An Osaka drinking tour with SWERY

An Osaka drinking tour with SWERY


– One highball please, double.
– One beer please. Double here doesn’t mean double volume of alcohol,
but double the size. You can get a bit drunk with just one highball. It’s lunch time, should we order something to eat? – The oden looks good.
– It is good. Let’s have an oden assortment and kakiage
because it disappears fast. Let’s have some grilled skate fin too. It’s here already, that’s fast. – Cheers!
– Cheers. Juso-ya is located on the west exit side
of the Hankyu Juso station. The street in front of it is
called Shonben Yokocho (Piss Alley). There used to be a black market here after the war,
back when nothing else was there. Then bars started to open close to the black market, the area became a place
where people would gather to drink. I first started to go to Juso-ya in 2015 I believe. This restaurant has been here for a long time. However, there was a fire in the area back in 2014. – Is that so?
– Yes. In 2014, everything burnt down,
about 36 shops went into flames. Everything was torn down. During that time, the restaurant moved locations
to the east exit side. I started going there around that time. It was after the fire, when the restaurant
had a small location on the other side of the station. Then the whole area here was renewed
and the restaurant moved back on this side. I first came here around 2015. Are there many shops that open early? In this area, Shonben Yokocho,
many restaurants open early, like 10 a.m. or so. If you go towards Umeda,
there are mostly chain restaurants, in Juso, you can start drinking early, until the evening, then hop from bar to bar. Were you busy at the start of the year? A bit, I met with people for new year greetings. Also, the holidays timing
in Japan is different than in the West. Europe and the US start going
on holiday around mid-December. – They start right after New Year’s.
– True. Around January 2nd or 3rd. I have work at the temple as well
so I am busy until January 2nd. Then I start receiving emails from the US. I feel didn’t get any rest during the holiday. I’ve kept answering emails every day. One single highball please. This restaurant exists since I was a child. Back then, I would walk down this alley. To me it was a scary street where adults would go. – It would be full of drunk old men.
– Who start drinking at noon. Right. I would walk down this alley in order to go to the arcade. I had to take this route either
for the arcade or to buy plastic models, but it was full of drunk old men
in the middle of the day, it felt scary. Nobody would come and talk to you though, right? No, but the atmosphere here was darker than now. Do you know the movie Black Rain? – Ridley Scott’s movie.
– Yes. – It is set up in Osaka.
– Right. It was used as a location for the movie, – This is how dark and scary it was.
– I see. It used to be scary, now I didn’t think
that I would become one of those people. – Shall we get going?
– Yes. We’ll have the check please. Back in the day there used
to be fortune tellers sitting here. By the way, it closes at 4 p.m.,
but I like this cafe here named Gaikokusen. At the entrance it says
that it is full of “Yokohama mood”. This is Juso though. Our next stop, Imanaka Sake-ten is right
around the corner, but before that I want to show
this sewing machine shop and these dolls. – The layout of these dolls changes everyday.
– Really? – It’s a family.
– It looks a bit creepy. Two days ago they were standing here,
it really looks like they’re living their lives. Imanaka is a liquor shop. However, you can also drink inside,
it became the main thing. It is also open from 10 a.m. It is the fifth time I go there, every time there are strangers who come to talk to you. We become friends, I would ask what they are having and they would order it for me. It is a standing bar where only locals gather. It’s a really deep place. For my wedding I went to Russia. It was right after the USSR ended. Really? I wanted to buy a ticket from Moscow. As I went there, the ticket counter lady
suddenly shut down the store. I hadn’t received my ticket yet,
the next moment I was surrounded by the mob. They scammed me into paying 8,000 yen (80$)
for a night train ticket. – It was only 8,000 yen though.
– Right, from our perspective… We used to still have a lot of money around that time. That’s amazing. It opens at 11 a.m. here, right? – It opens at 10 a.m.
– Right, 10 a.m. Did you all start drinking at 10 a.m.? That’s right. Amazing, are you working at night? Yes, I work at nights, I am a taxi driver. – You work nights?
– Working night makes you drink in the mornings. When I first went there,
I was drinking at the counter in the back, a regular pointed at the DVD shelf and told me
that I could rent anything for a week for free. This is when I understood this was a fun place,
and started to come from time to time. I can’t say I am a regular,
but I come here when I want to drink early. You can probably get drunk with only 1,000 yen. I come here when I want to get drunk. There’s that American guy who used to do aikido. Oh, Steven Seagal? Steven Seagal used to own a dojo here back in the day. – Really?
