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.