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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Bar Sherlock - Tokyo Bar For Sherlock Holmes Fans

Last month, my buddy Matthew went back to Japan for work and to visit his in-laws.

Matthew, like myself, is a former JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme assistant English teacher - both of us working at junior high schools in Tochigi-ken (Tochigi Prefecture), but living nearby to each other in the small, rural Ohtawara-shi (city of Ohtawara).

Matthew got married in Japan to the lovely Takako, and had has two kids... one a full-blown adult... the other a young teenager... time flies.

Matthew was the one who got me into the Sherlock Holmes detective books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - for which he has my gratitude.

During his recent visit back to Japan, he stopped in Tokyo and visited Bar Sherlock - a Sherlock Holmes inspired bar.

I don't know why a bar in honor of Sherlock Holmes exists in Tokyo, and I don't care - the fact is, it's cool.

The door to the place is classic - a 221B notation - even though it's NOT the Bar Sherlock address:

Bar Sherlock is located:
Ginza 6-9-13 Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
1st Paul Star Building 5F

Opening hours Monday - Friday 4PM - 1AM
Sat 4PM - 11PM - Closed Sunday and other holidays

TEL: 03-6280-6283

It's a small bar - comfy... cozy... and while it does attempt to create a Holmesian retreat, it's still a 21st century Tokyo attempt - meaning don't expect much more than the bar staff to be in costume, and maybe have a bit of architecture.

The alcohol and/or food is key, and I would say that is where it lets one down by serving drinks atypical of Victorian England... which is also a curious decision, because how many 21st Century Japanese want to have 19th century drinks? Can the owner make enough money that way? Probably not.

It's not the type of place where you should go in and get loud and wasted... and while they serve food, it's pretty much standard fare - no pizza or steak or burgers.

I went to their website and translated everything... they have cocktails, alcoholic standard fare and a minor selection of food - but the point is... you just go in and soak up a bit of the reflective ambience.


Standard Cocktail: ¥1500
  • Passion Fruit;
  • Salty Dog - I know what this drink is... but don't know WHY a Passion Fruit cocktail is offered.
Original Cocktail: ¥1600
  • Sherlock (I wish they would say what was in it? Absinthe? Opium?;
  • Bonita (Say what? Where's the Dr. Watson On The Beach? The Killer Moriarty?)
  • Whiskey: ¥1300;
  • Brandy: ¥1500;
  • Glass of Wine: ¥1500;
  • Champagne: ¥1800;
  • Beer: ¥1000
  • Nuts (this should always be free in a bar): ¥800;
  • Chocolate: ¥1000;
  • Beef Jerky (WTF??!! Who goes to a classy-looking bar and has beef jerky? I love it, but come onnnnn!): ¥1000;
  • Dried Fruit: ¥1000;
  • Cheese Platter: ¥1300;
  • Raisin Butter (I assume it's buttered raisin bread - but it's Japan, so you never know: ¥1000;
  • Pickles (dill? takuan?): ¥1000;
  • Oil Sardine (that's the direct translation, but I assume it's sardines in oil... hopefully a plural for sardines): ¥1200;
  • Hot Sandwich: ¥1300
Lastly, I should point out that Sherlock Holmes (the character) did like to drink good alcohol, but never enough to dull his senses.

He was a connoisseur of French wines, was fond of good alcohol.

His favorites were: burgundies, especially Montrachet and Meursault.

In story "The Sign of Four", he drinks red burgundy for lunch. In “The Gloria Scott” he drinks port after dinner. In “The Adventure of the Dying Detective” Holmes has a glass of claret (a red Bordeaux wine). In "His Last Bow", he tries a bottle of Hungarian wine: Imperial Tokay.

Holmes, who was also fond of whisky and soda, had a gasogene in his sitting room for making soda water.

He drank brandy for medicinal purposes and occasionally had a glass of beer.

As an expert on wines, spirits, and beer, Holmes used his knowledge of the habits of imbibers to solve some of his most difficult cases. Or so his author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote.

Andrew Joseph

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