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Tag: Suntory

Lost In Translation… in a Little Red Corvette

Couldn’t resist watching “Lost In Translation” on the way to Tokyo. Who can forget that classic Bill Murray moment, trying to “close his face”?

“For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.”

Here’s the one that the bartender recommended for proper face-closing… the dangerously smooth Hakushu


Remember the scene where Bill & Scarlett go to the strip club? Thank you!


Funny thing is, the strip club was one of the few sets in the movie — it’s actually an expensive boutique called APC


But the real highlight was going to the Tokyo Park Hyatt where all those hotel scenes were filmed, and getting a drink (or three) in the New York Bar & Grill. I knew it was going to get weird when I saw the brass dog-heads hanging in the elevator…


The bar is 52 floors up… and what a view…



The view inside wasn’t bad either…


Although it made us a little fuzzy…


“You close your face when you’re talking to me!” We found a karaoke bar, so… nope!


I did “Little Red Corvette” with mad love for Prince, because that morning the newspaper under my hotel room door told me he was gone…


Such a tragic loss. Life is short. Do what you can, while you can, and leave life’s stage like a legend.

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, to get through this thing called life. Electric word, life. It means forever and that’s a mighty long time. But I’m here to tell you, there’s something else: the afterworld.” – Prince, “Let’s Go Crazy”

Sayonara, Prince, and arigato for all the great music!

Cheers! I mean, “Kanpai!” Now drink up!

Kanpai is Japanese for “cheers!” And we kanpai‘ed the hell out of Tokyo. Seems like it’s always Suntory time somewhere in this town…


Japanese whisky is a big deal. Suntory is the most popular brand, and the oldest; they started making whisky in 1923! They make two single-malts — Yamazaki and Hakashu — and both are excellent. They also make a bunch of blendeds which aren’t too shabby either. If you’re going blended, the craze right now is what they call a haibōru, or highball: whisky and soda with a slice of lemon. Yes, they say “high-BALL-oo” but pronounce the L‘s like R‘s. Seriously.

“For relaxing times… make it Suntory time.”

But then there’s sake. Ahh, sake. We think of it as rice wine, but actually it’s more like beer. Fermented from grain, right? Whatever, it’s oishii!

It was a hot night in Shinjuku so I ordered mine cold. They brought out a chilled glass and a little box called a masu. They put the box in the glass, then poured the sake in and over the edge, overflowing about halfway up into the box. Our host said they do this to show generosity but I think they were just trying to get us hammered. I noticed a curious effect when I lifted the glass out of the sake in the box — the glass seemed to glow!


When we were in Harajuku we ducked into a tiny four-seat bar called MOCH.  They had everything from rare Japanese whiskys to Southern Comfort.


The place was tiny. Our coworker needed to stand in the doorway to take our picture.


The proprietor used to work at a large bar on the other side of town but decided to open up his own little place close to home. He made little homemade snacks for us while we drank.


We also went to a tiny bar called JBS. I thought it stood for John’s Bull Shit (arigato!) but it’s actually Jazz, Blues, Soul. That’s what the bartender plays from the hundreds of records that line the walls…


Hmmm, must have been Honky Night? I sent this picture to my wife and she said it looked like a Mission hipster bar. Can’t argue that. Anyway, we were the last people he let in, apparently the place hits capacity at ten people. And he closed it down at midnight, to an instrumental version of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone.”

Kanpai y’all!