Popup shops and restaurants are a pretty big business here in Japan, particularly in Tokyo. I’ve seen news of them from time to time, but one in particular caught my attention: Amazon. They created their own bar in the G735 Gallery in the fancy Ginza district of Tokyo. It’s only there from October 20th through October 29th. Curious, I set forth in pre-typhoon rains to see what Amazon had to offer.
Ordering Your Drinks
First, you enter the bar in a service area with tons of Kindles. You pick one and begin answering some questions about your mood, what you’d be doing right now, what kind of alcohol you’d like to consume, and so forth. It’s only six questions (they have English machines as well!), and when you finish, you’re given a suggestion and a price. If you don’t want that, they have similar suggestions below you can order. Once you pick your drink, a ticket prints and you go to the cashier to pay. They bring you your drink moments later to enjoy. They also have a small variety of appetizers you can buy, such as french fries, olives, sausage, and Japanese pickles. They also have non-alcoholic drinks you can partake in as well. The prices were surprisingly affordable, with all appetizers being 300 ($3) or 500 ($5) yen. Drink were similarly 500 yen on the low end and closer to 1500 ($15) on the high end.
I got a glass of Dubliner 10yr whiskey and it did not disappoint!
Free Things (Service)
Once you sit down, you’re given a small cup with some prosciutto and grapes to snack upon. You’re also given a small glass of Megami no Ruby Pocky. It’s a special Pocky designed to be paired with red wine that has cheddar, cloves, and black pepper in the stick and different sweet berry flavors in the chocolate. It was super tasty! You can also participate in their social media (SNS) campaign by posting a picture of your experience from the bar online with the hashtag #AmazonBar to get a free drink from the SNS Campaign counter (one beer: Yebisu Meister, Heineken, or Hoegaarden, or a Maker’s Mark highball).
Tips, Suggestions, and Review
- Get there early! Even in the rain, we got there one hour before opening and were about 20th in line. If you don’t show up before opening, be prepared to wait a while.
- You only have two hours once you’re there, so go in knowing whether or not you’re ordering food. If you order right as you arrive, you’ll have more time to enjoy your snacks.
- Do the SNS campaign! It’s an easy way to get a small complimentary drink. If you don’t have social media, just tell the servers and they’ll negotiate some other way for you to participate in the offer.
Overall, I was incredibly pleased with my experience! I’m very happy I was able to experience this place before it disappears into the ether. If you’re in the area the next week or so, I’d highly recommend going in and giving it a go!