Beer and Babes. Get it right here!...(06/07/00)


BARS
So, yeah, this is Japan, the country where people actually give a shit about foreigners. Certainly impressed me and changed the way I treat foreigners in my own country now (while I'm still here that is). You might think that this being the 90's and all that, Japan is absolutely full of foreigners now working in every corner-store and market, but it's not true. In fact, Japan is still about 97% Japanese, so they're hardly that many foreigners at all, especially not in Sapporo, so don't go telling everybody!! :-). The thing I liked about Sapporo was that the foreign community wasn't too large, and you find that you can get to know most foreigners living out there. It's like a small community within a large one, so you can either hang out with foreigners, or just completely ignore them if they're pricks. And there's so much to do, and everybody's got money, because you can earn big bucks being a teacher if nothing else. It's the best. You also find a lot of places serving the foreign community, like English Cafes, European food joints and even American Strip Bars. And of course, the best places, the Gaijin Bars.

  • Rad Brothers - The ultimate gaijin hang-out! Ask any gaijin in Sapporo about the weirdest place to go and he/she'll direct you to Rad. It's the kind of place where all the night owl weirdos go to party until 6am at weekends. I had kind of a love-hate relationship with Rad, because some days it was just too strange, with guys dancing naked on the tables and shit, and some gay guys and Russian prostitutes which I couldn't ignore. But I also met some very cool people, like Japanese hostesses and strippers, famous musicians (some dude called Dorian?), and millionaires. I remember meeting some Japanese who'd studied abroad - believe me, you haven't laughed until you see a Japanese trying to do an impression of that scene in Taxi Driver 'You lookin' at me? Well theres nobody else here?! Shitheel..' Bloody hilarious!!. I picked up a lot of girls here, but you tend to find a lot of the head-case women here, you know, fruitcakes of the type that you see at 4:00am in the morning, not dangerous, just the type who're always moody, and think they're so much more deep than everybody else - still kinda sexy though. That's okay for a lay, but I prefer easier-going chicks. Anyway, Rads is the kind of place you go to chill after going to the nightclub, and watch the sun go up -- it's got a huge wall window surrounding it so you can see all the weird shit that goes on inside before you enter. Real kind of New York, big town atmosphere in there some nights. It's located around South 5, or, just along the main road that leads into Susikino, quite close to Nakajima Koen. Don't go to Rad Brothers II because it sucks. And watch out for the asshole bartended, who seems like a nice guy when you first meet him, but will constantly try to chat up any sexy girl that you walk in with as soon as your back's turned. Not that he could steal a girl from this good-looking gaijin, but as for you boys...j/k.. Oh, and watch out for that gay Black guy that's always there!
  • 350 Yen Bar - Not so much of a foreigner bar, but a hell of a lot of foreigners go there, and you find a lot of sexy girls going there at night-time. Usually they're party-goers, hostesses or strippers -- my kinda crowd!. My and my buddies used to go there at around 9 on a Friday night and it would always be packed full of ko-gyaru (see Types of Chick), so there isn't many brain-cells floating about, but plenty of visuals. It's also got a good Nomi-hodai (all you can drink) for 1500 Yen, which has about 50 cocktails to choose from. But they always give gaijin the English menu, which only has about 10 cheap-ass drinks on it. Don't be fooled, look at the Japanese menu, which is written in katakana, an easier to read version of Japanese. I reckon this is a trick to stop gaijin choosing the more expensive drinks. You see, Japanese choose a Nomi-hodai instead of just buying drinks a round at a time, but usually they only have 4 or 5 drinks and they're shit-faced. Gaijin just keep drinking away for the hour and a half you get, and probably drink more than 1500 Yens worth of booze. Therefore, they disguise the better drink's menu carefully in Japanese, which a lot of foreigners can't read. And sometimes when you go to a Nomi-hodai place, they're not too keen on serving gaijin promptly. But the 350 Yen Bar really isn't too bad. They got to know my face regularily, probably because I always laughed at their trying-to-look cool hairstyles. But they know a lot of foreigners can't read katakana, so they won't even tell you about the Japanese menu. Menu kudasai!. Anyway, there are two 350's, one on the main street in Susikino (same as Rad), around South 2, I forgotten where the other one is, but it's not as good anyway.
