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Jude Brand

For Jude Brand's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Horseplay rife at Roppongi bar

Food & Drink | BEST BAR NONE Oct 26, 2007

Horseplay rife at Roppongi bar

I have been seeking out Tokyo's best bars long enough to have accumulated a fair-sized database on the subject. Even so, for the best part of a decade, a search with the keywords safe + sane + fun + Roppongi have turned up zero ...

The beat goes On in Shimokitazawa

Food & Drink | BEST BAR NONE Sep 28, 2007

The beat goes On in Shimokitazawa

Shimokitazawa is a magnet for young musicians in Tokyo. Virtually every other kid you pass on the street totes a guitar, and it sometimes seems like half the bars — big and small — are equipped for staging live music. Toshiro Otomo aims to ...

Drinking down Azabu-Juban's heart

Food & Drink | BEST BAR NONE Aug 24, 2007

Drinking down Azabu-Juban's heart

Azabu-Juban may be changing superficially at street level, located as it is in a valley behind the plush residential/ commercial complex Roppongi Hills, but the best of what's on offer there is still to be found behind closed doors — doors that can at ...

A lounge bar for the people

Food & Drink | BEST BAR NONE Jul 27, 2007

A lounge bar for the people

One of Naka-Meguro's best features is the Meguro River. And though, like most of Tokyo's inner-city waterways, its riverbed has been concreted to aid with storm drainage, the banks are topped with cobbled walkways and planted with mile upon mile of cherry trees. The ...

Duck Rock rides a new club wave

Food & Drink | BEST BAR NONE Jun 22, 2007

Duck Rock rides a new club wave

In the late 1970s, a club called Tsubaki House opened on the fifth floor of an office building on the southwest corner of Yasukuni and Meiji streets in Shinjuku. At a time when disco was still the rage, Tsubaki House was one of the ...

Sangenjaya's warm afterglow

Food & Drink | BEST BAR NONE May 25, 2007

Sangenjaya's warm afterglow

Astrophysicists may bicker over whether the universe is exploding or imploding, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that in the microcosmic world of Tokyo, expansion is the overriding force at work. Proof of this would be clearly visible from space — ...

A little R&R for cosplay casualties

Food & Drink | BEST BAR NONE Apr 27, 2007

A little R&R for cosplay casualties

Cosplay has become an integral part of Japan's booming manga culture. The term generally refers to the practice of dressing up like your favorite pop-culture icon or a character from an animation or comic; think of a Trekkie convention, but with an even wider ...

Put on your red shoes and dance

Food & Drink | BEST BAR NONE Feb 23, 2007

Put on your red shoes and dance

In December 1981, a small bar named Red Shoes opened in the basement of a building next to the bus stop near Nishi-Azabu crossing. Though only a stone's throw from what is now a busy intersection, in those days as soon as the sun ...

Go the whole hog this New Year's

Food & Drink | BEST BAR NONE Dec 22, 2006

Go the whole hog this New Year's

It's almost time to whoosh your tush to the tunes of world-class DJs as we welcome in another new year. Next up in the Chinese zodiac's menagerie is the wild boar, or inoshishi, as it is known natively in Japan. The boar is best ...

Rooms with a top-class view

Food & Drink | BEST BAR NONE Nov 24, 2006

Rooms with a top-class view

Mado Lounge sits on the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower Building in the Roppongi Hills complex. As the last stop at the top of the structure, it is a fitting location for the building's official City View attraction. For 1,500 yen, a whisper-quiet ...