Yurakucho “Yakitori Alley”

Yurakucho station is one stop south of Tokyo Station along the JR Yamanote Line. It is also next to the glitzy Ginza district with all its high class shops, restaurants and entertainment.
Yurakucho is, for me anyway, a bit more down to earth, old fashioned and relaxed –  and a lot cheaper to eat..
One of the big  attractions for me is a little street called various names in English, the one that sticks for me is “Yakitori Alley” .  Its a small area underneath the railway tracks full of little tiny bars (yakitori-ya) where you can get a beer, some yakitori and relax after a long day at the office or sightseeing Tokyo.
These bars are on either side of the railway lines below the tracks and are usually full of Japanese, occasionally a foreigner, but not so much.
Absolutely no English is spoken, although we found one with an English menu, but the barkeepers are friendly and welcoming…

I’ve been before and thought it was a good way to end a week of sightseeing in Tokyo and Kyoto, so we ended up there one evening after returning from Kyoto and sat down on the stools outside.
The tables are beer crates with a piece of wood across the top.  There is a canopy of sorts, but essentially you are sitting out in the street with the trains rumbling overhead on a regular basis.   We ordered our beers and some Yakitori sticks and were just enjoying the first ones, when the heavens opened and it poured with rain..
The barkeepers managed (no idea how !) to cram all the patrons (including 3 gaijins) into the tiny indoor bar space and we spent a really fun evening, drinking beer & sake, eating Yakitori sticks and waiting for the rain to stop..

Not entirely sure when that happened, although I have a photo on a train –  time stamped 10:30pm.. so a good night was had by all..

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