While my sister was here, she suggested we go out for a drink one night. She wanted to go to a local bar to get the full experience. There are plenty of bars here, and of course there are the ones that American's tend to frequent. She didn't want to go to one of those.
Her last night here, we went in search of a bar. We drove around for a bit before stopping at a bar I had already been to. A lot of the bars here are izakaya's - both a bar and restaurant. You know they are open when the lanterns are out and lit.
The place we went to was pretty much a hole in the wall. There was a bar on one side and a row of tables on the other. When we walked in, it was one of those moments when you feel like the room stops and everyone turns to look at you. It didn't, but it felt like it. We took a seat at the bar and ordered a beer. The two guys sitting at the bar automatically tried to start a conversation. Their English was better than our Japanese and between cell phone translators and basic conversation we figured it out. The first thing they asked was if we had been there before. I told them that I had, almost 2 years ago. The lady working there got an 'a-ha' look on her face and started gesturing like she was playing golf. I'm pretty sure I started bouncing up and down in my seat. They totally remembered us! My husband and I stopped in for a drink 2 years ago. We were there hours and by the end of the night, the tables had been moved aside and they were practicing their golf swings.
The lady first gave us a small dish of something. It was breaded, fried meat (I think). It was good, we just weren't sure what it was. Next, she gave us a plate of something else. They said it wasn't egg, so I think it may have been tofu or something. It had chives and ham in it and was good too. Then she made us a tofu and noodle dish. She just kept feeding us! They had a good laugh at my chopstick skills. At one point, a huge jar of plum sake appeared and they insisted we try that too.
The conversation quickly got around to who was single and my sister is. All the single men there (the two guys at the bar, the bartender, and a table of 5 or 6 guys were the only people there) were then pointed out to us. We were told names, ages, and found out where some of them work. The table of guys soon left, but not before one
drunk nice guy told us he loved us, a lot. We were also told we looked like Hollywood movie stars.
I have not laughed that hard in a long time. It was a fun evening. By the end of the night, one guy was asking for my sister's phone number. When we left, he said 'next year.....my wife!' and pointed to her. Freaking hilarious. They were all very nice though.
Karaoke may have also been involved.