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ITALO DISCO SHOWA BOOGIE BAR IN SHINJUKU, TOKYO. RETRO 1970S & 80S JAPAN MUSIC CLUB, COOL UNIQUE DRINKING HOLES.


ITALO DISCO SHOWA BOOGIE BAR IN SHINJUKU, TOKYO. RETRO 1970S & 80S JAPAN MUSIC CLUB. coolest dive bars, secret places to eat and drink in Tokyo, fun music theme bars, italo disco music parties, Tokyo drinking holes, gaijin tonic

I am thrilled that you like my new fashion collaboration with Akumu Ink! Thanks to everyone who already ordered a cute/spooky shirt or hoodie (featuring me and Basil Farrow). Send me photos of yourself wearing the clothes, and I’ll put them on my blog!

The Japanese TV shoot is over, and I’m wrapping up the NYC nightlife escapades. You can look forward to David Bowie club kids, an all-girl spooky band shoot, and Gothic Lolita Punk store pics in the next week. Til then, here is a guest post from Cotton Bale (who you’ll remember from my Death Cookbook cupcake battle!)

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Like La Carmina, I am a huge fan of Italo Disco, particularly HiNRG, so after moving to Tokyo it was only a matter of time until I discovered its Japanese counterpart, Eurobeat. I started off listening to 80s and early 90s covers of Western disco songs, such as Wink’s version of Turn it into Love by Hazell Dean, Miki Asakura’s take on Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler, or BaBe’s Give Me Up by Michael Fortunati. At first the songs seemed too cheesy, but before long they grew on me.

Then one day I was in Shinjuku when suddenly I looked up to see a sign with what looked like J-pop album covers from the 80s on it. I stopped in my tracks and picked up a flyer from the rack near the entrance, which read: 70s and 80s bar, Showa Boogie, playing music from the 70s, 80s and early 90s. I was determined to go.

ITALO DISCO SHOWA BOOGIE BAR IN SHINJUKU, TOKYO. RETRO 1970S & 80S JAPAN MUSIC CLUB. coolest dive bars, secret places to eat and drink in Tokyo, fun music theme bars, italo disco music parties, Tokyo drinking holes, gaijin tonic

Soon after, I made it to Showa Boogie with a friend. As we walked down the steps to the basement bar, we were greeted by Japanese idol pop over the loudspeakers and 7” album covers on the walls. The inside was likewise decorated with idols on record sleeves and magazine covers. These were almost as good as the music itself.

There are only 12 seats and when we arrived shortly after 8pm, there were already seven other customers, all men in their 30s or 40s. Four salarymen were loudly debating the merits and demerits of the 80s as a decade. The three people running the bar were the same age and clearly fans of the music.

Two big-screen TVs at either end of the bar continuously played music videos. When you sat down, you got a sheet of paper on which you can write a request. I asked for Genki Don’t Stop by Noriko Sakai, but unfortunately, they didn’t have it.

They played quite a few songs by artists I know including Pink Ladies, Candies, Yoko Nagayama and Minako Honda. Some of the more memorable videos were Romantic ga Tomaranai by CCB and one from the Hikaru Genji tour Roller Panic (performed entirely on roller skates). However, they also played lots of great songs by artists I didn’t know. My Japanese friend recognized a number of them and said that his mother was a big fan of some. Every so often someone would say: “I had such a crush on her when I was a child” or “This really takes me back.”

There was a wide selection of drinks available at reasonable prices, most cocktails costing about 700 yen. Drinks come with snacks such as senbei, and you can order bar food. I had an awesome time at
Showa Boogie, and I will definitely be going back. If you are in Tokyo and love 80s music, I highly
recommend it, although you might want to take someone who speaks a little Japanese with you, as I am not sure if the staff speak any English.

Showa Boogie is located across from Closet Child, near exit D5 of Shinjuku Nishiguchi or a few minutes walk from the West Exit of JR Shinjuku Station.
Address: B1F Zenkou Bldg, 7-1-4 Nishi Shinjuku.
Phone: 03-5348-2383
Open from 7:30pm to 3am from Monday to Saturday, except on public holidays.

Song of the Day #285: Any of the Japanese Italo tracks linked above!

20 Comments

  1. Posted January 17, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    That looks so cool. I didn’t know a place like that existed.

  2. Posted January 17, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    I am so excited for your NYC pics! I am in Manhattan right now and can’t wait to see some cool places! =^-^=

    • Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      You bet!! They’re coming right up!

  3. Posted January 17, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    That looks so cool. I didn't know a place like that existed.

  4. Posted January 17, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    I am so excited for your NYC pics! I am in Manhattan right now and can't wait to see some cool places! =^-^=

  5. Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Actually the food wasn’t that great, but the atmosphere was really good. The staff all had on pastry chef’s uniforms complete with big white hats, and they had all kinds of old fashioned Occidental character goods such as Winnie the Pooh, Wind and the Willows and Tintin

  6. Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Awesome!

  7. Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Actually the food wasn't that great, but the atmosphere was really good. The staff all had on pastry chef's uniforms complete with big white hats, and they had all kinds of old fashioned Occidental character goods such as Winnie the Pooh, Wind and the Willows and Tintin

  8. Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Awesome!

  9. Posted January 18, 2010 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    You bet!! They're coming right up!

  10. Posted January 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Not my sort of music but I’m glad quirky places like this still exist in Japan :) I never went to bars on west side of Shinjuku.

  11. Posted January 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Jeez, everyone’s gone retro! When are we finally going to move towards the future?!

    • Posted January 19, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      The past is the future!

  12. Posted January 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the info I will check out for sure.

  13. Posted January 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Not my sort of music but I'm glad quirky places like this still exist in Japan :) I never went to bars on west side of Shinjuku.

  14. Posted January 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Jeez, everyone's gone retro! When are we finally going to move towards the future?!

  15. Posted January 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the info I will check out for sure.

  16. Posted January 19, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    The past is the future!

  17. Posted January 20, 2010 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I don’t really listen to that kind of music. But I totally dig the rockin’ environment of the place. I would totally hang out there. And maybe I’ll get used to the music.

  18. Posted January 20, 2010 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I don't really listen to that kind of music. But I totally dig the rockin' environment of the place. I would totally hang out there. And maybe I'll get used to the music.

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