The Rock Bar, the Baker and the Politician

Just came back from a recent discovery in Ashiya. There’s a (relatively) new rock bar opened about 5 minutes from us, and we checked it out tonight. Thought I’d write about it while I’m drunk enough to remember.

It’s very small, just a rectangular bar, with stools for maybe 10 people, with albums and cds spread around the walls and a big tv playing music dvds.

It’s called blue mice and I quite like it.
We walked past it the other week (it used to be a jazz bar), and Aki was attracted to the big tv showing a live concert she thought was Bon Jovi (it wasn’t) but well spotted, so we made inquiries. I liked the albums dotted around the walls, Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division), Modern Lovers Live, and a Sex Pistols single (Pretty Vacant).

It was quiet when we went in (we were the only customers) and we were told we could request the music. So brief look through their collection turned up some Bauhaus (bit too gloomy for the evening I thunk), so opted for the Cure Greatest Hits DVD! Choice! As we say here, “Natsukashi” (long time no see, brings back good memories, – rough translation).
The staff there seemed to find the bad dancing and make up amusing too.

And then, Mr. Bigot came in. You won’t know who he is, but we’ve been buying his baguettes here for over a year!
He’s a French fella (who’s Japanese was amazing!) and quite a celebrity. He started selling French bread in Ashiya, but has shops all over including Tokyo now, and a very cool old fella he is too.
Quite amusing to watch him (and the staff) looking in bemusement and amusement at “Love Cats”, and “Why Can’t I Be You”.

Then the owner of the bar came in, who’s also a Cure fan, so put on their live show, and was very impressed that we went to Live 8 (so he put that dvd on too).

Shortly after that 2 guys came in, and turns out one is a local politician (he fell asleep at the bar), and we found out the bar owner is also running for local government www.satoru-aoyama.net mind you, he looks cooler in real life, just looks like a politician on his website. He really loves Ashiya, that’s why he’s running, as an independent.
We’re (or rather Aki) are gonna vote for him, any politician that runs a
rock bar and likes the Cure and David Bowie gets my vote – let that be a warning for you Tony – Oasis…rubbish mate, quit while you’re ahead – oh, too late.

Any road up drank some very cheap but tasty wine, and ended up watching Queen live from the 1970’s.

We were also given an olive, cut in half, pierced with 2 cocktail sticks, served with 2 “Chip stix” and butter and a big parsley leaf. Very Japanese and free, so no complaints here!

oh, nearly forgot the toilets, these were outside the bar, in the carpark and shared by the Indian restaurant next door (not uncommon in Japan due to limited space and high building costs – that’s outdoor toilets, not Indian restaurants), and incredibly space age! All metal, cool looking and the cubicle (it was unisex) had a control panel as opposed to a flush handle.

The photos don’t do it justice, but behind the urinal is a big window looking down onto the street 2 floors below.
Space Age Toilets
I should also add, that for toilets that are, essentially in a car park, they were probably the cleanest I’ve ever had the good fortune to come across.

A splendid evening all round. (we went to a nice restaurant before that, and I’ll post some pictures of that later)


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