Pooped Out In Tokyo

Asahi Breweries is headquartered inside one of Tokyo’s stranger works of architecture. The building is meant to resemble an overflowing mug, with an amber drop of beer splashing down its side… but that drop looks an awful lot like something else. Locals have lovingly nicknamed the Asahi Beer Hall, the “Golden Poo.”

The Golden Poo sets an appropriate tone for Asakusa, a neighborhood to which we instantly warmed. There’s a sense of fun, here, in addition to the history. We spent an entire afternoon exploring Asakusa’s back streets, photographing its people, shops and architecture, and these are some of our best shots.

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  1. It’s great to see that you’re getting out and about.  This post brings back so many memories!The architecture of Tokyo is perplexing to me. Many of the buildings are designed specifically to be drab, and not to stand out or attract attention.  There’s the old Japanese saying “The nail that sticks up will be hammered down”—which suggests one needs to blend in lest you be considered selfish, immature, egotistical, an upset to harmony.  You may know the Japanese restaurant chain in Britain called Wagamama—Japanese for brat.  Everyone tries to be the opposite of a wagamama.  But when there’s an artistic, symbolic, or aesthetic excuse to depart from that, then imagination really takes flight.  I found Tokyo to be a city of stunningly extraordinary details, amid a background of functional grey that reminded me of the Eastern Bloc. By the way, when passing the Asahi breweries beer hall, I’d always been so transfixed by the Golden Sperm—as Masa calls it—that I never noticed the symbolism of  the beer glass building next door.  Now that you point it out, how could one miss it?By the way, if you’re into beer-tourism, you might try the Sapporo Breweries HQ at Yebisu Garden Place in Ebisu, with its delightfully hokey Beer Museum.  Jürgen, you might appreciate the mild Oktoberfest theme, with an ersatz Rathaus Glockenspiel. But with the curious addition of a fake looking French chateau—which even more curiously, isn’t fake, but is a genuine French chateau, dismantled, shipped and reassembled with seismic reinforcements.  And pink M.U.S.C.L.E!  The people who made those were once my client.  BTW, I’m a big fan of the easy-going eccentricty of Kichijoji.  Glad you discovered it.  

    1. Juergen Horn

      We read about the beer mug and kept scratching our heads how is this turd supposed to look like a mug! Couple of days later seeing it again from further away it dawned to us. It’s the building next to it.

      We are into beer tourism very much and will visit that castle. It sounds awesome 🙂 We have to go back to Kichijoji.. it was just way too crowded when we went.

      Are you guys planning to visit Tokyo again any time soon?

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