Japan may be a mostly homogenous country, but going to Tokyo reminded me of the history Japan has with the rest of the world. Many Japanese people moved to Brazil during a time when economic prospects looked good in the South American country. When those prospects turned out to be not as expected, many ended up stranded in Brazil, assimilating as best they could into Brazilian culture. Many ethnically Japanese, culturally Brazilian people have returned to their grandparent’s home, along with other Brazilians. Thus, Japan has a history with the Portuguese-speaking country. As a fan of Bossa Nova and Samba, I wanted to find a piece of Brazilian culture in Tokyo. It turned out to be the first Brazilian restaurant in Tokyo. At Saci Perere, I was treated to a set that included the music cover charge, an appetizer sampler, and entree in one special price. I sipped on a Caipirinha, the deceptively simple Brazilian cocktail, while listening to a Brazilian and Japanese duo play some of the most fully orchestrated music I’d ever heard performed by only two people. The singer/guitarist’s Brazilian excitement and lively guitar chording were backed by a drummer with Japanese precision and complexity. It reminded me of the difference between coffee drinking and tea drinking cultures: Coffee drinking countries are upbeat, quick to make decisions, and with an infectious zest for life. Tea drinking countries are more methodical, focused, with a quiet determination to do things perfectly.
|Deceptively Cool Grooves|
|Only pic I got of the interior before getting the shaming crossed fingers|
On my last night in Tokyo, I realized I had not yet been to Shibuya, one of Tokyo’s busiest districts. However, after two nights in a row of staying out late, I was not looking to do anything too crazy. I decided to spend my last night in a juxtaposition: I went to the busiest intersection in Japan for a photo op, and promptly went to Ginza Panorama Bar, whose website calls it “a healing place for adults”. Ginza Panorama is a bar that features a miniature model of the Ginza district of Tokyo, complete with model trains running in clockwork around the tiny world. Light west coast jazz played as I was welcomed by the owner, a perfect example of Japanese hospitality. Cocktails were all “American style, Japanese-made”: The list read like any cocktail lounge in America, yet there was a great selection of Japanese-distilled whiskey and Japanese sake. Two other patrons were lightly chatting across the miniature world, and soon asked me: “Do you like trains”?.
|A relaxing time with a miniature world|