  • Bazoku - I don't think it's called this anymore, but a lot of gaijin know it by this name, because that's what it's famous for. It's pretty difficult to find actually, so here you go - From the main road where Rad and 350 are find Tanuki Koji (the overhead arcade) and walk down and you will see eventually see a side street to the right with a SUNKUS convenience store. Sunkus = Thanks in Japanese pronounciation (su-n-kus) geddit? haha, took me 5 months before I worked that out.. Bazoku is in the building on that street with the steps leading down. Okay dude? Anyway, this isn't a bad little joint, it's got a lot of the older married foreigners as regulars, so you can chat to someone who's lived there for a long time. It's also got cheap food, but not really so many birds, so it's not really my kind of place, cause I prefer dance type music and associated women, but a lot of my pals went to Bazoku all the time. It's only a shitty little dive though, and sometimes it can be packed. Try it, I dunno.
  • Beifutei - I really don't know why this place is popular with some gaijin. For me it sucks, the drinks are a rip-off (with tax), and so is the food. The only good think about it is the owner looks cool. Apparently, a lot of English and Scottish guys go there at around 7:30 and 12 on Friday nights, but they're like, older guys and about as exciting to talk to as the Brady Bunch. They put an ad in the Sapporo newspaper saying 'Don't bother the gaijin around the bar'.. Well it's like, don't worry, if I ever feel like I'm 'Japanese' enough to join your condescending ranks, maybe I will. Then again, maybe I'll just always be friendly to other foreigners, and help them out when they're new in Japan and just wanting to meet a few other gaijin who can give them some useful housing advice perhaps, or even teach them a bit of Japanese if that's what they're after.
    Yeah you gotta watch out for assholes like that, foreigners who've been in Japan too long and've fooled themselves into thinking they're some kind of elite just because they can say 'How are you?' in 20 different ways, and they have a couple of kids in Japanese high school. Most of them are Far Away Freds anyway (look in the Other Dudes site :-)).Around South 2, West 3. Not highly recommended.
  • Sassenach's Cafe - Like it says - a cafe, but every two Fridays it has an international party. I've got really good memories of this place. It's essentially an English style restaurant (Sassenach is Gaelic for Englishman) run by a guy from Kent called David, who's a safe bloke, and want's to come back to England in 2 or 3 years. So, if he ain't there anymore when you go, you know why. Anyway, the international parties are a good place to meet the more intelligent types of girls (is that a good thing?), who are in the late 20's bracket range usually. It's an excellent place to start having a few drinks and meet a few people, before you head down to one of the nightclubs. It's only 1500 Yen for 3 strong drinks, and you do get a lot of nice looking girls, so check it out. And Dave's a good guy who'll help out anyone who get's into shit (like I did for example). Say hello to David from Kris the Hastings guy who used to work for Junko eh? why you are at it. Odori - East 7, that is.
  • Loco Tonte - Ohhh, what a dive, if you want to see a bunch of weird, foreigners, with 'desperately needs to get laid' written on their forehead, then go here. It's one up is that it has a very nice balcony with a view over King Xhmu's, so at least you can watch all the flange go into that place, and dream of the day when you'll be able to afford the entrance fee to go there..No, I have to say, this place is dorky, it's mainly a gaijin hangout, but it's small, it's shit. I met my first Japanese homo in there too. Euuwww..Just don't bother.

