Tuesday, May 21, 2013


T-Bone is at the north end of Tenmonkan, across the hall from the koban (police box) and 1 block west of Maruzen bookstore, placing it along my regular route when I go to and from the conversation school I teach at occasionally (it's also in the same building as Naughty Hair, if that means anything...) So, while I'm standing at the light on my way home, waiting for it to change green, I'm looking right up at the sign for T-Bone. Having seen T-Bone Walker performing on TV back as a teenager, I wondered what this place would be like.

It's a small, intimate bar that hosts live Japanese blues performances a few times a month. Very dark interior, with a big screen TV on one wall showing baseball games when there's no gigs playing. When I went in one Wednesday night, I was the only customer, so the bartender/owner and I spent the hour talking. He's an incredibly friendly guy, but doesn't speak much English, so it really helps if you know Japanese. During the entire time, Eric Clapton's latest CD - Old Sock - was playing on the sound system.

T-Bone's has a fully stocked bar, and even boasts its own brand of shochu (which tasted a lot like Bacardi rum). The prices are bit on the high side; a large mug of beer and a shot of shochu came to 1400 yen ($14 USD). And, the cover for the live shows is 2,000 yen, but that's pretty much normal for Japan. Anyway, it's a nice place, and if you want live jazz in Kagoshima, I suggest dropping by.

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