Friday, October 22, 2010

Never Never Land, Shimo Kitazawa

Big Bird has some funny connections in Japan - like the former world champion of backgammon. And a pediatric orthodontist who also plays backgammon but has a good side-line in being a generally upstanding citizen of Shimokitazawa. If I were a daft travel writer, I'd spin you a good line about how he came to own this bar. Actually it's a nice story.

You may know where this is. It's just across tracks, in what I like to think is the prettier, quieter part of Shimokita - the 'north quadrant' as described by the Inokashira and Odakyu lines. Bear Pond is over there too, on the street that forks with this one just as you cross the tracks. You can see the Studio Noah branch peeking out on the left, and it's also right across the street from Lost Boys, which is a pretty good guitar store.

And this is not a bad bar either. The low blue door gives you a brief hint that they might really be trying to live up to the NNL name, and the association with Lost Boys. Actually I'm unsure if there IS an association, and Big Bird doesn't know either. I suppose we could have asked, but that seemed a bit forward and aggressive, considering that Never Never Land is all about

forgetting your troubles, and everything else. Honestly, we walked in, sat down with the owner, I picked up the house guitar, and before we knew it, we were bare minutes away from missing the last eastbound train. And when the owner told us that, he said it in such a placid way, with a little chuckle in his voice, that I thought to myself "Yeah, I could just stay here until the first train. Why not? Why not?" Big Bird snapped me out of it, and we brisk-walked to the station. Be careful if you go here - there are DJ tables, and a piano, and a guitar, and a PA system, and people hanging out, and Okinawan food, and house-made plum wine, and a whole lot of nothingness that will seep into your head instantly.

Give it an hour, you'll be a lost boy too. Unless you're a girl.


  1. Hi Jon, how do I contact you? Any way to send you an email?
    Just wanted talk about this Shimokita-Zawa bit more...

  2. You can use the gmail in the profile at top right.