Hi my name is Anna and I am a 20 year-old Australian girl studying in Japan over the next ten months. Here I will share my love of people, culture, food, health, spirituality and the highs and lows of student exchange and my first long-distance relationship.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Discover Osaka- Bar for cheap drinks
Welcome to Shinsaibashi. The downtown shopping, clubbing, and bar hub of Osaka.
I must admit I do not have much experience with this area but every time I visit, I swear to myself that I have to get out here and discover more, more often! Last night a visiting mate from Australia and I went searching for a few popular 'gaijin bars' (gaijin=foreigner, so basically Brittish or Irish pubs etc where all the expats go to play). The atmosphere is always a lot more casual, and friendly, and not as creepy as the bars aimed at the Japanese (more like hostess bars for the exhausted business men). This is one we came across:
WHERE: Osaka Centre Building 2F, West Shinsaibashi.
(Hidden behind a very plain dark wooden door, no windows <<and the only sign was this, hanging off to the side)
COST: Very cheap. All drinks 210yen (inc sneaky tax). Repeat: ALL DRINKS 210yen!! There is also a table charge of 420yen, but after a few drinks you well and truly make up for that as one drink from most other places start at 400yen at happy hour!
ATMOSPHERE: We got a bit of a shock when we walked in at how the dead the place was, with just a group of three french guys sitting at the bar. But it was only 8.30pm! So no judgements made. The tiny bar felt cozy and was decorated to look like some kind of european pub. Seating options were the bar, high tables for two, and a set of couches.
Bad lighting, apologies.
DRINK: OMG the drinks menu was amazing! It ranged from your typical cosmopolitans, sex on the beach, japanese slipper etc, to lychee yoghurt vodka, and choc mint milks. Each drink took me WAY to long to choose but i eventually decided on:
1. CHINA BLUE - Grapefruit juice, Lychee liquor, and
Blue Curacao liquor. It was light and refreshing.
2. Salty Dog - Vodka and grapefruit juice served in a glass with a salty rim. A lot more simple than the first one obviously, and the salt was too much for me, but now I know!
3. Jungle Fantasy. Not entirely sure, but it was a banana, yoghurt cocktail of some sort.
I was afraid the yoghurt would be a bad mix after all the previous drinks,
but it was actually very light and tangy. I would get this one again!
VERDICT: While it was dark and quiet, I still rate this place high due to the price and variety in drinks. Matt and I had fun drinking and chatting, so I can imagine it being really great with a group of friends. And again, it was early and I am sure would have picked up like I hear it does after 11.30, or moreso on a Saturday night.
Speaking of time! I had checked that my last train was 12:13am but for some unknown reason it had already stopped by the time I got there at 11.40. People were running through the station, so I assumed everyone too was needing to find an alternative route home, an option which was also reaching its expiry. I hassled a few train staff to tell me where I needed to go to get home, who told me to run for platform two, get off at the next stop, run for a different station, get a train to the city and then change to my local one which I may also have to run for. This was ridiculous. I was scared. If too slow, I would have to find somewhere to stay the night in the city (Internet cafes: an amazing option I will explain in a future post!).
My amazing host mum picked me up at the local station (my host sister also happened to be on the same train!) and I was in bed by 1.30. Today: ASSIGNMENTS!!!!