– Yes. Steven Seagal’s ex-wife and daughter live in the area. Is that so? I saw him when I was a child,
he had his long hair tied like this. He was wearing that weird thing,
it wasn’t a kimono, what was it… He would take the train like this. That’s true, he used to walk
around the area back in the day. Juso has it own color. – There are many locals.
– Right, many locals. What is amazing in Juso is that you get to make friends. But the next day they will probably forget about you. It’s only today, tomorrow they will forget. – It’s so ephemeral.
– Right, ephemeral. But next time you’ll come,
it will be like the first time again. You’ll be able to get along as if it was the first time. This is my daughter. Is this your daughter? She’s very pretty. The daughter you had with your Ukrainian wife? It’s amazing. If you send her a message on Twitter
saying that you’re Tonton’s friend she will reply to you. This place is fun. It’s really fun. Even when I had a tough night at work,
I can come here during the day. I helps relieve stress. You have many friends here too. We are all friends. Even when there’s trouble,
we usually laugh about it. I am leaving, thank you! Their highball really makes me drunk. You can get drunk for 300 yen. It always happens here. Cost performance is high here. Right, you can drunk and make
friends immediately, this is Juso. You can’t say from outside, right? It opened today just for us. What’s good to note is that guns are forbidden here. – No guns.
– Right, it’s prohibited. Hello. Live Alive is a hideout type of place. It stands in the middle of a residential area. It’s an old traditional warehouse
that has been remodeled. From outside, it looks just like any old building. Inside, it’s a cool-looking bar. We had met before, the fact
that we know each other makes it easy to come. Right. I want to come more often, I always say that. – But it’s impressive you chose this place.
– Right? If you go this way there’s the shopping street, on the other side there’s the river with cool shops close by. But you’re located here. I like it better not to have anything around. How did you find this place? The owner was a friend of a friend. Someone else was renting this place,
using it as a warehouse. Eventually, the place opened and he asked me
if I wanted to make something out of it. If nobody had used it,
it would probably have been torn down. It would be a shame to tear it down. So there I was asked if I wanted to make something,
I could do anything I wanted. This is what I could come up with. Amazing, how many years is it now? It’s been nine years now. I discovered this place
as I was drinking at Bar Nemuri, where I often go. Someone was seated next to me,
it was Live Alive’s manager, Mr. Takano. We were drinking with Takano at around 3 p.m.,
he then told me he had to go to work. I asked him where he worked,
and he told it was in a bar close by. I went there after that. He makes good burgers,
the atmosphere is nice too. Takano likes movies too,
we got along well so I got to come here often. When do I come here… It’s open until 1 a.m.,
so I usually come here for one last drink, I also come here with male friends
who I drink with for the first time. I want other men to think
that I know cool places, which is why I go there often. – So you opened in 2011, right?
– Right. What motivated you to open a bar?
Were you originally interested in that? Not really, but I like
this type of atmosphere and American-like culture. When you watch a movie,
there’s often a scene in a bar. Whether it’s a comedy, a horror film, a romantic film…
you usually get a scene in a bar, right? I like that atmosphere, where everybody drinks
and has fun, without being pretentious or anything. I was attracted to that. Also I started at 40, so I thought of the fastest way
to reach that, and came up with this place. Actually I want to do design,
his is why I chose this place. Maybe using the 2nd floor as a shop, do something in that corner, not only a bar. – You sell T-shirts here actually.
– Right. I wanted a place where I could communicate
and meet new people, of any gender, age or origins. Weren’t you scared of starting this by yourself? I was scared, I still am to this day. Right, but it’s been almost 10 years though. It doesn’t change a bit. – Is it the same at in your first year?
– It is. I feel any day I could run out of customers. Is that so? There are no reservations here, right? There’s no guarantee that I will get customers coming. It’s really scary, everyday. Days when it rained, or when it gets cold. – Or when there’s a summit.
– Or which day it is. There are some many reasons we can get passed on. It’s scary no matter how many years you have done it. – Thank you.
– Thank you! The Juso Torys bar is a very old bar
that opened back in 1956. Back in the day, Suntory would partner up with bars
and open Torys bars all around the country. It would be bars where you could enjoy Suntory’s Torys. This is where it comes from,
