So after getting rejected from two places (only one of which seemed like they rejected me for being white) on my early-evening stroll around the Ningyochos, I ended up on Amazake Yokocho. Near that semi-famous but questionable-quality 'Wasabi' place, I saw a cedar ball and thought "Come to papa."
Having a sugidama is kind of enough evidence of your intentions, but the master here goes a step further with the board outside "We only have sake and drinking snacks!" This is pretty much my 嗜 anyway, but I had dinner plans in 90 minutes and was just looking for a place to compare some pure-rice sake and read the new issue of Tokyo Calendar. Perfect. In we go.
But herein lies the problem - the master has probably created a drinks-and-snacks menu based on his 嗜, and no one else can read the kanji or understand what he's thinking...which is why I was the only customer. I admire him for being idiosyncratic - look, there are sections on the menu for raw squid, raw horse, and raw tiny whole fishes, and that's before you get to the 'make your own drinking snack set'. He's just maybe pushing the envelope a bit.
Suiko. I just think you should pick your snack-style a little more carefully than this.
And that, I think, is why the below picture probably shows all the customers he had besides me today. It bears mention that he's nerdy, and not in a likable way. I don't think he should be running a sake bar. He's put together many of the right elements, but there's some heart and or soul missing.
For which I shed a little tear. A ginjo tear.