If, like us, you like your beer cold and frothy and enjoy it even more when it’s cheap and you’re with friends, you are in for a treat.
The “week” is actually two months long and the campaign, the work of the local tourist bureau, hopes to get foreigners involved in a thriving “under the train tracks” style drinking and dining (well, eating) culture that exists some say unbeknown to many of us. Even if you know it well but from the fringes, here’s your chance to get involved more deeply.
Between January 15 and March 15 a special Yokoso Discount Passport will gain you – you guessed it! – a discount but also access to a special menu at a selection of standing style bars and restaurants in Yurakucho. A ¥1,000 menu at each offers such classic combos as ramen and a beer, Hokkaido shellfish and sake, skewered beef with Hokkaido wine, char-grilled chicken with shochu and even a bit of horse ‘sashimi’.
All venues involved (you can see a list and map at this website) have produced English menus to help tourists and foreigners living in Japan who have limited or no Japanese reading ability.
The Yurakucho station area is a must visit for anyone wanting to experience truly Japanese nightlife and this seems a perfect opportunity if you haven’t already. Have a look at the Yokocho website for more details on how to get hold of your “Yokoso Discount Passport” (hint, head to Don Quixote and ask) then head to Yurakucho Sanchoku-Inshokugai (International Arcade 2-1-1, Yuraku-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) which is just a five minute walk from the station and get involved.
As an aside – check out this article from the Weekender in 1992 which explains what was going on then… Not much has changed!