however there aren’t almost any left. The owner of the place
also has a bar in the Kita-Shinchi area. I only know about here and that other place. It has a very long history. When I go there, I drink Torys, Torys highball. There are also many whiskies that Suntory imports,
you can come here and enjoy them. Back in the 1950s,
there were plenty of Torys bars. – Is that so?
– Yes. There was that slogan saying
“let’s drink Torys and go to Hawaii”. – Like a campaign?
– Yes. It’s like izakayas nowadays. Salarymen could drink for cheap. What about the Hawai part? – It was in the campaign?
– Like you could win a prize? That was the case I believe. We only handle Suntory, it is rare I think. Right. Hotel bars and such have many famous whiskies. Handling only Suntory though is impressive… I heard a rumor saying
that Suntory was strict with smaller bars. The salesman from Suntory
who would come here back in the day, 40, 50 years ago, that person is now ranking quite high in the company. I bet so. He still comes here,
calling the owner Ei-chan, like a close friend. Old bars are important,
they must be taken good care of. – There aren’t many Torys bars left though.
– Is that so? – There’s nobody to take over.
– I see. You’re wearing many badges,
what are those? Those are presents from customers. This one is from Kumamoto,
it’s charity for the earthquake. The owner has a sommelier badge. – The gold one for whisky?
– Right. I need to go to Kita-Shinchi too. The owner has more experience,
he knows alcohol very well, he’s a sommelier too. For wine too? He really enjoys this a lot,
although he looks like Totoro. Totoro? This is a photo taken
around 20 years ago for the Amakara Techo magazine. The owner is the one with the apron,
next to him is his mother. – This is before the fire, right?
– Right. The 3rd person is Masaru Otsuka,
a childhood friend from the owner. Tenma, in northern Osaka,
is located one station away from Umeda. It’s accessible by walking
the Tenjinbashisuji shopping street, close to my office. It’s a neighborhood that truly represents old Osaka,
with many places to drink. These places have been the same for years,
so it’s easy to be remembered. It’s made like a dungeon, but the shops don’t change
so you get to learn the streets. This is what’s interesting in Tenma. Manami Matsumae is my senior from university. We’ve known each other for a long time now,
since around end 2013. We first met at a dinner, but we were seated far award from each other and didn’t really get to talk. Right after, I went to PAX Prime in Seattle. There, I saw Matsumae who was lost in the airport. She didn’t know how to get back home or how to find her connecting flight. I offered to help and brought her back to Osaka. We really became friends after that. We then started to drink together in Osaka. What’s fun is that being a senior and a woman,
I would usually have to be polite around her. But she’s not serious,
we can drink together without being polite to each other. She always gives me a lot of energy. If I’m the drinKING,
then you are the drinQUEEN. You’re really fun to drink with. Right. You know what I can’t eat too. Right, you don’t like white things. When we go out together,
you always eat for me the things that I don’t like. It’s convenient. It’s fun to make friends once you’re an adult. True. It’s also funny that we’re from the same university. We know each other
for a long time but never worked together. True, we never did anything together. – Maybe for Hotel Barcelona…
– What’s that? – It’s the game I am working on with Suda.
– Really? Now, The Good Life and Deadly Premonition 2
have been announced. I am also working on a secret project
that I haven’t announced yet. Besides, I am kicking off Hotel Barcelona. Is it a suspense game? It’s a horror game. Right, involving a hotel, the type of story
where something strange happened in a hotel. I usually don’t listen to other people’s tracks. I get influenced, so I play your games or other people’s games without looking at who made the soundtrack. I don’t really know the composers. When I think that a track is nice,
I don’t look for who did it. The artists I like are Toto, Queen or Pat Metheny,
artists from the 1980s. I like that a lot. I find it impressive to be able
to compose such melodious tracks. What’s impressive is that
you were studying music performance, right? Yes, playing the piano. It was music performance. But after that, she entered Capcom and was assigned
to the music composition department. You had to rapidly learn how to compose. Yes, I rushed to learn. Isn’t it amazing that you rushed
and got to make the music from Mega Man? I find it amazing. When I joined the company, it was the NES era
when games were coming out really fast. You were assigned to tasks
even if you didn’t have the skills. – It just had to be made.
– Right, exactly. We were always rushed to make things. I started in the 90s, so it was things were calmer for me. You could come up with your game,
and say which staff you would work with. – Is that so?
