There’s a ‘samurai bartender’ in Sendagi. No, really. Unfortunately you can’t meet him every night: Ichi-Hachi’s Akihiro Ichikawa only ties his hair up for special occasions. Regulars here will tell you that the barman, a former video game developer, is a huge fan of late Sengoku era samurai Keiji Maeda, the protagonist of ‘Fist of the North Star’ author Tetsuo Hara’s early ’90s manga ‘Keiji’. Ichikawa even makes an annual trip to a temple in Yamagata prefecture’s Yonezawa just to pay his respects to Maeda. Now that’s dedication.
The battling bartender’s castle is found on the second floor of a very apartment-like building close to Sendagi Station. Opening the door feels almost like stepping into someone else’s home, but a look inside will reveal a comfy counter-only space. It isn’t your typical stylish, authentic bar, but the cocktails – including the ones made with seasonal fruit and vegetables – maintain high quality. The Fresh Tomato Bloody Mary is available year-round, while the Mint Julep is made with home-grown Latin American spearmint. And as the bar name suggests, you’ll also find a plentiful selection of 18-year-old whisky.
MH Bldg 2F, 3-34-7 Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku
|Opening hours:||8pm-5am (Sun & hols 7pm-4am) / closed Thu|
|Transport:||Sendagi Station (Chiyoda line)|