Friday, 1 June 2012
B-B Paradise: Roof top Beer Garden at New Hankyu Hotel
Rather coincidentally I ended up, with company, in the Beer Garden on the roof top of New Hankyu Hotel, opposite Kyoto Station. It was a wonderful change from eating inside, which is almost unavoidable when eating out in Japan. On the roof top a nice breeze welcomed us at the end of on another very warm day. Mind you, I'M not complaining the rather cold month of March changed almost overnight in pleasantly warm summer-weather two months ago, speaking as a Dutch person. It is true the weather is getting warmer by the day, but I can not and will not complain. Even though Japanese inhabitants keep telling me I'm somewhat crazy wanting to spend the summer months in Japan! What I am curious about is the reason why Japan lacks cafe's and restaurants with an outdoor space (in the shadow mind you!). The Japanese seem to prefer to drink and eat inside, where the air conditioning happily blasts all your warm weather worries away. Well, maybe that's not so strange if you are used to the hot summers. Since I'm not, I greedily spend a lot of time outside and keep my eye out for possibilities doing this with a nice, cold drink in my hand, maybe even a bite or two.
What is surprising then maybe, is that the roof top Beer Garden was packed with jolly groups of 'salarymen' with here and there some couples and elderly people joining in the merriness. My company and I were the only 'gaijin' (this literally means 'foreigner' in Japanese), but not the only ones who craved some outdoors entertainment apparently. Or was it just the all-you-can-eat-and-drink offer that lured the Japanese out in the open? Which ever it was, the atmosphere was as happy as can be. Even though some groups got louder and louder and disproportionately enthusiastic with every new plate of 'Wieners' their colleagues brought over. Drunk the Japanese can still be courteous and the mood only gets livelier. (And funnier, see the girl in the picture above taking pictures of her beer)
This event started at the end of April and will last until the end of September! It is a not-to-miss experience. There should be about 5 or 6 of these Beer Gardens in Kyoto alone (I wrote an article about Kyoto Tower's Beer Garden here), so that should be enough to make your head spin.
For more information about the New Hankyu Hotel Beer Garden, visit the B-B Paradise website (Japanese).