Walking through Shinjuku

I had a long delayed evening by myself in Shinjuku the other night, stopping in a few old favorites for some photos and having a nice walk around 3-Chome and Golden Gai. First stop though was the Black Sun in Kabukicho. I hadn’t realized that they had moved from Nishi-Shinjuku in 2013 so I wanted to stop by to check the new place out. It was nice seeing Ujiie-san again after several years and I was very pleased he remembered me. (New Black Sun details are here.)

From Kabukucho I made my way over into the Golden Gai, a bit early but I knew that Shiramuren would likely be open before 7. It had been a long time since I’d visited and was thrilled it was still open. Otsuka-san the owner was even quite chatty (for him). We listened to some Stanley Turrentine and had a good chat about music and bar owning. Golden Gai was swarming with tourists when I left, it seems there’s no sign of the place losing its popularity.

After the Golden Gai I wandered into 3-Chome and surprisingly (or not-so-surprisingly I suppose, this is Tokyo after all..) saw the sign for a bar I never noticed before, Bar Second Line. I assumed this was a new place..but they’ve been there for 16 years. Superb New Orleans R&B, Soul and Blues playing in there, a real nice little B1 joint.

Along the way I saw at least another dozen bars that caught my eye, check the Instagram pics on the main page for some of them. Shinjuku is still the best part of town for killing a beer with some great tunes.

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Mr. OK Jazz is a 20+ year resident of Japan and spends all his free time wandering the Kanto area looking for jazz cafes, bars, clubs and record stores. For two years he hosted the OK Jazz radio show on InterFM Radio, currently the OK Jazz podcast. You can reach him at *protected email*