Saturday, April 18, 2009

Trader Vic's (Hotel New Otani, Kioicho/Akasaka)

EOITwJ has a somewhat puzzling luv for tattoos, big orange guitars, and...tiki bars. We think it started on our birthday (that may be an excessive use of royal plural. More like rural plural or something.) in 2002, when Suz showed up unannounced at a fancy dinner and made us go to Trader Vic's (which I see is no longer in the hotel where it was then, sorry). It was amazing. To this day I describe it to people, and they're so incredulous that I think I must be making it up. Indoor lagoon? Check. Live band? Check? Live band on a boat on the indoor lagoon? Check check. Simulated thundershower, every hour on the hour? Check, and check.

So at some point I realized there must be a tiki bar in Tokyo. In fact there's a Trader Vic's, and it's in the New Otani. This is only a little bit like having a biker bar in the Okura. But like a lot of these things, it feels watered down. The interior is true to the Trader's vision, the staff are appealingly and tropically dressed, the drinks are served in ridiculous tiki glasses (and, er, festive bowls)...but the windows look out on another building, not a tropical lagoon. Ah well.

As a once-a-year thing, the Trader is a little bit fun. As he'd better be, at the prices he charges for his drinks! Expect to spend about Y2000 per person, because that's what one drink will cost, and you'll probably want to leave after that. It's really nice to walk in the garden before or after; dig the simulated waterfall that you can see from the simulated Japanese-style bridge!

The Trader is waiting!

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