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The Makuhari Club

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Hello everyone.

I'm Kat. Lurker for about two years, tried registering many times, but until Mike helped me just yesterday, I wasn't able to get in. Originally from New Mexico, I've lived overseas for about 13 years now. 12 of those in Japan. I've spent time in South Korea, Australia, Guam, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, and just finished a 5 week tour of Europe from Austria to England in October and November. I'm a poor late Gen X/early Millennial who ran up agains the Great Recession just as I was trying to get work post-university.

I finally moved into an old mid-century Japanese apartment building which is the super's parents-in-laws retirement plan. They don't care what I do to the place. If I ever move out, they'll redo everything anyway. Though as I'm working on Japanese citizenship, and I love the neighborhood, I'm not planning to move out--in fact, if I ever manage to have a reasonable living (I have a nice sounding job for a major international organisation and good benefits, but the salary is enough to pay the bills without much extra) I'd like to buy the entire building. There are only a few apartments and turning into a single home wouldn't be difficult. I'm a 40 minute walk or 10 minutes by car from the beach, and there is a Costco/Ikea/mall right next to the beach. The area is aiso famous for hosting the Tokyo Game Show and the Tokyo Auto Salon each year. Makuhari is my area, which already has a tiki sound to it, so the Makuhari Club seemed like a good fit. I'm also about 45 minutes door to door to Tokyo Disney. But no Trader Sam's!

In the mean time, I've slowly been converting the living/bedroom into a tiki lounge. In older Japanese apartments especially, there is a separation between dining/kitchen and living/sleeping, but one folds up their futons in the morning and unfolds their table (kotatsu) and so the idea of a "one bedroom apartment" where the bedroom and the living room are separate and with a dining/kitchen is actually three or four rooms (as opposed to two) is a modern and Western idea. So I put in a day bed from Japanese brand Nitori (like Japanese Ikea). There's already this nice dark green color to the wallpaper and I wish the entire apartment had it. The cream wallpaper in the kitchen/dining area is atrocious. Given its age its more a sickly light beige, but eventually I will expand out into the rest of the apartment. I have tatami and wood, which looks quite Tiki I think. My bar is actually in the Bay Window and I've slowly been collecting rescue/discount plants and also propagating what plants I have so slowly but surely I'll have quite the jungle. I don't have much on the walls, and I only have a few tiki mugs because tiki stuff, or tiki "like" objects are super expensive and hard to come by here. Bamboo and tiki-adjacent furniture aren't difficult to get. Because Japan. Indeed, there are two bamboo patches right outside, and periodically I just go out and collect the cuttings someone made and left. Trimming to keep it off the road. It's not being harvested.

We have a Trader Vic's and a few Hawaiian themed restaurants with Party City Tiki feels. That's about it. There are genuine tiki bars in Okinawa and in the Gotto Retto (a tropical paradise in Nagasaki you would never believe was Japan outside of Okinawa!), but for a metro area of 30 Million, Tokyo is really bereft. And as I'm prone to drop about $150 on a trip to Vic's, I realised on my salary this was absolutely unsustainable. So home tiki lounge it was.

[ Edited by: SouthSeasKat 2020-02-21 20:01 ]


You have a very NICE vibe going there. (-:

Super jealous! Not only do you live in a country that I desperately need to visit someday soon (I design Japanese soft vinyl toys) but you're also making a new tiki space! Bravo! Excited to see progress!

The rum and plants look beautiful in that window. Great bar name and tiki spirit!

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