The New Craze – Chocolate Booze!

January 25, 2010

A trip to my local convenience store today revealed not one but two new chocolate-based alcoholic drinks, so I felt duty-bound to try them both and write about them here.

First is Sapporo’s new chocolate-flavoured beer, “Chocolat Brewery Bitter”. Each mouthful tasted nice for a second, then repulsive. Chocolate and beer, while yummy on their own, inherently don’t go together, and the taste was much like guzzling lager while munching on a Mars bar at the same time, which nobody ever does for a reason- it tastes grim. Now, if someone made curry beer or peanut beer…

After that I tried Asahi’s “Chocolat Cocktail” which isn’t really my kind of drink, but will probably be a success with chocolate-lovers and booze-curious teenagers, because it tastes exactly like chocolate milkshake, without a hint of alcohol to be detected (although the can claims it’s 4% proof.) The sweet-toothed will love Chocolat Cocktail, whereas Chocolat Brewery Bitter will taste horrific to beer-drinkers and chocolate-eaters alike.
But, once again, top marks for trying, Japan!

Japanese tuna commercial from 78 (Star Wars rip-off!)

January 19, 2010

I wonder if George Lucas knew about this 1978 Japanese ad for “sea chicken” (tuna fish). I somehow doubt it!

Randy Octopus!

January 19, 2010

A frisky octopus attacks a houswife in this Japanese TV commecial from 1980.
I think it’s for some kind of anti-fungal ointment.
Warning! Contains tentacles.

Japan January Booze Updates

January 14, 2010

While most folks on the planet spend January staggering around, broke and bleary eyed, nursing month-long hangovers and waiting until that distant payday, the party continues in Japan.
Here are some alcohol-related updates from the Land of the Rising Sun this month:

Monday was the annual “Coming of Age Day”, on which all the 20-year-olds dress up nicely and convene in town halls to celebrate their adulthood. 20 is the age when the Japanese can legally start getting pissed-up, and in recent years, alcohol-imbibing has invaded the traditionally more formally proceedings. This year was no exception, and Japan Probe reports of youngsters heckling the tedious speeches by small-town politicians. If they wanted to keep the crowd of excitable, hormonally-charged youths happy, organisers shoud have hired a DJ and a foam machine, rather than a 70-year-old dullard.
A Yokosuka politician revealed himself to be a reactionary old twot by having a hissy-fit of epic proportions while his disinterested audience chatted amongst themselves. Meanwhile, the mac-daddy mayor of Nagoya acted smooth and super-cool, signing autographs for stage invaders.

While we’re on the subject of drunken misbehaviour, Japan Probe also has a hidden camera video of the Japan’s most patient taxi-driver dealing with a sh*tfaced customer trying to kick him in the head. And the bounder didn’t even give him a tip!

Japanese beer drinkers don’t all lack class, though. The Asahi Newspaper reports that refined beer-sippers have doubled the sales of unusual local microbrews between 2003 and 2009. Some of the bizarre concoctions they mention include weird ingredients such as red miso, matcha green powdered tea, and yeast found in honey. Yum yum!

The Sydney Morning Herald have printed list of Tokyo boozers they recommend you check out. There are some fine tips for bars in Shinjuku’s “Piss Alley” and “Golden Gai”, but Shibuya’s Echo and Trump Room are both event spaces rather than bars, so if you go you may very well arrive and either get turned away from a private party, or find yourself attending an obscure event like “Scatman John Night”.

Speaking of events, you can see me spinning some top tunes in a highly inexpert way alongside my friends’ excellent bands Abi-Kyokan and Walkie Talkie in the Cornfield at “The Farm Party” at Gamuso in Asagaya on Sunday the 31st. It’s organized by Tokyo Gig Guide, and you can find all the details there.

Finally, another event (taking place on the 16th at Shibuya’s Rocknococoro bar) has made a nice flyer mocking the anti-naughtiness “Please Do It at Home” signs that can be found on trains in Japan. These repressive signs always make me think “Please pull the stick out of your arse and chillax,” so it’s nice to see them being sent up.