In fact, they have one of the old Steam Locomotives on display outside of the station.
Shinbashi is now the home of the headquarters of some of Japan's biggest companies including Yakult, Fujitsu, All Nippon Airways, advertising giant Dentsu, cosmetics company Shiseido, Panasonic, Nippon Television and the major telecommunications company Softbank. As a result, Shinbashi is also home to thousands and thousands of "Salarymen and Office Ladies". What are Salarymen and Office Ladies? Simply put, office workers. There is a big culture of drinking with your coworkers after work as a valve to relieve stress, afterall, the average office worker works very long hours so, therefore, there is a lot of stress to be released. With so many office workers in one area, there needs to be a whole lot of bars, restaurants and izakayas. This post is a look at the Shinbashi area after dark, on a Friday night when it is at it's busiest!
I walked down some stairs that led under the station where there are a few subway lines that flow through Shinbashi. I stumbled upon a maze of shops and restaurants running through an underground walkway that eventually led to nearby skyscraper office buildings.
Further away from the station there is an area behind glass sliding doors. I went through the doors and was hit suddenly by the strong but amazing aroma of Japanese curry.
I walked around a corner and was confronted with a sight that one of my friends described as "Deep Shinbashi"!
Lining either side of this area was tiny izakayas, bars and restaurants that I imagine salarymen and office ladies flock to after work to unwind and relax. Now this was a real local gathering place!
I walked back outside and it was soon after 5:30 and staff from the nearby izakayas had started gathering outside the station waiting for the salarymen and office ladies to start streaming out of their offices. It is actually a lot of fun to watch them at work, running around from group to group trying to tempt them into their izakaya.
Other people were standing around enjoying "streetbeer" and waiting for coworkers or friends to arrive before going to find somewhere to drink some more.
So i decided that when in Shinbashi, I should do as the locals do!
I sat down and watched the world go by and pretty soon, as happens quite often to me, someone wandered over to where I was sitting and started texting. I knew what was happening right away. She was using me as a landmark and texting her friend, probably saying something like "come out of ____ exit and look for the foreign guy. I'll be standing next to him."
I guess I was probably the easiest person for her friend to see! Sure enough, 10 minutes later her friend suddenly appeared and walked straight over!
Some young girls walked past in their kimonos
and then some more!
At around this time I had to go over Rainbow Bridge to quickly catch up with a friend so I made my way to the Yurikamome train line and encountered more girls in Kimonos! I should probably explain at this time that these girls were not driving the train, the trains on the Yurikamome line actually have no driver!
It is a little strange the first couple of times, but it makes for an interesting ride!
After finishing up at Odaiba I came back across to Shinbashi and the outside the station it was just starting to come alive. I started taking some photos and got ready for the action to begin!
Once leaving work, most people head to a restaurant or izakaya in the area. The choices are almost endless!
tuna sashimi rice bowl,
tonkatsu (crumbed, deep fried pork cutlets, doesn't that sound amazing except to the vegetarians and vegans reading I guess. Pretty much anything is going to taste great if it is crumbed and deep fried!).
beef rice bowl.
Endless numbers of bars,
and izakayas......oh so many izakayas.......
A lot of the younger office workers often go to the karaoke bars that line the streets for entertainment.
Then there are also these ladies lurking on the street corners appearing suddenly in an attempt to sell "massage....cheap massage" to the salarymen roaming the streets.
After drinking their fill, the dish of choice for the younger salaryman heading back to the station is ramen, while for the older ones it is soba. I chose the latter on this night.
Beautiful in it's simplicity.
However, even amongst the craziness that is Shinbashi, I was still able to find this....
Having had a good night and celebrated the end of the week in style, the salarymen and office ladies made their way back to the station to make sure they got home by last train.
Sadly, a few just don't quite manage to make it home though, the week was just a little too difficult and long for them.
Well, that's it for another post. Thanks again for reading and until next time, take care.