This is an update on the bar situation in Japan from Chie Hasiguchi who is Whisky Mag Japan’s bar editor as well as translator for most of the whisky people who attend events in Japan.
“The Ginza bars are so dark now, it is strange, not to see the signs lit up as everyone is trying to save electricity.
There was a earthquake at Bar Four seasons 2 nights ago, scary. Customers come to check the bars to make sure they are OK and try to use money so that business will be kept going. I have talked with Ito-san who is at Land bar in Ginza which is Kishi-san’s (star bar)’s new bar. He is from Sendai. His report is that it will be difficult for bar owners to open the bar in impacted areas such as Ishinomaki. There was one bar called Iruka, the owner was alive but entire town was gone around that area. The customers were fishermen and local people so unless fishery industry and Sushi restaurants are back, bars can not come back. Ito-san’s major concern was job for those bartenders and bar owners and is hoping that if there is anyone who can offer jobs in Tokyo or Osaka for those who have suffered.
The NBA [Nippon Bartender’s Assoc] has already taken some action that they have put safety information (who is OK or missing) in the impacted areas on their web site and have started donation activity. They uploaded LOGO of donation with NBA name on it and anyone can down load it and put it onto the bottle or cans. Ginza has already initiated donation although it take some time to get approval from necessary position in NBA.“