If you've spent any time squeezing into the tiny bars and eateries along Shibuya's Nonbei Yokocho (Drunkard's Alley), you won't be surprised at just how tight (hence the name) the space is here. There are only about four barstools available and at its maximum capacity of 20, revellers end up using the steep staircase for extra standing room. But this just makes the experience all the more interesting.
Owner Yosuke Kimura, who opened the place back in 2004, has added a touch of class to the decor with arty wallpaper that stretches all the way up from street level to the ceiling, a sophisticated chandelier hanging in the centre of the room, and a huge mirror that helps to open up the space, if only through illusion. Adding to this is the massive window that frames the entire bar and looks out onto trains whizzing by. It means that, on the occasion you have the bar all to yourself, you could almost imagine you're sipping your Japanese shochu in an upmarket apartment slapbang in the middle of Shibuya.
No need to feel lonely, though, as Kimura will chat and keep you company, and probably offer you a whiff of the jug of brandy that sits on the bar and is infused with orange slices and peels. Prices vary from ¥700 for a glass of umeshu to ¥900 for a cocktail.
Nonbei Yokocho, 1-25-10 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku
|Opening hours:||6pm-2am, closed Su|