Now, THAT is a nice line of salarymen enjoying their moment of rest : except for us three, they were everywhere around in this place, making the best of their drink and desserved respite before the (presumably long) commute to their home. Again, here is a tachinomya which is not for asthmatic patrons, several men smoking without it raising the eyebrows around, I love Japan for that... Here in this place the service was differently organized, there were waiters coming and going, taking your order and bringing it back to you, there was even a young woman among them, B. was well inspired to join, this tachinomi wasn't that segregated after all (the previous one had two women serving behind the counter, though).
Here in this tachinomi, you'll get a taste of real, working-class Japan, with a place where you can drink your lot of sake with side dishes (among them excellent yakitoris) and not get broke. A quick word on the area : it's a maze of small streets with no traffic, just pedestrians and a dense concentration of small businesses, shops, pachinko parlors, restaurants, bars, multi-story shopping arcades and so on. In the evening, it's crowded with people shopping and going out after work, there are neons and light everywhere and the sound of japanese girls or street barkers hailing passerbys and shouting to get new customers inside their pachinko hall or whatever business they're working for. What a noise in the pachinko temples too when you pass one, with the steel balls falling relentlessly inside the machines, that's also part of the soundscape of Japanese red districts. Just a stroll makes this place worth a visit, and there's no drop in activity any day of the week : in Japan, sunday is like any other weekday for the business and street life, and shops and depaatos are open just the same. The street signs are full blown in the evening, and if each business has made efforts to curtail its electricity consumption by 10 % since the power shortage caused by the turning off of N plants (from what I heard), you don't feel it in the lighting and signs brightness.
B. decided to be careful and ordered an Oo Long tea, you really can get other beverages than sake in a tachinomi... But she wisely decided to join us in our sake experience and ordered one of them later. You really can't walk in here and be content with a cup of tea.
But speaking of tea, the guys at the next table had this strange green beverage, it is called Aojiru, and it is very trendy these days, being supposed to be good for health (maybe the guy at this table was trying to cure a hangover). I'm really sorry not to have tasted this Aojiru, its tastes is said to be strange.
If you're familiar with Japanese, click on the picture on right, you have the prices for all the side dishes in this tachinomi (100 Y = 1,2 USD or 0,92 €). As you can see, most dishes cost from 150 Y to 200 Y, with a few at 300 Y. Who said Tokyo was an expensive city ?
For Mamada, Houju, a Junmai Ginjo from Hiroshima at 360 Yen. Well priced, and there are cheaper sakes by the glass in this tachinomi. Means again that you can enjoy good drinks at fair prices in this town.
I got a Kikusui Junmaisyu, which comes from Niigata if I understand correctly. Both were very nice, the former being maybe more refined, but I liked mine too. As said, B. had her tea and just sipped a bit of our sake to see how they tasted.