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Jude Brand
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Dec 23, 2005
Plenty of ways to howl in the new year
Once again, it is time to make that all-important decision about where to spend the magic midnight moment when the calendar starts anew. According to the Chinese zodiac, the cock will pass his hat on to the dog. And, as usual, there are several options for parties where, this year, you can let out a...
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Nov 25, 2005
Put on your party hats
Welcome to CoZmo, a cafe and bar on the edge of Shibuya where it abuts Aoyama. And meet Ronna Wagenheim, its creator, proprietor, head chef and host. With the assistance of only one hand on deck, the charming Junella Hidaka, Ronna opens her hip retreat every night to escapees from the madness down the...
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Oct 28, 2005
The velvety allure of Aoyama
Aoyama is full of small, high-end hideaways where service is delivered in studied silence and conversations are reduced to a whisper.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Sep 23, 2005
Still best buzz in shitamachi
Any address that begins 1-1-1 is, by my reckoning, pretty impressive. It means that the building located there was the first one on the first block developed in the first district of that area. Kamiya Bar, a legendary bar and restaurant, secured the 1-1-1 address in Asakusa when it opened 125 years ago....
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Jul 22, 2005
Do you want it soft or natural?
Aoyama is a breeding ground for night culture. It's as if someone dropped an extremely virulent strain of lounge-bar.alt in the area and it went berserk. Almost every time you round a corner, there's yet another stylish light-box sign marking the entrance of another chic new hideaway (some don't even...
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Jun 24, 2005
So you want to be a rock 'n' roll star?
Forget karaoke. Why sing along to an "empty orchestra" (which is what karaoke means in Japanese) when you could be the star -- center stage -- fronting your own live band? I am sure that many people who have perfected their "empty" performances must have dreamed of taking it a step further.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
May 27, 2005
A rock 'n' roll heart
Rock 'n' roll will never die. The sound may have mutated with each passing generation to create a variety of strains: alternative, progressive, metal, punk, noise, grunge. But it's the same 4:4 beat that drives them all and syncs our pulse to the rhythm.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Apr 22, 2005
Trilogy in a triangle
In general, pre-bubble nightlife in Tokyo was rather dull. In the early 1980s, a Saturday night out in Shinjuku or Roppongi meant jockeying for space in a crowded disco with packs of Japanese intent on line dancing in front of mirrors. There were a few alternative bars scattered in and around Aoyama,...
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Mar 25, 2005
Chummy in the Chome
Shinjuku Ni-chome is still alive and thriving as the headquarters for Tokyo's gay bar scene. Unlike other party centers in Tokyo, I wouldn't say much has changed of late in the Chome, as the area is usually called by those who frequent it. No one ever calls it Shinjuku Ni-chome because that would be...
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Feb 25, 2005
A reason to be happy: Spike Bar in Shibuya
Shibuya is now headquarters for Tokyo's cool party crowd. In the last six years or so, countless little bars have set up shop and made themselves part of the night circuit around the station. Whether along Miyamasuzaka toward Aoyama, up Dogenzaka toward Daikanyama or south along the Yamanote tracks toward...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Music
Feb 13, 2005
Keeping it all in the community
Ten years ago a loosely knit group of friends started hanging out on a regular basis at a local community center in East L.A. They had no money (and still don't by any reckoning), but they cared about their community, and counted on it for inspiration and support. The cultural diversity of East L.A....
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Jan 28, 2005
Way off the main drag
Amaranth Lounge is a word-of-mouth bar. But when my friend told me about this place on Namikibashi off Meiji-dori, not far from Shibuya, that looked like the lounge from the dream sequences in David Lynch's classic TV series "Twin Peaks," I think he got a bit of a shock at the speed with which I said,...
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Dec 24, 2004
The rundown of the big countdowns
Another year has whizzed on by and the silly season is upon us again. Those of you who haven't yet had enough of overeating and overdrinking might find some of the Christmas dinner options of interest. Otherwise, hold off on the food, tighten that belt and get ready to dance in the New Year.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Nov 26, 2004
Where creative juices flow in Tokyo
Time Magazine recently proclaimed SuperDeluxe, a gallery and lounge space near Roppongi, as one of the best 100 spots in Asia. When it comes to Tokyo venues, I'd put it in my top three. But SuperDeluxe is no overnight sensation. It is a rare flower that has been skillfully nurtured since its seeds were...
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Oct 22, 2004
Born to be wild . . . in moderation
I know what bikers look for in a bar. Though I've never been a rider myself, I did spend 10 years tooling around Tokyo on the back of my Japanese boyfriend's 1977-78 FLH custom shovelhead Harley-Davidson. In fact, we met in Bar Aoyama, which he and one of his Harley-riding buddies used to frequent because...
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / NIGHT SPY NEWS
Sep 24, 2004
Another world
The newly opened Amanis Cafe is indeed another world, compared to its surroundings in Roppongi. It is huge, occupying almost half of the Roi Building's sub-basement level. And it is sumptuous -- with thick carpeting and wood paneling throughout.
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Sep 24, 2004
Hiding in the heart of Babylon . . .
Six is the number of trees in Roppongi (the kanji for the area literally reads "six trees"). Three sixes is the number of the beast, as everyone knows. And I've often thought that if you tripled the amount of mayhem to be found in Roppongi on any given night, you'd have a rough approximation of hell....
Japan Times
LIFE / Food & Drink / BEST BAR NONE
Aug 27, 2004
Nice-guy DJ spins it nasty
Every week for the past eight years, I have compiled a weekly club listing for an online infozine called Tokyo Q ( www.tokyoq.com ). For the first few years I had to walk around and collect fliers to generate my data. But these days, organizers use the Web to get the word out and I can now simply surf...
LIFE / Food & Drink / NIGHT SPY NEWS
Aug 27, 2004
Pure's first anniversary
Club Pure in Shibuya will be celebrating its first anniversary Aug. 28. Partners Matt Naiman, Steven Saxanoff and Blake Showalter began their Pure party plan in Yokohama six years ago with their trademark policy of charging an affordable flat fee for all-you-can-drink on the weekends.
LIFE / Food & Drink / NIGHT SPY NEWS
Jul 23, 2004
Lagoon
Lagoon is the second in the current series of Dimension K parties at Ageha, the multifloored club in Shin Kiba. And one for which Giles Johnson, the promoter, plans to transform the club into a futuristic underwater world populated with Aquanauts, Parrotfish Girls and other creatures. The pool area will...

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