An old Tokyo bar and its no-nonsense Mama-san

Her native Okinawa that she left over 40 years ago must have changed enormously, but the bar this strong-willed Mama-san runs in Tokyo most certainly hasn’t. Or at least not since the 1970s.

old and small Tokyo bar Mama-san

A space that in many ways is more like an extended living room than a bar, allowing customers, with the accompaniment of a couple of beers, to feel completely at home.

old and small Tokyo bar Mama-san

Tattoos and a relaxing sake in a Tokyo bar

Tokyo can be a horribly frantic city. One that all too often barely gives its residents time to breathe. But amidst the crowds and seemingly incessant noise, there are pockets of calm to be found. Places where one can sit down. Have an afternoon sake. And let the hustle and bustle slowly fade away.

Tattooed Tokyo sake drinker