It’s alright – I’ve found the pub!  

Monday, 14 July 2008

Today was spent spending ludicrous amounts of money in the Yodabashi store in Kichijoji. After a colossal splurge we are now the proud owners of an amazing Japanese-style fridge, a rice cooker, a washing machine that wouldn’t look out of place on the Starship Enterprise, a laptop and a 42” plasma telly. And a kettle; which as any Brit will agree, is arguably the most important item of all. I was just about to add an ironic “cuddly toy” to the list, until I realised - we did actually get a cuddly toy with the laptop!

Christ knows how we are going to pay for all this. But as somebody famous once said, “Don’t bother me with details”.

After such a monumentally expensive afternoon, any sensible human being would need a stiff drink. So it was that we set off to find a suitable watering hole. In England, this would mean simply retiring to the nearest available hostelry for light refreshments. In Tokyo, things are not quite that simple.


This is the South exit of Kichijoji station. Somewhere in this picture is an “English Pub” – can you spot it? No? Didn’t think so, but don’t feel too bad about it – I walked past it twice before I found it. And therein lies the problem. I am very happy when I’m in Japan; I love the people, the culture and the lifestyle. But when you live in a foreign country – no matter how much you enjoy it – it’s only natural to want to escape to familiar surroundings once in a while. Combine this with the natural bloke-like urge to have a pint and a packet of crisps and escape the family for at least an hour a week, and the quest for a decent watering hole assumes a significance of primeval importance.

There are “English themed pubs” – two in Kichijoji alone. But both, as in the picture above, are in the basement; I find it quite hard to get enthusiastic about a “pub” with no windows. However all is not lost. Diligent research via Kangetsu’s excellent wireless internet connection revealed the existence of a third –hitherto undiscovered – establishment named The Rogue.

So it was that this afternoon we found ourselves peering into alleys and backstreets trying to locate the place (address listings here are by no means simple).Thanks to my unerring sense of direction when it comes to all things alcoholic, we found it with not too much bother. 13072008043

Unlike all the other theme pubs I’ve seen in Tokyo, this place actually had an authentic feel about it. The furniture was English, as were the beers and the decor. It was quite spooky to see they had Spitfire – brewed by our local brewery in Faversham. Best of all, the owner – a delightfully nice guy by the name of Tatsuro-san – was as warm and welcoming as could be. I felt instantly at home. 

So I feel the question of “the local” has been solved. At least on one count, I can sleep easier tonight. Paying this month’s credit card bill is another matter. However, to paraphrase Freewheelin’ Franklin, “Beer will see you through times of no money better than money will see you through times of no beer.”

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