Alia and I welcomed next year’s Lewis and Clark exchange students with a yakiniku drinking party in Takadanobaba. Two points for planning nomikai:
- More people will come than reply to your email. Get a space that can hold a few extras.
- The service at Amataro sucks, and they don’t include beer in the standard nomikai plan (only cocktails). If you don’t want to add the extra 350 yen for beer, one of the best bang-for-your-pitcher plans is the gin tonic.
After dinner, we went to the Hub, a sort of chain bar that seems to be everywhere in Tokyo. It’s the Japanese idea of an English hub, and a consistent, if not particularly high-character, place for drinks.
The Hub has a drink called the 1-liter beer, a 1350 yen plastic flash marked from 0ml all the way up to 1000ml, and filled with draft beer. I was about to order a pint, but my friend Yuichi got a liter, and if that’s not a Man Challenge, I don’t know what is. We ended up all getting liters in the end, taking our night from slightly buzzed to pure magic (we really didn’t drink much at the nomikai though, due to the weak cocktail pitchers, so no one actually got that drunk).
The flasks. I think the markings on the side are really what make these worth it. They offer you a glass to pour the beer into if you want one, but seriously, who does that?
Yuichi and I “Challenge the Liter (チャレンジザーリター）.” In Japanese “Challenge the XXX,” with the “challenge” transliterated into “charenji,” is a pretty popular phrase right now.
Do they have stuff like this in America? I was only 20 when I left for Japan, so I’ve only been to an American bar once in my life, coming back from Yosemite on the Green Tortoise.