    EAT OUTS

    • New York Nuts - Really good but difficult to find burger joint, probably one of the tastiest burgers I've had in Japan. It's located in one of the skyscrapers near Odori-Koen and so you get a real nice panoramic view of the city while eating. When you get there, I really recommend the Super Nuts Burger. It's a huge freshly made cheeseburger with all kinds of sauce and salad, with some chips, not the skanky bought from 7-11 variety, but cut from potatoe in front of you. Oh man, this is making me hungry. It'll cost you about 900 Yen, so a little expensive, but worth a try. Effing tasty, but of course, nothing beats the English (or is that Arabic) Doner Kebab, which I couldn't find in Sapporo. Shit dude! :=(
    • Sapporo Council Building - This is for eating when you're really broke. It's a little known place which is right next to Odori Koen's main block, on the basement floor of the main Council Building. Apparently, this is where all the drunks/bums etc go for a meal, so I fit in perfectly. Remember your school cafeteria, it's just like that, with a bunch of nice old ladies screaming at eachother during the main lunch hour. Here you can pick up a bento or set of things like rice, miso soup (tasty), some pickle things, and a main serving, usually something like chicken slices in Japanese sauce or something, and it's all usually below 500 Yen. And it's tasty too, I used to ride my bike down there at around 12 noon when all the sexy office girls from upstairs are having their lunch in there. And all the bums.
    • Denki Shokujo - Yeah, don't ask me about the name, I know it sounds like a gay hair-dresser. Actually in Japanese it translates into something like, Electric Diner, but luckily it's not the kind of place you find with the same name on American highways with some hillbilly Inbred Jed and his wife cooking you some crispy black bacon with ten year old potatoes used for chips. No, this is quite a cosy old place, far away from Sapporo town centre, but if you live anywhere near Happy House, it's pretty close. I can't remember the exact location, it must be around South 1, East 20 or something. But it's kinda difficult the find, so it's better to go somewhere with someone who's been there. The reason this place is so popular is a) because it's dead cheap. And b) because it has a real nice atmosphere to it, kind of like Old Japan or something. The waiters wear kimonos, and all the decorations are like the 50's. You can't help feeling like some visiting foreign soldier or something, with the moody lights, and the enka music in the background. No birds though. Never mind, a great place to go on Sundays or before heading down the town.
    • Burger Joints - You know, MacDonalds, and the Korean owned Lotteria. Well, actually thats Ma-ku-do-na-ru-do-zu and Ro-te-ri-a in Japanese pronounciation. I just wanted to mention the differences between theirs and ours. Firstly, I reckon the milkshake taste more powdery. Or maybe that's just me. Secondly, they got teriyaki burgers, which are just plain ol' burgers with teriyaki sauce in it (trust me, it tastes good). Umai!!. But that's about all. Burgers are a little cheaper there than in the UK, so its is a good place to go if you're broke until Monday. You don't need me to tell you where they are in Sapporo as you can't miss them they're that big. Ok, you won't understand the Japanese so here's what you say .1) Chi-zu-ba-a-ga onegaishimasu. (Gizzus a cheeseburger mate) followed by that you'll hear some crap to which you say) 2) Eeeee, Ko-ra arigato (Uuuh, I'll have a Coke) 3) Hai, Koko desu (Yeah, I'll eat here, big smile) 4) Doomo (Cheers dude!). There ya go! One reason I mention these places is that, like any other country, they are always just full of sexy young babes, esp kogyaru, just using up their money from part-time jobs on burgers and fries and waiting for a handsome gaijin like me to come and practice some bad Japanese on them. Yes my friend, many a time I had a burger when I wasn't hungry as I looked into the window of the Susikino Lotteria and saw a bunch of babes gazing back idly. In between hanging out at Sega World, and teaching, this was my main destination for babes. Try those Lotteria burgers - they're even better than Macdonalds.
    • Bikkuri Donkey - Ha, ha, don't you just love JapEnglish. This one means, Surprised Donkey! - well think about it, wouldn't you be surprised if you were a donkey, and some crazy Japster cook came at you licking his lips and swinging at you with a machete? No, just kidding it's just plain old cow's arse served at this place. Tastes pretty good too. That's the best god-damn steak I've had in my life. One word of advice is, you may think Victoria Steak, and Bikkuri Donkey are the same, but I'm telling you, Bikkuri Donkey is much much better tasting, and the same price. It's kind of a small meal though, very tasty, but built for the Japanese appetite. Try the Cheese Cross steak, you'll love it. There are Bikkuri Donkey's in Chuo-ku and in Pole Town, the underground town. The only advantage Victoria Steak has over Bikkuri is that with Victoria Steak you can pay, say, an extra 180 Yen and get unlimited Coke's or free salad and stuff. Great for putting in a little doggy bag when nobody's looking and munching at your own leisure in the privacy of your home.
    • Los Gatos - Obviously I could probably go on about 20 other restaurants or good places to eat, because Sapporo is full of them. But that would just take too much room on this page, so I thought I'd just mention one more that really needs mentioning. This is an Italian restaurant (well, serves Italian food), in Susikino. Where the food is just superb. It isn't that cheap, and it isn't that large, but the food is just damn good. I tried some kind of cheese omelette with pork and sauces which I can still remember the taste of. I dunno, maybe I'm biased because I grew up eating Italian food, but I just think it's the best in the world. I mean, sure you can have small little Chinese or Japanese meals which are satisfactory and tasty, but Italian just gives me that taste explosion from a big chunky meal with lumps of cheese and meat and little herbs of oregano and .... AAAGH!!, man, I gotta stop. Phew, so, be careful not to choose the shitty Los Gatos near to Sega World, because the food there is just average. The other one is somewhere like West 2 South 1 or something, but it closes earlier than Los Gatos 2 which is open all night.

