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Adan

There are several reasons why Adan is invariably full every evening, despite such an unpromising location. There’s the setting, an unusual old redbrick kura storehouse, beautifully refurbished and decorated with boldly colored wood carvings. But most people are there because Adan exudes the kind of casual, low-key cheer too often lacking in the sterile surrounds of Tokyo’s self-styled “dining bars.”

The master of the house, its instigator and grizzled eminence, is Issaku Kawachi. He plays the role of host, holding forth from behind the bar or moving around his cozy premises, attending to customers and greeting old friends — of which he has many, thanks to his long involvement in the music industry.

Kawachi has imbued Adan with a tropical cocktail of influences, several parts Hawaii blended with a hefty splash of Okinawa, and an intriguing undercurrent of Southeast Asia. His musical taste favors slack-key guitar and Ryukyu shima-uta, but also encompasses a heady mix of other cultures.