From Insomnia to Depot

Spent a very interesting evening last night. Started out by meeting with Jason in Shibuya, where we wanted to check out the new Insomnia lounge. As we were walking in some back streets looking for the place, while hearing offers of great blowjobs by a sex shop owner, we ended up in a small alley where two girls in school uniforms were playing badminton, while an Arab was selling fake telephone cards, and a sex club owner was frowning at us as if to say that his place was not really for foreigners. After that small detour we found Insomnia 2 (described as a funkier version of the original Insomnia), but the place wasn’t open yet. We decided to go to Dubliner’s, an Irish pub, to get something to eat. I usually don’t like going to those gaijin intensive bars, but I was convinced to go when told we could sit at a terrace outside. A pint of Kilkennys also did the trick. After a tasty plate of chicken and chips, it was back to Insomnia. You take your shoes off as you walk in and then are directed in an entirely red room, complete with red plush carpeting, and told to sit on very low seats at the bar (there were also a few tables in another area for groups of 3 or more). As I was enjoying my gin and tonic, we could hear a couple of roadies from the Badly Drawn Boy tour chatting up some ladies at the other end of the bar. We then headed to Nakameguro, which was our original plan for the night. We started out by checking out a place called Marakesh, which is situated inside a used clothes shop on the second floor (you can still see the inside of the shop). The decor was interesting, but it was still a bit early in the evening and so the place was very quiet. The choice of music was also a bit odd, a mix of the Jackson 5, some disco, and then The Pogues. Go figure. We drank our glasses of wine, and then went to Depot, which was the ultimate goal of the night. Depot was absolutely great. I was at first a bit surprised by the huge graffiti-like art that was surrounding me as I entered, bumping my head on the top of the very low entrance. A whole section of this warehouse-like bar is devoted to bi-weekly art exhibits. The music was a nice choice of jazzy beats, and the rumbling of the train passing overhead (Depot is situated under train tracks) made for an interesting feel. Service was great, with very friendly waiters and waitresses. I look forward to going again.

Oh, and the train ride back home on the Yamanote line was just awful. I can’t remember being so crunched inside of a train (since I go to work in the afternoon, I’m able to avoid the morning rush hours). I popped in the earphones from my iPod and tried to make the best of it, hoping the sounds of Mark Robinson’s Flin Flon would make the ride go quicker. I’m also very thankful that none of the drunk salarymen on the train got sick.