Whisky Magazine Issue 71
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Well I guess I promised last issue to write more about my travels in Japan. As a Tokyo beginner it is hard to know where to begin.
It is a fascinating country that feels so familiar at times, and looks like you might recognise parts of the architecture. At night the city lights still stain the underbellies of rain swollen clouds.
However once you get beyond the superficial it is an almost impenetrable culture for the foreigner.
Everyone is polite, helpful and friendly, especially if you learn a little Japanese – however be prepared to be corrected or smiled at as you inevitably get things wrong.
The Japanese do rightly and proudly consider their language as one of the most complex.
But you cannot help the feeling that occasionally you are at arms length looking in on things. The nuances of linguistics and subtleties of a culture pass you by, gently and of course with a disarming smile.
Adventures in Tokyo are always close at hand. Dave talks elsewhere in the magazine about the fish market (see page 58) and it is well worth a visit, particularly at 4am.
I made my own pilgrimage there after a few beers and chasers with whisky artist Ian Gray and a couple of Norwegian bar owners.
Ian and I had been out seeing some of the nightlife and how the Japanese relax in Rogongi, including a few hours in a superb jazz club.
We headed back to the Park hotel – home of the most exquisite ice balls for cocktails – and after liberating a bottle of Caol Ila from the bar the four o...