To Keisei Tateishi, Another Mecca for Working-Class Drinkers.
I’m taking the Toei Asakusa Line, anxious to set foot in a typical ‘Shitamachi’ area, Keisei Tateishi. Take the train bound for Inba-Nihon-Idai so you can get there without changing trains.
‘Uchida’, the Leading Bar in the Busy Shitamachi Bar District.
This has been a legendary local bar, with its distinctive naked light bulbs brighting up stressed-out salarymen after work.
It’s such a popular place, you probably need to line up to enter. Can’t wait!
What makes this place distinctive are these naked light bulbs. They create such a warm, cozy atmosphere. Now I know why this place has been so much loved!
I order plum liquor called ‘Ume’ as most other customers do. (Apparently, ordering this drink is almost like the unspoken rule at this place.) Then the staff fills the glass with lots of ‘Shochu’ (Japanese distilled alcohol) with 25% alcohol content, and just a bit of plum syrup. It’s pretty strong, but tastes surprisingly good!
When you order ‘Motsu-ni’ (simmered pork entrails), add the word ‘Abura’ meaning ‘fat’, and the staff will give you fattier ones.
I have no clue how to order 'Motsu-yaki'… Then one regular customer helps me and lets me know about the bar’s ordering rule. According to this, order should be made with three or four short words (For example: ‘Kashira, Yokuyaki, Tare!’) telling the kind of motsu, the degree of burning, and the flavor you would like.
Choose one from the following categories and say it: 1. the part of ‘Motsu’ (pork entrails): Kashira (pork cheek meat)/ Shiro (small intestine)/ Reba (liver)/ Abura (fat)/ Nankotsu (soft bone)/ Tan (tongue) 2. the degree of burning: Yokuyaki (well-done)/ Suyaki (medium with soy sauce)/Wakayaki(rare, slightly burned)/ Han-nama (half-boiled)/ Nama (boiled), 3. the flavor: Tare (sweet sauce)/ Shio (salt)/ Su (vinegar).. Feeling the need to eat vegetables, I order ‘Daikon’.
Ending Today’s Barhopping with Sushi at ‘Sakae-zushi’, a Standing Sushi Bar.
This standing sushi bar opened in 1958. I really wish I had this kind of place in my neighborhood. Or I would rather live in Tateishi!
This place is known for its tasty shellfish, but I end up choosing the much more reasonable ‘Nigiri-moriawase’ (Assorted Sushi) which costs just 1000 yen per person! By the way, ’Yebisu’ Beer goes perfectly with sushi.
Regarding the customers, I see many salarymen in suits, some couples, and a female office worker eating alone. What they eat is mainly shellfish. Well, it seems like they know this place well and what should be eaten. On my next visit, I would love to try ‘Akagai (ark shell)’ and ‘Hotate’ (scallop), both of which are a little pricey, costing 200 yen per piece.