Tokyo Day 1 Continued

After dropping off Jenn at the hostel to recuperate from her journey of well over 24 hours I find myself once again in a dimly lit place with British people and their beers. Gotta watch out for those sneaky people.

Jenn got in touch after having a solid power nap cycle and decided she couldn't not try and see a bit more of Tokyo at night. We parted ways with Ryan and Tams, who went off to a club show thingy. Jenn and I started walking the back streets of Asakusa looking for something out-of-the-way and different. We, uh, we found it.

It went by the name of Nemo, and I still can't remember if this is pronounced the way it would be in Japanese ("neh-mo") or English ("knee-mo"). I'm leaning towards the English pronunciation though. Regardless, let me tell you about this place.

It wasn't the sort of shop where you'd walk in and ask for a G&T. You can start things that way, but you're just going to get a question instead of a drink. What sort of gin do you want? At this point, at least ten bottles of alcohol will be placed in front of you, taken from the shelves that run the entire length of the bar. The bottles were legion I tell you.

Surely, after going through his large selection of gin (as in, drinking a few shots worth of free gin trying to figure out which one is best) you'll get a terrific drink right? Well, right, but there's another question left. What kind of tonic do you want?

Madness. Jenn and I had some Gin and Tonics perfectly assembled for our separate taste buds and I then spent the rest of the night translating our bartender's philosophical outlook on his calling to deliver unto his customers the best of good times, his duty to bequeath unto them drinks which he has lovingly crafted from his knowledge of their tests (and of course, he knows their tests better than they do).

Jenn, for her part, drank a delicious G&T, listened to a half drunk Matt's poor translations, such as "Now I'm just saying this sentence to make him think I'm translating what he just said because he expects it to me, but really, he's just repeating himself, 'cause he likes the sound of his voice". We were both appropriately impressed by the place, particularly when our server launched into the tale of the regal Nemo itself, with its great storied history and connections with the greatest of whiskey distilleries.

Eventually, Ms. Hess and I regretfully informed our host that we would soon collapse from exhaustion (remember, I took a night bus to Tokyo, and so had about as much sleep as Jenn at this point) and were going to depart. He made sure to get one last picture of us, being extra careful that the name of his store made it into the frame.

On our way out, we were shown the fabeled "back-room", so long as we remembered that it would just be our little secret. This was, of course, only after he had built it up quite a bit throughout our conversation, regretfully reminding us each time that he would be unable to show it to us. He sure knows how to work that crowd.

And that was the end of Jenn's first night in Japan, and my first day of what would be a very long trip all over Japan.

Matt Enlow

Matt has a camera, a home on wheels, and this website
Down by the river