Brown JugEbisu 4-8-10, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
TEL 3473-0249 >> OPEN PM 5:00 - AM 2:00 (Sunday & Holiday closed)
Though the rainy season has not ended yet, glaring sun shine heats up Tokyo and the temperature rises well above 100 F.

In this terrible heat Lee Ching, an Internet friend of mine, visited Japan for the first time and we met at Ebisu Garden Place. We then went to a nearby bar called "Brown Jug" to fill our stomach with foods and drinks and talk about her plans to see the real life in Tokyo from non-tourist viewpoints.

I remember a sweet clarinet melody flowing from a radio speaker. It is like a sepia colored photo in an grandma's drawer and exists in my memory together with numerous little things. I can still sing that melody with arithmetic accuracy. I believed till recently that the title of the melody was something like "little brown bottle" from its Japanese translation, but knew neither the composer nor the exact English title.

Then the other day I received a mail from an American viewer of this site who wrote in his mail the URL of the homepage of his Japanese friend. I visited the site and was surprised to find there an introduction of a bar named "Brown Jug" and an explanation that this name came from a famous standard Jazz number "Little Brown Jug".

I thought that this must be the music I was looking for so long. I immediately went to a large CD shop and bought an original recording by Glenn Miller. With much expectation I listened to the introduction ... ??? NO. It was NOT what I thought to be "little brown bottle" !!!!!

I still don't know what is MY "little brown bottle". Some friends tell me that the title of the melody I remember might be something like "little flower". Others told me, "The Peanuts", twin singers who were popular three to four decades ago, once sang it. Unfortunately, there is no record available now .... So my search for "little brown bottle" still continues.

Brown Jug Master, Anbe-kun

In the meantime, I came to this "Brown Jug" and found it nice and comfortable. Their original foods are excellent and Mr. Anbe's service is gentle and attentive. The location of the bar ... a narrow side alley in a residential area ... is also attractive

Recently the number of bar-restaurants is exploding. To my pleasure, the competition enables the existence of diverse kinds of bars. Some of them boast gorgeous interiors and extreme prices. Others target young adults by casual atmosphere and reasonable pricing. We can also enjoy colorful and strange fishes in fantastic aquariums, though the boom of bars with tropical fishes is already gone. There is also a bar with the view to cherry blossoms from the counter through the whole wall window in the midst of Tokyo. Some bars offer first class Italian or French food. So and so. Therefore, you can choose bars according to your needs and tastes.

I should confess that I love "Brown Jug" among countless bars. Its attraction is good quality of service and food, intimate atmosphere and reasonable price in a area remote enough from any noise of downtowns (^^)/

Lee Chin

Vegetable sticks

Avocado and tuna with
mustard sauce

Maybe it's not fair to put Lee Ching's photo before getting her approval. But, she is not back in NY yet and I am relatively confident that she would accept my mischief.

We talked about possible areas of Tokyo for her sightseeing. It is not easy to tell the visitors what they should see in Tokyo, if they don't know exactly what kind of things they expect. For Lee Ching this was clear. She wanted to see the real life of Japanese.
I think, many visitors might have illusion to be able to experience the real life of Japanese when they come across old houses and towns such as Yanaka. Though I love the milieu of Yanaka, it is inappropriate to assume that Yanaka is the place where the real life of the present Japanese is to be found. The modern life exists, even though it appears to be a fake, unattractive and without real human touch, rather in such futuristic and ugly areas as Ebisu Garden Place or Bay area.
"Brown Jug" is also a typical trendy Japanese place, though it does not appear to be Japanese. It's international food, friendly service and Western style interior are the popularl cultural mix of the contemporary Japan.
If you look out from wide glass windows, you can see the backyards of an apartment house where washings are flattering and people are wearing only pajamas and chatting ... so, you can also witness a part of daily life in Tokyo.