In Sunday’s travel section of the New York Times, there was a great article about the resurgence of secret bars in Tokyo, which used to be a staple of Japanese...

In Sunday’s travel section of the New York Times, there was a great article about the resurgence of secret bars in Tokyo, which used to be a staple of Japanese night life. 

Hidden in the maze of urban Tokyo, these bars are intentionally hard to find and maintain a certain intimacy that exudes exclusivity.  They are Japan’s equivalent to Western red velvet ropes – the smaller and more obscure they are, the more exclusive.

These tiny bars are reminiscent to pre-war Tokyo, when the city was packed with "counter bars" called Nomiya.  These bars only sat about a half dozen regulars and the host was as much a bar tender as a confidant.  Today, a younger creative class is reviving nomiya culture, which the author refers to as a "postmodern nostalgia for pre-Sony Tokyo."

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