The entrance to SG Low, on the second floor of a nondescript building just past Tower Records Shibuya, is an unmarked wooden door that could be mistaken for a broom closet. But it opens onto a cavernous space anchored by a theatrically lit bar. A giant metal lamp shaped like a koinobori (carp streamer) hangs from the ceiling; the light that streams from the crevices of its carved fish scales shines on plates of karaage fried chicken and sushi handrolls.
As the kimono-clad host leads me to my seat at the counter, I’m struck by a feeling of nostalgia. Maybe it’s the music, a party soundtrack that swings from ’90s hip-hop and house music to Latin rhythms. Perhaps it’s the fact that one patch of wall plastered with kitsch Japanese stickers reminds me of the graffiti-covered interior of Decibel, the iconic punk-rock sake bar in New York’s East Village. The overall effect is that of a speakeasy-style izakaya (Japanese pub), filtered through the aesthetic of a Wes Anderson movie.
Unable to view this article?
This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.
Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.
If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.
We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.