      So you've had a cocktail and something to eat, but the fat lady hasn't sung yet. It's about that time you got a lay, down at the:

      NIGHTCLUBS! YEAH!

      • Club Mirror - First on the list is the newish Club Mirror, which opened around late 99'. It's located off the main road to Susikino just around South 2, West 2, and has a big cone outside with 'Mirror' written on it so it's not too hard to find. It's got two floors, the first one is kind of like a Chinese style nightclub, with seats around the centre where people can sit and smooch, and a dj doing his thang while drunks dance to the R & B music usually played there. Downstairs is the main dance hall, where you sometimes get some decent dance music and a few nice chicks, not to mention the occasional gaijin sprawling around. I can't say I really liked this place so much. It's worth a try but to be honest, most of the girls who like this kind of place go to Bar Isn't It? which is just that little bit funkier, and, well, I just follow the girls man. Drinks here are a mixture of cocktails and beers, costing around 500 - 700 Yen each. Alright S'ppose. 1000 Yen on the door with a free drink. As a word of warning, I never scored in here, the atmosphere's a bit too relaxed and laid back, and not so full of sexual energy like --
      • Bar Isn't It? - This has to be my favourite place in Sapporo to be honest, I probably would have gone to King Xhmu's more regularily if I'd had the cash but this place is just so shit hot. It's actually a chain around Japan, with Bar Isn't It?'s all around Tokyo and Osaka. It's called Bar Isn't It? but it's friendlier nickname is Easy Girls Isn't It? by all the Japanese guys (Easy Girls Aren't They? just doesn't have that ring to it) and it's one of the more popular spots in Sapporo for students and kogyaru, due to the door price being only 1000 Yen for entry and free drink. This place is well known in Sapporo for being a gaijin club. So you know, that when you go there, probably 85% percent of the girls going there are going there to find foreign boyfriends. I like those frickin' odds man!! Most of the staff are Kiwis or Ozzies so you can always go there and have a chat with them about other places to go to in Sapporo, but they're usually drunk after 2, so don't expect much. My friend Joe works at Isn't it? and she tells me that the gaijin working there are more like a tourist attraction than actual workers so get this: she actually got told not to work so hard. Top this up with free drinks and wicked music all night and you got a bloody good job girl!. This place is just the best, it's got some wicked music, and the most gorgeous babes in Sapporo come here every Friday and Saturday night, so slap my thigh if it ain't the zig-zagadoodiest place in Sapporo.yeehaw!.. Man, I did more than my fair share for 'international relations' in that place, as does any gaijin. The Japanese girls are so sexy, it's so weird when I think about it, because I remember seeing some gaijin girls with blonde hair, who in England would have been chatted up by every guy in the nightclub, but in Japan they're just ignored by all the foreign guys. It's weird man, those are the kind of girls who always think they are something special in their own country, but in Japan they're reduced to the drink in a corner with friends type because the Japanese girls are just so much better looking, and less hassle to chat to. Really, you have to