post. Seriously, I feel that you’re one of the few left that still can blog about things to do in Tokyo without falling into all the stupid clichés. Although, dare I correct one of your first sentences? “The truth is that this “real” Japan is fading fast” and add “in Tokyo” at the end of it (cause I find “real” Japan anywhere else in the country real easy to find ;-) ). But you’re right, everyone has their own definition of what “real Japan” is (mine in “Not Tokyo”).

That being said, I can’t agree more with “you should walk into with an open mind and not in search of the exact atmosphere, story, or experience related in a guidebook or travel blog.”
My advice to any traveler anywhere in the world? Buy a guidebook before going, but make sure you leave it at home when you finally go.

Finally (yes, I love long comments) a personal anecdote: “Gosh! When I was in Tokyo last year, I was a block away from this area – now that I see it on the map – and I feel that we walked all around it, except in it – we ended up in shady Kabukicho instead”.

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