With B and E in town, we stayed in a cute hotel in Shibuya. Just North of Shibuya station we discovered a secret little area nestled between the river and the expressway. A narrow street separates rows of even narrower bars that can sit about 6 people max. You know you are at the right place when you see the red lanterns.We just wanted some drinks, so we chose this modern-looking place, aptly named Tight. The three of us plus the three regulars and the bartender meant the place was full to capacity. One of the regulars even straddled the space above the stairs. This place was so small, that if someone had to step outside, everyone else had to file out to let them by.
We had a few drink, made some new friends and learned about other such alleys scattered around the city.
We also discovered the hidden bars on high floors in otherwise sleepy office buildings. One was called Sangendou on the 29th floor of the Shinjuku NS Bldg in the Skyscraper district. They had lots of small plates, which gave us plenty of vegetarian options for E. They also had a big selection of sake which came in over-flowing shot glasses sitting within lacquer boxes.
We found another of these sneaky office building bars in Shibuya, when we went out with a couple of locals that B knows through a friend. The bars put people down on the street to pass out flyers and try to drum up business. I would have never considered actually taking the person up on it, but apparently this is done quite frequently. The bar was great and the locals ordered a table full of yummy food and drinks. If only I had any hope of ever finding the place again.