see it to believe it, the roles are just so reversed. Nerd's revenge oh yeeeeaah!!. The best day to go is Saturday night for two reasons a) It's the most packed-out, wild night. b) Japanese girls can be kind of shy to smooch on the dance floor, but on Saturday nights, when it's so packed nobody's looking, and all the lights are going dark and stuff, you can get away with it. I like the drink selection, with cocktails with provocative names like 'Sex on the Beach' and 'Sexy Motherf**ker', so you can shout out subtle things like 'Oi!! Motherf**ker!' to the 6ft 3 bartender, and not get kicked in. Isn't it? is around South 3 West 3 I think. Just look for the Sugai video arcade and cross the road, you can't miss the groups of people going in. (ATTENTION: I recently heard that actually Bar Isn't It's been shut down, or is under new management and has been renamed with AQUA, same place though.)
      • King Xhmu's - King Xhmu's (or King Moos) is the ultimate place to go if you have the dough. The entrace fee ain't cheap, usually around 3000 - 4000 Yen (20 bucks man!! Ouch!) but it's definately worth trying out a few times on Saturday nights. Personally, I reckon it's just a bigger version of Isn't it? So it doesn't really justify the extra cost. Even though you might spot a Japanese celebrity or two visiting Sapporo in here. Also, it's got kind of rip-off deals in there like, you have to buy a cards worth 1000, 3000, or 5000 Yen to buy drinks, and for some strange reason, the 1000 Yen one is always out of order. Weird that eh? So, before you know it, you've spent 6000 Yen just to get the night started. That's a day's work dude! (not that a day's English teaching is what I'd consider work, mind you). But this place rocks man, even the building looks cool. It's weird because I took loads of photo's of all these places in the knowledge that I would start a page when I came back to England, but all of the photo's came out duff. Pisses me off. Anyway, King Xmhu's is like a huge statue of huge African god or something, with the mouth as the door. It's just so cool looking, this should be the Sapporo Monument, not the skanky Clock Tower. I've built sand castles better than the Clock Tower, but the King Xhmu building, now that's a masterpiece. Inside is just as cool aswell, it's all styled like some tribal temple, and as you go up to steps to the thump of the music you're faced with this omnipotent looking demon firing lasers over the crowd from it's eyes. Look down to see babe central dancing the night away. This place is the closest you get to the hectic Tokyo type nightclubs, just grab a girl! A buddy of mine pulled in like, 5 minutes or something, that's how easy it is. A hell of a lot of Gaijin Groupies go here, girls who just chase foreigners and nothing else. Also the fashions for guys change like the clothes, so you might find you have more luck sometimes than other guys if you're a Spanish looking guy (or in fact Spanish) one day, and if you're black the next. It doesn't really matter though, as long as you're foreign and look foreign (tough shit to all Chinese, Koreans etc - they have no luck at all). It's all pretty superficial, good-natured fun! Stick to Isn't it? if you're on a budget though. To find King Xhmu's go down to Rad and then take a right. You can't miss it.

        Well that just about wraps it up for clubs, pubs and stuff. Have fun.


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