– Yes. Then you had a year to make a game. At Capcom, multiple projects were always
running at the same time. Music is always the last thing you work on. Right. You’re given three months to finish a project, then again you had to get on another project, and so on. It would endlessly go from project to project. Right, it’s endless. Back in the day,
it was normal to work on three, four games a year. You had to make tracks with different moods too. It would from action games,
to shoot’ em ups and adventure games. It was really hard. It’s amazing that you could make all this. Sometimes after drinking you feel
like you want to eat cup noodles, right? Yes. But you don’t want to go back home yet,
because it means it’s the end. For those times, I found this place where
you can eat cup noodles inside the restaurant. Donio serves the Peyoung, UFO and Ippei-chan
cup noodles brands. However, Nisshin’s UFO has a special place in Osaka. Although now in Tokyo, Nisshin used
to have its headquarters in Osaka’s Minamikata. Back in the day, I had a part-time job
in the building next door. Each time Nisshin came up with a new product,
they would give samples for buildings close by. I remember always being excited
for the next Nisshin product and eating it. Nisshin’s cup noodles is the top for me, so if I have to choose,
I always pick UFO over Peyoung. I could have this at home. But when I want to keep drinking outside,
Donio is the best. Nemuri is a 5-minute walk away from White Owls,
I often go there after work. I go there more than once a month,
maybe once every two weeks. The owner used to be in my class in university. It’s speciality is whisky. Therefore, each time I go she always introduces me
to new whiskies, she also remembers my tastes. I often come here to end my night, to enjoy a nightcap. I know Kenji Goda since 2003, 2002 actually. Back when I founded Access Games, I made a game
named SpyFiction, my first game as director. At the time, he joined as a film director. It was the first time we met, at Tokyo Koka University in Hachioji, where we were shooting motion capture. That time we spent 4 days and nights
together in the studio. We were together all the time and became friends. When we work, he’s from a film background,
so his stories are really interesting, But they’re very hard to make into games. I work on translating those into games. For the past 15 years, Goda thinks of a weird story,
then I turn it into a game, that’s how it goes. What’s amazing with Goda is that there was this time
when we went to the US for Deadly Premonition. Of course for work you would usually pay,
is it the hotel we paid for? No, it was for the voice recording. I am used to voice recording in Japan,
but I wondered how it went overseas. I wanted to learn. So you paid for you own trip? He said he would pay for the hotel,
so I only paid for my plane ticket. During voice recording,
I wasn’t confident, well, I could handle it, but since it’s a scenario we worked on together,
we wanted to do the voice directing together. The company didn’t have money though so we talked. He said he would pay for his ticket and flew over. – Really?
– Yes. It was fun though, right? However, the two of us have
such weird ways of directing, the director on site called us once and got angry at us. – I don’t know where to stop.
– Right. How would foreigners react to what I ask them to do. The director called us in the pantry, he asked whether it was our creativity
or if we were just messing around, he got so mad. Have you seen The Witcher? Watch it! I don’t know the original though.
I only heard about it, what’s so fun about The Witcher? The story. – Is it the same for the game too?
– Right. Which movies from the Oscars
are you interested in the most? Parasite. – Right, have you seen it?
– No, I’ll go this weekend. I’ll go this weekend too. – Parasite is amazing right?
– Ford vs. Ferrari too. There’s Parasite, and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
It was the best for me. I thought it was amazing. Okay, so what’s your favorite movie of all time? 2001: A Space Odyssey. – Such a major title, really?
– All in all, yes. For me it’s Brazil, a major title too… It was quite tough doing this Osaka Drinking Tour. 7 places in a day,
even if I tried to control it I had a lot to drink. I wouldn’t recommend going the exact same route. However, I would recommend exploring
the places two by two as they’re all fun. This was only a small part of Osaka’s north side, these are the places I wanted to introduce,
I am happy that I did.

15 thoughts on “An Osaka drinking tour with SWERY

  1. English subtitles are available under the “CC” menu. Community Contributions are open for additional language submissions. Thank you for following Archipel!

  2. Amazing adventures with Swery yet again! Your work is unique, inspiring and beautiful like nothing else, thank you Archipel 🙂

  3. Amazing!!! After whatching this video I want to visit this places and to drink with this guys!! Arigato godzimas!!!)))

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