Sunday, 21 February 2010

Somewhere Over The Whiskey Rainbow

I got an invite from InterFM to attend Whiskey Live! , at Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba. Although during the course of the day I realised that this is not really my choice of alcohol, I had a really good time soaking in the vibe of a surprisingly packed joint.

I don't know about you but I never pictured the average Japanese person to drink whiskey and if they did, I imagined they might be old, crusty guys. There was quite a mixed range of people. Even quite a few not too unattractive ladies.


A few guys had pen and paper scribbling down the details of what they'd just drunk. To me most of them tasted pretty much the same. One felt like it was evaporating in my mouth, it was so strong of alcohol. Unfortunately most of the samples were given out straight, while I prefer a mixer. Thankfully Suntory and Chivas gave out their offerings as "highballs" (mixes with soda), which made it go down much easier.

It didn't hurt that they had a few booth girls to make Chivas even more memorable to me.

It was nice that along with the entry ticket I also had a meal ticket for a nearby restaurant. No good drinking on an almost empty stomach. With the ticket we got a Whiskey magazine and a nice glass too.

They had an interesting idea of allowing artists to paint something while drinking whiskey for "inspiration". The Japanese painter did something pretty cool. The token gaijin did.. well, I'll leave that up to you!

There was also a surprise celebrity, Konishiki Yasokichi who was a special guest. They got him to taste/judge a whiskey cocktail. You can see him here along with InterFM DJ, Guy Perryman and Mari Stone.

The event was on from between 11am until 6:15pm, so as you can imagine there were a LOT of drunk Japanese sleeping in the foyer. The security was going up to them periodically to see if they were still alive.

I arrived there about 1pm. I decided to go to Odaiba by walking along the Rainbow Bridge again. This time I brought my SLR to do much better pictures and video.
An easy way to get there is to catch a Yamanote line train to the Tamachi station. From there, go out the east Shibaura exit and continue in the same southeast direction in a bee-line to the base of the bridge (Shibaura Anchorage).

Once off the bridge, I walked towards the ferris wheel and then along the Bridge of Dreams. Hotel Trusty (yes, that's seriously what it's called. I don't know who makes these names up) is an interesting looking building. In the gap you can see Tokyo Big Sight.

Seems like this place is quite popular with cosplayers. It wasn't too hard to find young people dressed up.

By the time Whiskey Live! finished up, I was nicely intoxicated. Until March the Rainbow Bridge is only open until 530pm. I COULD have caught the monorail back, but being me, I walked to Shin Kiba station to catch the subway directly back home.

Actually I could have got on at Tatsumi, slightly closer but I didn't know, nor see the station entrance there. I strongly discourage going this way though. I walked about an hour through a highway wasteland of nothing. Not much to see around these parts. Lucky I was too drunk to care.

Nevertheless I had a great day out. I want to extend my thanks to Guy and InterFM for the tickets. If they read this I don't mind if they throw tickets to any other upcoming functions my way. *hint hint*