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The boom in tachi-nomi (drinking while standing) bars continues unabated. At the traditional end of the spectrum are the rough-and-ready sake and shochu pubs. At the other extreme are more genteel establishments that prefer to call themselves sutando bars. The principles are the same — no chairs; pay at the counter as you drink — but the quality and the clientele are very different.

For the past year, our favorite example of the latter genre has been Buchi, a chic but casual bar out on the fringes of Shibuya’s Shinsen district. Despite the less than convenient location, it’s packed each night with a well-heeled crowd drawn not merely by the fine selection of premium sake (all in “one-cup” jars), well chosen wine and reasonably priced liquor, but also by the remarkably extensive range of food, both Japanese and Western.

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