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July 31, 2005

Football, rugby and Swanky - a good night out

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We got a full night of entertainment packed in! We started with the football, extended to rugby and finished with a nightcap at Bar Swanky. It was all very cool.

Football: Jubilo Iwata v Bayern Munchen, National Stadium
This has been on the agenda for a few weeks now. You may remember that we were able to procure some discount tickets from the company. Bayern Munchen won 3-1, but the scoreline flattered their performance.

30july 010 edited.JPG I went with Leigh and Kaz. It was very nice to be out - the temperature had cooled down and the lines for beer were not very long. Even better, they had vendors coming around to sell you more beer later. Its been awhile since I have seen that. We had decent seats as well, which is good. But we were not really close enough for my camera. This guy sitting next to me had this fancy set-up with the long focus lens - looks like he had spent some serious dosh on it. I thought he was being extravagant, but a look at my pictures afterward some serious dosh on it. I thought he was being extravagant, but a look at my pictures afterwards made me think he had the right idea.

The game was exciting too, at least the first part. After all the players lined up and had their pictures taken, the game ball was dropped by a helicopter onto the pitch. That was not the exciting part, I just thought I would mention it.

Rather, Jubilo Iwata seemed to rise to the challenge and secured an early lead, which they held until BM were awarded a penalty early in the second half. When they failed to convert, the ref gave them another chance. This was in the far goal, so I cannot claim to have seen the whole thing, but I didn't like it. That seemed to take the energy out of the home side.

30july 023 edited.JPG
In fact, the quality of play in the second half was not so good. You had 18 guys meandering around mid-field waiting for the clock to run out. Every so often, someone would punt the ball upfield and a striker would run after it. It must have been too hot for the players. If that is true, I cannot imagine what it was like for this guy (this is the mascot for the Year of Germany in Japan - not sure if this is a mouse or what it represents).

Rugby: Australia v South Africa, Clubhouse Bar/Shinjuku 3-chome
After the football, we headed up to this place to watch the rugby on TV. They certainly treated us right: when we came in, all the tables were full, but they managed to make some space for us by moving some people around. Fortunately, it was one of the best tables for watching the television. We were pleased.

The food was suprisingly good and the atmosphere was a nice change from the usual Roppongi sports bar. Actually, maybe the atmosphere was the same, but the faces were different. I am not sure. I think everyone in the bar was supporting Australia except Leigh and a Kiwi at one of the tables near ours. South Africa ended up the winners and the place cleared out soon after that.

Bar Swanky - Akasaka 2-chome
Leigh and I took a taxi back to Akasaka after the rugby. As we got out, Leigh noticed two things: 1) it was not midnight yet; 2) there was a bar in the building the taxi driver let us out at. And that was Bar Swanky, which I have been to a few times and really like. What can I say...we had to go in.

I tried to find an Internet site for this place, but there are hundreds of links to places described as swanky (Shinjuku Park Hyatt/Lost in Translation/Roppongi Hills) and I could not wade through all of them. They are only pretenders to being swanky.

Anyway, you take an elevator to the ninth floor and when you come out there is a doormat that says Swanky and a smoky mirror with the same. Inside, it is tastefully decorated (swanky?) and there is a surprisingly good view looking out towards Roppongi. It was a good way to end the evening. Bar Swanky is very cool.

By the way, it is in the same building as the Starbucks on Roppongi Dori (next to Akasaka Twin Towers). WHen you see a blue sign with a penguin you know you have found the right place!

Posted by Kirk on July 31, 2005 10:50 AM


Hi Kirk, yes, the orange animal is indeed a mouse.
In Germany the mouse is as famous as your Mickey Mouse.
Attached is the link to the homepage http://www.die-maus.de/maus.phtml.
BTW the mouse has two good friends, a blue elephant and a yellow duck.

Posted by: Thomas at August 1, 2005 12:30 AM